Dumpster Designers

Thursday June 28, 2012 Written by basil

One man's trash is another man's... house? A couple of Dutch designers are transforming neighbourhood waste into very cool social spaces.

Independent spatial designer Rikkert Paauw and graphic and editorial designer Jet van Zwieten formed Foundation projects in 2010 'to improve social cohesion'.

To do this they put skips in urban locations then fill them with building waste and discarded furniture gathered from surrounding streets. Local residents are welcome to pitch in too; the guys make it easy for them by riding around on carrier bikes to collect unwanted material.

The rubbish-filled skip then forms a base for a patch-waste structure, turning sinks, furniture and other junk into a house, bar or coffee shop. Once completed, locals are invited into the space to grab a coffee and listen to local musicians while sitting on 're-curb-ished' furniture.

The project was first presented at the 2010 Milan Public Design Festival. It was so popular the team were invited back the following year. The dumpster designers also participated in 2011 Vienna Design Week and earlier this year they created three buildings in their hometown of Utrecht, Netherlands

While it isn't the first project to 'build up and out' of a skip (see Oliver Bishop-Young's SkipWaste project) the Foundation project pioneers the community collaboration element. Once the project has run its course, the furniture is either sold or given back to the neighbourhood.