Cyberpunk furniture for the environmentalist
By Brian Dodson
December 23, 2013
Benjamin Rollins Caldwell exults in materials, designing entire lines of furniture from a wide range of castoffs. His latest creations form his remarkable Binary collection of living room furniture, in which all components come from old PCs and defunct electronics.
A native of South Carolina, Caldwell received dual degrees in art and business from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. He then returned to South Carolina to join Votivo, a specialty candles, fragrance, and scents company, as brand manager and designer. Caldwell broke away from Votivo in 2009, and established his furniture design studio, BRC Designs, in Inman, SC in 2010. BRC Designs is now a well-known design house, having been featured in a number of high-profile design publications.
Caldwell describes himself as a "re-inventor," finding inspiration for his designs from castoffs found in antique stores, junkyards, thrift shops, and abandoned warehouses. The result is entire lines of furniture made from playing cards, old pianos, books, bicycles, children's toys, and more.
“Sometimes the objects I discover simply inspire an overall design idea and other times the objects actually become the raw material for the piece”. He combines traditional materials, such as wood, metal, glass, plastic and stone with salvaged items, converting them into something new and innovative.
His new Binary furniture line is constructed completely of materials salvaged from castoff computers. He reworks computer cases to form the structural framework of the furniture, then attaches computer cards, drives, motherboards, and the like to decorate the framework. Upholstery is provided by woven Ultra ATA cables or other types of wiring harnesses.
I'm not entirely sure how practical this furniture would be; cleaning alone would be quite a task. However, the basic design has proven sufficiently popular that the items in the Binary line are available in limited numbers. Lady Gaga's chair? US$14,000.
Source: BRC Designs
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