Chairs made from recycled refrigerators are pretty “cool” (pun intended). Dirk Van Der Kooij has a refrigerator-eating machine that takes in ground up old fridge parts at one end and spits out a single plastic string at the other. The robotically programmed machine lays the plastic sting down “drawing” the chair then folds it over itself, over and over again, to slowly form a chair. The final product resembles a modernized wicker chair.
The robot-machine is named Fanuc. Fanuc can make up to 4,000 chairs annually. Dirk Van Der Kooij adds pigment beads to the plastic mixture in order to get a variety of colors in his chairs. As well as repurposed refrigerators, Fanuc has also been repurposed, it was originally an industrial Chinese robot who put in 140,000 hours before being let go.
Luckily for Fanuc, Dirk Van Der Kooij came to the rescue, and gave it another job making chairs. Fanuc had to be updated with new software, but has since become much more successful than his factory counterparts.
The interesting new way to make chairs has been dubbed “Endless” by the designer, this quote from Dirk Van Der Kooij gives incite to the name:
“High investments in complicated moulds made it almost impossible for a designer to evaluate and refine his final object. The designer is no longer involved in the production process and the design stage is completely shifted to a pre -production phase.
I found the solution not in labour, but in automation. By combining different techniques, I was able to design an automated, but very flexible process. I taught a robot his new craft, drawing furniture out of one endlessly long plastic string. This makes it possible for me to design in the good old fashioned way: making a chair,evaluate, refine, making a chair….. endlessly.” (dedeceblog.com)
The one endless sting chairs are not yet mass-produced but Dirk Van Der Kooij is optimistic that it will happen in the near future.
The Endless project won this years International Design Festival:
What Makes It Green:
Endless is a “green” project because it saves space in landfills by eliminating refrigerators from it one at a time. Dirk Van Der Kooij has combined the design and production phases while making his chairs, this is not mainstream “green” but it most definitely cuts down on time and resources. As well as recycling refrigerators, Dirk also recycles prototype chairs that he does not like.