Upcycling Favourites


Written by Tshepo Mokoena
Photos and illustrations by Sebb Hathaway, Nike
18 Monday 18th April 2011

First up, the team behind organisation CanLove are getting every last drop of pigment out of spray cans in LA and New York City. As avid street taggers, they also realise how much of the job entails a rapid spray-and-drop, and decided they'd had enough of the cans littering street art sites.

Now, they not only make works of art with the remaining paint but also with the emptied cans. See their bouquets and drip paintings for a taste.

Those stacks of mags starting to take over all the floor space in your room? You probably should have thought of Nike's Print Pack trainer series, then. All the main material comes from strips of old magazines and thus guarantees each shoe is one of a kind.

Big music fans from the last few decades may be happy to hear about this hilarious weather-proofing use of old CDs and records. Rather than keep all those musical gems you may not even play any more or your burgeoning stash of AOL sign-up discs you thought would one day be valuable, how about turning your CDs into roof shingles? This Lancashire programmer had no qualms with it, and insists they're great for keeping a house cool in the summer too.

Go extra-retro by using records instead, like this Nashville musician. This one feels kinda blasphemous, especially mentioned only days after Record Store Day, but does look prettier. Definitely one for the ballsy amongst you.

If shingles aren't really your style you could also just make an entire house from cassette tapes you probably don't have the players for any more. Emmett McNamara made this one, and it could be a hilarious doll house for the truly dedicated parent to attempt.

Architecturally, the Shanghai Pavilion has taken the idea to a grand scale, building and lighting old CD cases with LEDs to create this dynamic exterior. Designer Feichang Jianzhu is largely responsible for the concept, where old CD cases have been turned into the plastic tubes that not only form the building but help collect energy to heat and light the structure. Now that's the way to get the most out of crap you stopped caring about ages ago.

Shanghai Pavilion interior tubing

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