Looking at upcycle design you’ll roughly see two groups. Design made out of old and there’s design made out of discarded objects and materials. In my opinion designers that create upcycle design made out of discarded objects and materials not only add most value to new design, they also improve our world in a great way. One of those objects that gets thrown away in abundance is an oil drum.
Each day drums are produced in huge amounts worldwide for use in different industrial sectors ranging from petrochemicals to food. Everyday thousands of oil drums are discarded. Luckily quite a few designers noticed this and started to use them for upcycle design. Look for instance at Dutch creative company Indusigns who has been featured on upcycleDZINE in 2013 with their fantastic lighting design. Nowadays they also have furniture in their growing collection.
Oil drums furniture shows eco-consciousness
And furniture made out of oil drums is what today’s featured upcycle design is all about. This time a totally different collection by a company called The Urbanite Home, founded by Phil Davison and based near Newtownards | Northern Ireland. The furniture collection by The Urbanite Home shows some pretty amazing chairs and tables all made out of oil drums.
“These metal barrels have very little scrap value, and are costly for industries to recycle; so the majority are disposed of into general waste and end up in landfill sites, causing pollution and environmental and health hazards.” The Urbanite Home attacks this issue by upcycling those drums into unique modern furniture that balances between art and design. Their goal: “giving industrial waste a second life, and injecting life into our environment, both literally and aesthetically.”
“Our furniture is made by cutting, welding and riveting oil barrels by hand, whilst maintaining the unique identity each barrel would have acquired from its service history. With their rough-and-ready features, it is not difficult to imagine the barrels’ previous lives spent travelling the high seas, being left outside in the rain, and getting a few knocks while being transported along bumpy roads in far away lands.”
Photos © The Urbanite Home
The Urbanite Home furniture can be used both indoors and outdoors as it is lacquered/powder coated, which protects it from rust. Furniture made out of oil drums certainly makes people realize that we all need to be aware of what we throw away and what we do to our planet.
We all need to look at design in a new way where a designer should ask the following: how can I repurpose and/or upcycle? By choosing upcycle design you show that you are eco-conscious and care about Earth. It’s a start!