Design, Upcycling
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Upcycling for Good Reason

Architectural Pavilion for NYC Figment Festival

I may have titled this post ‘Upcycling for Good Reason’ as if some people upcycle for no good reason but it is more to highlight those who are doing it to make a bold statement or make a massive difference to others

Fonderie 47 is one of the most dynamic and forward-thinking of the latter group. Founded by entrepreneur Peter Thum, Fonderie 47 turns weapons of war into beautiful pieces of jewellery and statement watches. Each piece is made from parts of an AK47 and funds programs to remove such weapons from circulation, creating a safer environment for aid and development. They say they’ve destroyed more than 40,000 AK47s and other such assault rifles in Africa.

Each weapon is melted down and given to different artists to work their magic. No expense is spared nor technical specifications skimped (read more on the Inversion Principle AK47 Watch as a case in point). It’s estimated about 75 illegal guns are required to make just one custom-made ring. Wow.

Antique silver earrings  by Philip Crangi for Fonderie 47

Polished antique finished earrings by Philip Crangi for Fonderie 47

Custom signet ring by Philip Crangi for Fonderie 47

Custom signet ring by Philip Crangi for Fonderie 47

Cuff by James de Givenchy for Fonderie 47

Cuff by James de Givenchy for Fonderie 47

AK47 watch

A mean-looking watch: Inversion Principle is a completely original timepiece, designed by Adrian Glessing and developed by David Candaux/Du Val Des Bois exclusively for Fonderie 47.

Then there’s architects Izaskun Chinchilla from Madrid who, for the Figment NYC outdoor festival (Summer 2015), have created a magnificent series of canopies from broken umbrellas, tripods and bicycle wheels. Their “Organic Growth” pavilion is all about mimicking and recreating nature – hence the colourful plant-like clusters of recycled materials reaching for the sun.

They explain: “We have carefully studied natural structures that can grow up and down to adapt context and time circumstances. The plant grows keeping a good balance with the environment. Shouldn’t our project do the same?”

What a fantastic piece of outdoor sculpture for everyone to enjoy.

Architectural Pavilion NYC Figment Festival

Architectural Pavilion NYC Figment Festival

Architectural Pavilion NYC Figment Festival[First seen at Junk Culture]

Or what about this idea from a children’s book publishing company in Argentina, Pequeno Editor, who has created books that can be planted and grown into trees to encourage children to be less wasteful and think of the environment?

A book that grows into a tree

The first book of the Tree Book Tree program series tells the story of destruction in the Ecuadorian jungle, inspiring children to preserve the earth around them. The book is made out of acid-free paper, silk-screened and printed with ecological ink, and hand-stitched and bound. Jacaranda seeds are carefully sown into the pages to help it grow. After finishing the book, children can bury it and watch it grow.  What a neat idea!

[As seen at]

If you know of any amazing upcycling/recycling initiatives that are making a difference, I’d love to hear about them! 

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