Transformation and Distribution Centre for
Abandoned Household Items by Joost Gehem

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Chairs, carpets and blinds cleared from homes in the wake of deaths, divorces and bankruptcies form the raw material for these stools by Dutch designer Joost Gehem (+ slideshow).

Transformation and Distribution Centre by Joost Gehem

The hundreds of thousands of deaths, divorces, bankruptcies and hospitalisations each year leave many household inventories without a home, says Joost Gehem of the inspiration behind his Transformation and Distribution Centre for Abandoned Household Items.

Transformation and Distribution Centre by Joost Gehem

"You cannot imagine how cheap a complete interior can be and how much of it you can get," he told Dezeen. "I began to see it as a material and I saw a little factory in my mind."

Transformation and Distribution Centre by Joost Gehem

Gehem found an advertisement for the clearance of a house owned by an elderly couple – the wife had passed away and the husband was about to go into a nursing home.

Transformation and Distribution Centre by Joost Gehem

He bought up the whole interior and ground up carpets, window blinds, foam, textiles and a rattan chair.

Transformation and Distribution Centre by Joost Gehem

The chipped remnants were then placed in a mould and pressed into stools.

Transformation and Distribution Centre by Joost Gehem

Gehem is currently working on improving the process and a new line of products is planned for later this year.

Transformation and Distribution Centre by Joost Gehem

Last week we featured a project to transform waste plastic picked up by fishing trawlers into chairs, while in 2008, architect Greg Lynn won a Golden Lion at the Venice Architecture Biennale for a series of furniture made from recycled children's toys.

Transformation and Distribution Centre by Joost Gehem

We've also published lots of stools, including one inspired by glass beakers used in science experiments and a set of narrow A-shaped stools that fit together to make a bench.

Transformation and Distribution Centre by Joost Gehem

See all designs for stools »

Here's some more information from Gehem:


As a consequence of the approximately 135,000 deaths, 32,236 divorces, 10,000 bankruptcies and thousands of cases of hospitalisation that occur each year, many household inventories are left without a home. If heirs and dealers have no interest in the household goods, they usually end up in the local dump. Joost Gehem views these leftover house inventories as raw materials. His Transformation and Distribution Centre for Abandoned Household Items grinds down furniture and turns them into new products. Your old inventory gets a fresh new start, in a new shape: the Centre infuses new life into the cycle of collecting and throwing away.

  • Mark W

    Take anything and turn it into a stool, success in the 10′s.

    • Reid

      Haha, so true.

  • Damian

    Maybe I'm dead wrong but "pressed into stools" seems like a nice way not to talk about all the epoxy needed?

  • Pete

    Slightly sad that people’s whole lives and object they may once have held dear can be decimated and turned into a rather unimaginative and ugly stool.

  • David

    I agree with Pete, although of course most would probably end up in landfill. Using the chair seems especially strange though as it still appears to be fairly functional, even if it’s not much of a looker. I guess the form has been very much dictated by the process and necessary strength but yes it seems a little clumsy.

  • krs

    Why didn’t the designer take a chair that was actually broken? And then transform it into a stool? Rather then a chair the seems to work well, it now seems a chair has been destroyed and transformed into a stool. Doesn’t make sense to me (at least for the damn picture they could have used a broken chair).

  • beatrice

    So, let me get this straight, you obtain a dead person’s personal objects, such as a chair that is still sellable (hence it not going straight into a rubbish heap) you grind it up, mix it with tons of poisonous epoxy resin and turn it into a smaller chair?

    a. Disrespectful of the dead person.
    b. Disrespectful of the functioning object.
    c. Dumb! You take a big chair and turn it into a small chair.

    Question: if the aim is to sell a chair, why not just try and sell the bigger chair? Ah no, because design is about imposing your sense of novelty on the world. The unfortunate underbelly of X Factor design mentality.

    2/10

    If the designer had just been honest about creating forms for fun, I would not have thought these thunks.

  • pipo

    Seems like a failed attempt to capitalise on the recycled, sustainable, green design craze.

  • Gert F. Dekker

    Many things my dad left when he passed away are not usable for recycling whatsoever. No market, no destiny. It seems a beautiful thing to use these leftovers for a meaningfull memory. Bright idea!