Today I want to show you upcycle design that, in my opinion, is really stunning. Not only in the way it looks, but especially in the way it’s made. And more specific the material. We all know that vintage suitcases are used for several upcycling design products. A few examples are a boombox, shelves and a chair. All these products still show the suitcase as it once was. But what about upcycling a suitcase into a piece of furniture without being able to recognize the original suitcase?
Suitcase uses interesting raw material
Last week I got an email from a creative company called AERO-1946. Almost two years ago upcycleDZINE featured their cool Aviation Stool made out of aircraft parts.
And now they wanted to let me know that they created a stool with the same design as the Aviation Stool, but out of a different material. They started experimenting with vulcanized fibre. A material invented in the 1850s and widely used for technical purposes and luggage, for example suitcases.
“Its use in the past and also today as raw material for furniture is extremly limited, but Gerrit Rietveld made one! experimental chair and in Japan a few designers do also use them. In the USA in 1923 a handful aircraft fuselages were successfuly made from vulcanized fibre for a small aircraft, but production stopped soon. We used an old (about 100 years) damaged suitcase from my grandfather to get the 1.2mm thick raw material for the first of our vulkanized fibre stools. First we dismanteld the suitcase. After soaking it for some hours in water the material becomes soft and so we were able to press it flat to cut out the parts. These parts were then wet pressed in a handmade mold. After drying the material is extremly strong again. We then riveted the parts together. The stool is lightweight but made for daily use and mostly made from reycled vulcanized fibre.
AERO-1946, based in Bergisch Gladbach | Germany, was founded by a dental technician and a technology historian. They started in the summer of 2007 in their spare time to implement an old idea into practice: the production of a technically designed furniture unit for the living area.
“As design principle we took the way of classic aircraft. Specifically, the metal aircraft, as it was found at 1946. A time when the aviation industry, directly after the end of World War II, was looking for alternative markets (‘conversion’) and a time in which the aircraft was often very technically oriented.”
Since that start a lot has happened and one of their latest creations is this vulcanized stool.
Photos © AERO-1946
I really like the Aviation Stool because of its design and because of the graphics and other markings that add so much character to the design. But I’m very impressed with what they have been able to do with a really old suitcase. It’s a fantastic addition to their great collection of stools.
The suitcase stool shows that vulcanized fibre is a very interesting raw material for upcyle design projects.
Design by AERO-1946