Recycled Toy Furniture by Greg Lynn



Venice Architecture Biennale: Architect Greg Lynn has won the Golden Lion for the Best Installation Project in the International Exhibition at the biennale, for a series of furniture made from recycled children's toys.


The other award winners were: Golden Lion for Best National Participation to Poland (Pavilion at Giardini) for Hotel Polonia; and Silver Lion for Promising Young Architect in the International Exhibition to Chilean group Elemental (Padiglione Italia at Giardini, Experimental Architecture).


Frank Gehry won the Golden Lion for Lifetime Archievement.


Lynn's Recycled Toy Furniture is displayed at the Corderie dell’Arsenale. Watch a video about the project here, or click here to donate unwanted toys to the project.


See more projects from the Arsenale in our earlier story.


Here is the full text of the annoucement made by the Biennale yesterday:


La Biennale di Venezia 11th International Architecture Exhibition

The Official Awards have been conferred

The International Jury of the 11th International Architecture Exhibition, presided by Jeffrey Kipnis (USA), critic and lecturer at the University of Ohio, and comprised of: Paola Antonelli (Italy), curator of the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York; Max Hollein (Austria), director of the Städelsches Kunstinstitut and of the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt; Farshid Moussavi (Iran), founder of Foreign Office Architecture in London and lecturer at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design; Luigi Prestinenza Puglisi (Italy), critic, historian and lecturer, specialized in urban planning, and a teacher of History of Contemporary Architecture at the Università di Roma La Sapienza, has decided to confer the official awards for the 11th Architecture Exhibition as follow:

Golden Lion for Best National Participation to Polonia (Pavilion at Giardini) Hotel Polonia. The afterlife of buildings Nicolas Grospierre, Kobas Laksa. Commissioner: Agnieszka Morawińska. Curators: Grzegorz Piątek, Jarosław Trybuś. Assistant Commissioner: Zofia Machnicka.

Golden Lion for the Best Installation Project in the International Exhibition to Greg Lynn Form (Usa, Corderie dell’Arsenale, Installations)
Recycled Toys Furniture

Silver Lion for a Promising Young Architect in the International Exhibition to Chilean group Elemental (Padiglione Italia at Giardini, Experimental Architecture)

The Awards and Opening Ceremony of the 11th International Exhibition takes place today September, the 13th in Venice at Teatro Piccolo, Arsenale at 5 PM also with the conferral of the following prizes:

Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement to Frank O. Gehry

Special Golden Lion for lifetime achievement to a historian of Architecture to James S. Ackerman on the Fifth Centennial of the birth of Andrea Palladio.

Golden Lions attribuited by the Board of the Foundation La Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta and on the proposal of the Director, Aaron Betsky.

The motivations of the International Jury

Golden Lion for Best National Participation

In the Polish pavilion, the Jury found a remarkable mix of wit, technology and intelligent speculation gathered to produce a polemic about the probable life-cycle of buildings in the context of the current problems facing cities, particularly those outside of first world economies. Hovering between art and architectural manifesto, the pavilion stimulated the imagination and interpretation of the jury members in a variety of different directions. Thus it best rose to the difficult challenge of responding to the spirit of the theme of the Biennale while evidencing an intimate loyalty to the nation it represents.

Golden Lion for the Best Installation Project in the International Exhibition

The jury found Greg Lynn’s experimental recycled-toys furniture to best embody the Biennale theme of Out There: Architecture Beyond building. The jury took interest in those projects in which experimentation took on the character of research, and thus to redirect the naïve ambition to achieve a novel solution to a difficult problem in a single daring leap toward increasing the body of knowledge and technique that the entire field can continue to develop. Though remaining at the level of a provocation rather than a prototype, the recycled-toy furniture advances the digital-form problem to a new level that intrinsically engages traditional architectural concerns such as meaning, aesthetics, and advancing fabrication technology with the recycling, an issue of broad, immediate and pressing concern.

Silver Lion for a Promising Young Architect in the International Exhibition (interpreted as the best work by a lesser known architectural practice)

The jury took note of the large number of projects by architects of every generation that showed an renewed interest in direct engagement with current real-world problems such as the environment, poverty and political strife. To encourage further development of that ethic, this prize was awarded to Elemental of Chile. The jury felt that the exhibited project showed an extraordinary mix of expert architectural intelligence in finance, construction and design with sensitivity to the local circumstance to produce a project that would not only provide low cost housing, but would hold out the real promise of a better economic future for its constituency

Posted on Sunday September 14th 2008 at 6:49 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Esa

    some of it looks good, but it has been done before so…

  • eric luyckx

    very clean for used toys. i’ve 3 kids and none of their toys could be reused as showed here. except with a solid repaint process. did you have hear something about toxic platics used for toys ?

  • Zenza

    Why note?

  • Tyler.


  • bald skull

    while i’m a fan of lynn’s this project is a load of rubbish. cutting and melting “recycled” (the all look new to me) toys, then slapping a sheet of panelite on top and calling it furniture, is that what it’s come to?

  • trent

    I like the work as an installation, and as thought provoking, but as if this is an exercise in recycling! Re-use, maybe, but I’m willing to bet that those toys have never been used for anything except this exercise (hence negating it’s stance??). Archi-wank…

  • Recycle? New toys rather.

  • niels

    Although I agree with the comment about the fact that their obviously new toys, I still like the plasticity and movement in the form and also the fact that it works on 2 layers first you see the object as something unidentifiable and only later the parts of the toys. The project is quite naive, probably even dishonest but I still have to admit I like it.

  • matt

    Jeff Kipnis is from THE Ohio State University….not the university of ohio!

  • Név*


  • I’m still a big believer in polywood. They turn old recycled milk jugs into beautiful outdoor patio furniture. Not only is it eco-friendly it looks like premium outdoor furniture and lasts a really long time. I appreciate what Greg Lynn is trying to do but very few people will want furniture that looks “like that”.

    Keep up the good work trying to find new innovative ways to recycle. In fact, personally, if the furniture’s not crafted from polywood, or some other earth friendly material, I will not buy it.