Re:Design highlights 14 emerging designers who are taking a fresh look at old materials. Part of a generation raised in a world where the continuous production of new objects can be environmentally irresponsible, some of these designers have repurposed old or discarded objects, finding beauty in their history and patina. Others have taken an innovative approach to objects or materials already in production, using them in creative and unexpected ways. Re:Design will open to the public Friday, April 8. Bank of America, one of the world's largest financial institutions, is the sponsor of Re:Design.
Recycled materials offer inspiration to a number of the designers in the exhibition. Myriah Scruggs and Nadia Yaron of Nightwood in Brookyln, New York, use recycled wood and discarded furniture to create pieces that have both a weathered sense of history, and the fresh lines of the contemporary. Their Amelia Earhart chair, made from a 19th century chair with the graceful curves of the, plays with concepts of femininity—the curves topped by a seat upholstered with an old bomber jacket, and the back shows a portrait of a woman who defied gender stereotypes. David Levine and Meli Salihagic of Koff Designs, Brooklyn, New York, reuse old shipping pallets to create furniture that looks rugged and timeless. Rebekah Rauser of Rauser Designs, Austin, Texas, creates Redeploy rugs that rely on the sturdiness of military blankets with quilted stitching to give them soft, sensual curves.
Many of the designers poke fun at design conventions. Stanley Ruiz’s Neolithic Clock is a playful take on the iconic Ball Clock by George Nelson. With rocks, the clock becomes something out of the Flintstone Stone Age. Martin Konrad Gloekle takes an interactive approach to design. People can complete his tables and lights with their own books, customizing the size, color, and shape of the objects and changing them according to their current interests and reading list.
Some designers find beauty in objects we would normally keep out of sight. Craighton Berman was inspired by the bright colors of electrical cords to make a lamp formed entirely from the cord. His Coil Lamp is bright, cheerful, and cleverly simple. Peter Sid used objects with more negative connotations—medical vials from IVs used in chemotherapy treatment—to create Bottles of Hope Chandelier that turns the vials into rays of hope.
Although each of the designers has a different reason for re-using materials, they are all adept at rethinking ways to make completely different objects. Re:Design may be a glimpse into the futureof design: Instead of relentlessly producing something new, with all the inherent environmentalcosts, designers can creatively engage with existing materials to add beauty, style, and functionality to our daily lives.