A Bit of Old, a Bit of New: Cabinets Reconstructed from Old Drawers Into new, Eclectic Designs

London shop Elemental offers this wonderful cabinet, and describe it using Bill McDonough's term:

Up-cycled cabinet composed of salvaged drawers. Bringing together different periods and styles from Victorian to mid-century.

In his recent TreeHugger radio interview, McDonough complained about the misuse of the term upcycled, that it was being applied to too many things that were the exact opposite.

One writer notes:

More than once I have seen people broadcasting their “upcycling” habits like making wallets from tires, or lawn chairs from pallets, or tables from wire spools. These are examples of recycling. None of those materials are going back UP the supply chain (the series of processes that an industry uses to create a product or service.) They are just making the chain a bit longer.

But in this case, the Designer is in fact moving the drawers up the supply chain, into new cabinets, meeting the definition:

Upcycling: A process that can be repeated in perpetuity of returning materials back to a pliable, usable form without degradation to their latent value—moving resources back up the supply chain.

All of the drawers are now associated with a decidedly nicer piece of furniture than they were before, so I think they are using the term properly. Whether up, down or just plain recycling, Designer Rupert Blanchard has given new life to old drawers.

The designer a Best Product Design in the British Design Awards 2011 for the piece. More at Elemental, found on Materialicious

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