The fridge couch -- well, someone out there had to finally marry the two. Created by Canadian designer Adrian Johnson, these customized ultra-retro seaters are made from vintage refrigerators and salvaged car seats that he rescues from local junkyards. Johnson's apparent mission: "To go where recycling hasn't gone before."
It all started in 2006, when 34-year-old Johnson, a former professional snowboarder who now works as an architect, wanted to build something special for his outdoor wedding reception. As he told South Coast Today:
I was at a scrap yard in Freetown, and I saw this really nice BMW seat, the most beautiful cherry red interior... almost new. That intrigued me. I went to a dump in Mattapoisett and found a green fridge form the 1970s that fit the leather seat exactly, within a half an inch.
And the rest is history.
Each Fridgecouch is meticulously handcrafted from Johnson's collection of car seats that he keeps in storage. With a seat in mind, he then goes in search of the right fridge to fit it, dismantling the refrigerator at the dump and leaving the freon for safe recovery (which means, sorry guys, you will still have to get off the couch to get a beer.) Johnson trims the couches with wood, because German cars have wood trim inside.
So why go to all this effort of making something like this instead of just recycling these components? Johnson explains:
Refrigerators and car seats are large-scale waste. They're heavy, un-reusable products that have a short life cycle. They're being recycled, but energy goes into crushing them, melting them down. Whereas with a concept like this, it flips from being one thing to being something else immediately.
I consider these couches art pieces, and not just products. Each one is unique. Everything is hand-made, custom-designed.
Though the Fridgecouch is still in the "development phase" and with only three so far actually made, Johnson still has had to turn down potential buyers in the meantime. But he fully intends to turn his upcycled prototypes into a full-fledged commercial operation:
Ultimately, I want to develop this recycled-furniture concept into a business, with the goal of creating desire in the waste product.
I want people to see the creative value in reusing, rather than always wanting new from the store, which contributes to our massive waste problem.
Amen to that. Hopefully, we'll see more of these well-crafted and unique couches soon.
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