Save a Sample could save a lot of space in architects' offices

A sample room
© Save a Sample/ typical sample room ready to go

When I had an architectural practice I also had a sample room, full of plastic laminate and wood samples and paint chips, steel shelves covered in stuff. When I closed my practice it seemed like I put a truckload of samples out on the curb, waiting to go to the dump. Now architects can find a lot more information on the internet and do not need the rows of Sweets and other catalogues, but they still need samples.

Save a sampleLloyd Alter/ Suzanne Swift in Toronto/CC BY 2.0

Fortunately they don't have to go to the dump anymore; Suzanne Swift of SpecSimple.com also set up Save A Sample, and was at IIDEX in Toronto to promote its new presence in Canada.

Save a Sample works with design firms and suppliers to collect old samples (they are not that old; laminate companies change their collections annually) and deliver them to design schools. There is a lot of it, and Save a Sample "creates a second life for unused brochures, fabrics and finish cards. Over the years, thousands of pounds of materials have been donated by some of the country's busiest design firms."

From its about page:

"Save A Sample! offers our students access to the newest architectural materials and finish products available," says Linda Oshea, Design Chair at Kean University in New York. "I have seen a great improvement in terms of creativity, innovation, and imagination on student material and finish boards since being involved in this wonderful program. It is like Christmas morning in the design studios when Save A Sample! boxes arrive at our school!"

I can imagine; I tried once to glue all my Formica samples into a coffee table and it was really ugly, not at all like this one from Formica. Suzanne has a much better idea.

Tags: Recycled Building Materials | Recycling

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