FOUNDation project - turning rubbish into community

straatlokaal back_front

We all know there's too much waste in the world today. Design can help us by creating long-lasting and eco-friendly products, but it also contributes to our throw-away culture. So many new things are produced every year that items quickly become obsolete. Rikkert Paauw and Jet van Zwieten are designers from the Netherlands who decided to highlight this issue. They set up a project called FOUNDation, which recycles rubbish into meeting places for communities. They collect waste and old furniture from a neighbourhood, move it to a large rubbish container, and then transform the whole thing into a small structure, using the container as a base.

Straatlokaal was a project they produced in April this year in Utretcht. The designers created three buildings based on three different neighbourhoods of the city. Together they formed a pavilion with a bar in the city centre, where locals could meet and hang out.

They reuse and remake furniture too. This rocking chair was originally an unwanted coffee table.

 It reminds me of a project by London designers StudioSuperNiche, who made structures from the bright blue fence which surrounded the London Olympics site in Stratford. The fence became a potent political symbol in East London, and once it was replaced by wire mesh the designers turned some of the blue wood into structures that highlighted alternative uses for the site, including a bird hide, a boat, and a ping-pong table. You can read more about it in Dezeen here.

The creativity and resourcefulness of these ideas is surely what good design is all about.