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Nomadic designer turns to scraps to furnish his living spaces

| May 13, 2014

François Duquesnoy must really, really hate moving furniture. The Dutch-born designer has moved a total of eight times in the last few years. Rather than pack up his furniture for each move, he builds his own furniture for each new location. He doesn’t just build it from scratch; he builds it from scraps. After each move, Duquesnoy combs the streets of his new locale for up to a week to find discarded items that can be repurposed to suit his needs.

Among his creations: a chair made from a bicycle wheel, a desk made from plastic crates that Duquesnoy picked up on the beach, and a table with a tennis racket crossbeam.

A chair from Collectibles III. From François Duquesnoy.

A chair from Collectables III. From François Duquesnoy.

Carey Dunne wrote about Duquesnoy’s creations for Fast Company‘s Co.Exist. Dunne calls Duquesnoy’s work “surprisingly functional.” The designer’s efforts are a blend of necessity and art. Evidence of the latter’s importance: he has named his collection of trash furniture — he calls it “Collectables” — and has even written an artist’s statement.

Duquesnoy paints all of the furniture for each abode in the same color. This step goes a long way toward unifying the often disparate pieces.  So far, he’s created three full collections. His work is generating attention, most recently as part of an exhibition at Self Unself at the Collective Design Fair in New York. His work also landed on trendhunter, where it was described as “whimsical.”

A table from Collectables II. From François Duquesnoy.

A table from Collectables II. From François Duquesnoy.

Duquesnoy hopes his work will inspire others to look beyond chain stores to furnish their homes. He thinks anyone can make trash furniture. His advice: “Don’t plan anything, don’t design anything before. Just think about what you would like to make, or what you need, like a chair, and see how you can make it with what you have.”

He definitely walks the talk. Duquesnoy, a self-described “nomad,” arrives in each new city with nothing but clothing, tools, and the confidence that his relaxed resourcefulness will pay off.

It certainly is paying off for the environment. In addition to avoiding the materials required to produce new furniture, Duquesnoy repurposes items that would otherwise end up in a landfill. We applaud the recycling efforts!

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Category: Metal, Paper, Plastic, Recycling programs

About the Author ()

Ellen Hunter Gans has been writing for RecycleReminders since the blog’s inception. She is passionate about words, new media and, of course, recycling.

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