Yamamoto‘s Flow project explores ways to minimise industrial waste by focusing on a single material – light-gauge steel (LGS).
Commonly used in construction as a strong, lightweight framing option, LGS is also one of the industry’s largest waste products, Yamamoto claims, as it is rarely recycled after demolition.
The designer therefore chose to create a second life for the steel sheets and components as a series of sculptural chairs.
He also used LGS to form platforms for showcasing the seating designs as part of an exhibition at Milan design week 2023 that has been shortlisted in the exhibition design category of this year’s Dezeen Awards.
“This project began with the awareness that everyday recycled construction materials are disposed of, then new construction begins – a so-called ‘scrap and build’,” Yamamoto said.
“Using the iconic LGS material – one of the most popular materials normally used in framing systems throughout the interior wall structure – we transformed it into beautifully redesigned furniture, giving the materials a second chance,” he added.
The exhibition formed part of the Dropcity showcase, which took place inside the Magazzini Raccordati spaces at Milan Central Station during the design week in April.
These empty railway arches have a dilapidated, industrial aesthetic with peeling floors, stained tilework and exposed utilities.
Yamamoto chose to leave the vaulted room largely as he found it but placed a series of platforms in two rows, upon which he presented the series of chairs.
Track lighting was installed overhead to spotlight the elevated designs, each of which has a slightly different shape.
In the centre of the exhibition, a workshop bench also built from lightweight gauge steel was used to fabricate more chairs during live demonstrations between Yamamoto and craft artist Takeo Masui.
“This is a landfill, a place where a volume of used LGS is collected,” Yamamoto said. “A place where the designer and craftsmen work hand in hand to recreate what was bound to be disposed into something new, a process of disassembling to re-assemble.”
The intention was to not only showcase the material’s capabilities for reuse but also to allow visitors to engage with the process and ask wider questions about how society deals with waste.
Using waste materials produced by other industries was a key trend that Dezeen spotted during this year’s Milan Design Week, with designers and studios including Formafantasma, Prowl Studio, Atelier Luma and Subin Seol all looking to reduce the environmental impact of their products.
The photography is by Takumi Ota.
Future Landfill took place at Magazzini Raccordati from 15 to 23 April 2023 as part of Milan Design Week. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.
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