The rise of Upcyling

Shabby chic, vintage, retro, antique, upcycled – these are words being banded round the hipsters of the design industry more and more. Even BBC1s The Apprentice last night had its contestants setting up shop in trendy Brick Lane.

The appeal of this look is not surprising, however. It appears to be a backlash of sorts against clean and clinical modern design and mass uniformity. Why buy a flatpack Ikea dresser when you can find another, older model for much cheaper, and snazz it up?

More and more online upcycling shops are appearing, all with some really brilliant and creative pieces. Almost always sympathetic to the time the piece was made, the modifications give a fun and funky edge.

This chair and the set of drawers above both come from Elemental, a store based in the East End’s Spitalfields. Another great source of upcycling inspiration is The Old Cinema, who were actually on last night’s Apprentice. Located in an old cinema, they have an incredible range of pieces.

This table was upcycled from a Boeing 737’s landing gear.

What is refreshing about this trend is that anyone with any creative spark could have a go. A tired, dated table could instantly be transformed into something unique and infinitely interesting. I think this is a very exiting movement indeed.

This entry was published on April 12, 2012 at 1:36 pm. It’s filed under For(u)m and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

5 thoughts on “The rise of Upcyling

  1. Very cool, and I applaud people getting out there and having a go at upcycling themselves, but I bet soon, if not already, if you bought some of the already upcycled, finished pieces, you’d end up spending more than the Ikea set.

  2. Ms. Fastspeed on said:

    I think the global recession also might have something to do with it. I don’t have the money to buy new! I am glad that such amazing stuff is out there whatever the reason.

    • Yep, totally. I think we become more creative when things get tight and money is in short supply… Some of the strongest design ideas (and business ideas) will probably come from these years of austerity.

  3. Pingback: Roadtesting Free Etsy Alternatives « The (anti) Procrastination Diaries

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