In a world that’s already full of stuff, one of the greatest challenges today’s designers face is figuring out how to avoid adding more. That can include things like using recycled materials or coming up with products that essentially disappear after use. But it also means, quite simply, coming up with ways to turn old stuff into new stuff. This kit does it in the most straightforward way possible.
The Stooler, a project by Spanish designer Andreu Carulla, involves some straps, some ratchet buckles, and four legs. Wrap the whole mess tightly around an object of a certain size, and you’ve got yourself a bespoke, one-of-one, custom-made stool. Carulla shows the thing working with a bale of hay, an old crate, a yoga ball, and a bundle of firewood. Other seats that come to mind? Stuffed animals. Stacks of unread New Yorkers. Milk crates.
"We wanted to raise awareness about the importance of reusing and recycling," Carulla says. But the new pieces show that upcycling isn’t limited to giving a thrift store armoire a zany paint job and some gaudy drawer pulls. Depending on what you choose to repurpose, your stool (or ottomon, or side table) can take on an industrial look, or a rustic one. Strap together a bunch of mass-produced products, like stuffed animals, and you’ve got yourself a postmodern art object worthy of a booth at Art Basel.
Granted, just going out to a thrift store and buying an old stool might be an easier carbon-neutral seating solution. But Carulla’s design has the benefit of giving the user some agency in the creation. "What we like the most about the Stooler is the fact that the user has a part in the design process," he says, "[and] that it can be easily adapted to the environment where it is going to be placed."
For now, the project remains a concept, but it’s valuable simply as a reminder that dumping old stuff isn’t your only option. Try to keep that in mind when you’re doing your spring cleaning in a couple months.
[Hat tip: Designboom]