José Collection by Mauricio Arruda


Brazilian designer Mauricio Arruda has designed a collection of storage units that house ubiquitous plastic crates.

Called José Collection, the crates are made of recycled plastic and slot neatly into specially-made wooden frames with steel legs.

The crates could still be used as a means of transporting goods, minimising the use of cardboard boxes and plastic bags.

Here's some more information from the designer:


The JOSE COLLECTION is a family of storage furniture produced with materials and processes that are less harmful to the environment and society. The development of the collection analyzed the product life cycle: from the materials used to the manufacturing process and the furniture's use to its recyclability, in order to minimize the environmental and social impact, and the waste of raw materials and energy.

The project accounted for the amount of residues produced in the manufacturing of the furniture. The size and measures of each product were defined to achieve an optimal use of wood and generate the minimum amount of waste.

The plastic containers are made from recycled plastic through a process that is already incorporated in the manufacturer's production line. The furniture base is made from cut carbon steel bars that are bent and receive an anti-corrosion coat and an automobile paint.

The solid wooden sheets carry the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) environmental certificate seal. Forest certification ensures that the wood used in furniture comes from an environmentally correct, socially fair and economically viable production.

The wooden sheets are treated with natural carnauba wax, without the use of solvent-based finishes. The JOSE COLLECTION is inspired in the traditional street markets and open-air fairs in Brazil.

The informal and transitory look of these spaces gave rise to the wooden structures that have a light and simple design and store colorful and removable plastic containers. The design of the steel base is reminiscent of the carts used by the collectors of paper and recyclable trash and the merchants themselves.

The furniture's design suggests a multi-purpose functionality. The plastic containers can be removed from the units, allowing people to store and transport objects, toys, food, clothing, books, bottles etc., both indoors and outdoors. Groceries can be taken from the supermarket to the home without the use of plastic bags.

The containers are also stackable and can be reorganized away from the shelving unit, according to the user's needs. The result is a line of environmentally conscientious furniture with real Brazilian identity, marked by simplicity in its form and function.


Mauricio Arruda graduated at the Architecture and Urban Planning State University of Londrina, Paraná, Brazil (Universidade Estadual de Londrina/UEL) in 1997 and was granted a master degree at Sao Carlos State University in 2000.

Mauricio has participated as a Latin America fellow-author at the creation of the Agenda 21 for Sustainable Construction in Developing Countries and has conducted several researches in the residential and environmental fields.

Interior Design professor since 2001, has lectured in many Brazilian educational institutions, i.e. SENAC, Escola Panamericana de Arte. Currently teaching at the IED Brazilian branch – Instituto Europeo di Design.

As a professional architect Mauricio develops and manages projects for residential and commercial spaces as well as product design.

Along with former university colleagues Guto Requena and Tatiana Sakurai, Mauricio created the creative collective WHYDESIGN.

See also:


Particle shelving by Dominic McCausland New Nordic shelves by JDS Architects Husmus by

Posted on Sunday May 2nd 2010 at 9:55 am by Catherine Warmann. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • gira

    stylish shelve for the brazilian favelas

  • Jos
  • Andy

    They are nice enough and they look pretty but it appears like a lot of work to house a stackable crate. Still nice to see you have made the product and taken time for nice photos.

  • Rotten

    Looks very much like this one… (also available in various dimensions)


    Still like the idea!

    • koMrio

      This one looks better though.

  • B
  • modular

    I generally dislike “trash design”, yet this guy nailed it. Nice mix of colors and materials. I’d buy this for a fancy home.

  • Xin

    I thought there is this Dutch brand-Lensvelt, and they have a very similar design.

  • guisforyou

    Nice intentions but the actual wooden frame will weigh more than all the contents they will put in the plastic crates in the first place. Thus, it wont function if people that need to be mobile can’t be mobile with this paperweight.

  • Love it! The legs on the small table are out of proportion, but the other pieces are great.

  • cool mauricio, parabéns josé!

  • Lauer

    I love it !!!!!

  • Tja

    reminds me of . Look for ‘One for all’ designed in 2003.

  • vico

    i love it too !
    such a clever idea !
    but did Arruda design these containers ? i guess there must be universal dimensions for those things ? so that the shelves can fit

  • modular

    Geeez!!! I thought I loved this, yet…. it’s a ripoff! C’mon man!!!! What a major letdown!!!!!!!!!!!

    Now I feel sad for this. I feel depressed. Major letdown. Major letdown man………….


  • Joost

    THE original ones are made and designed by mark van der gronden, Eindhoven Holland. Showed for the first time at the “design sucks” exhibition in eindoven in 2003…… Also available via lensveld. Mark rules !

  • Marcia

    Parece mas não parece. A estrutura de madeira e metal muda o significado dos engradados. Eu gostei.

  • hayden

    Beautiful. Great design.

  • Simmilar but better than Lensvelt.

  • Reminds me of the Bedroom closet from Le Corbusier. The one he designed for l’Unité d’habitation in Marseille…

  • tiffany

    @ anna, not similar, a straight copy of the Lensvelt piece, which is already around for over 7 years. How can someone design the future without knowing the past?

  • Come on Joost – do you really think that the first person to put a fruit crate in a frame and call it drawers happened in 2003 in Eindhoven? I think every student round the world did this. No matter – I like the drawers shown here anyway.

    For a little bit of education – the readers above should see Michael Marriot’s work
    Which was going on about ten years before wonky-wibbly Eindhoven even existed…

    but personally – I really this lady’s work: yes – she did the drawers too. So did I. So did the guy next to me at school. It’s nice.

  • jos

    I think they are waaaaaaaaaaaay better looking then the dutch ones. Much more elegant!

    good job

  • MrCoolTeapot

    I like the idea but the execution bothers me. The wood box screams “weekend project” to me.
    For some reason I think it would be more successful if the box containing the plastic units were grid-like itself. (Rather than have the contrast between the opaque wood and the grid-like plastic instead go all the way and make the whole thing grid-like.)

  • Julio

    I loved it !!!

  • I really enjoy the product photography. Nice to see in a crowded market.

  • Very nice ! Looks cool and easy to use in diferent places !

  • Erik

    My grandfather did that in the 70’s…!
    This is not design, it’s public knowledge..

    Lensvelt and all the others are just lazy designers.

  • tiramisuk

    very fresh! Like a freshly squeezed orange juice.
    Nice picture(first one)

  • muito bem explicado o conceito, cores e caixas bem escolhidas, boas fotos.
    há qualquer coisa que faz lembrar a arquitectura moderna brasileira!
    great work!

  • My grandfather did that in the 70′s…!

    This is not design, it’s public knowledge..