Wavin, a company normally associated with functional, technical building services products such as drainage and plumbing pipework, has shown how plumbing can be used to create art.
Cutting edge furniture designer Yard Sale Project contributed to the London Design Festival DesignersBlock installations with a striking high-aesthetic chair made – from plastic plumbing products.
Described as a “surreal Aladdin’s cave” by Design Week, DesignersBlock is a group that supports emerging designers and encourages them collaborate across disciplines. And Wavin, the UK’s leading supplier of water management, plumbing and drainage systems; teamed up with Yard Sale Project to donate 450 metres of 40mm white soil and waste pipes that were crafted into a stunning craft, sculpted chair.
Cairn Young and Ian Spencer, the designers behind YSP, were keen to use ABS piping as they had already enjoyed an enthusiastic response to an earlier piece modelled from the material that they nicknamed the Hepworth chair and exhibited at the Origin Design Show in 2010.
“We were attracted to this material because in its day to day role it’s almost invisible and we can breathe new life into it by using it in new, unfamiliar ways,” explained Cairn. “It’s also incredibly tough and, when you solvent weld it, can form this monolithic structure that’s amazingly strong and light. By making this sort of abstract piece we feel that we’re both subverting the original purpose of the pipe and also celebrating its special qualities.”
The chair itself is designed to stay out in a garden so that eventually the plants grow around it using the chair as a trellis, providing a sharp contrast between the man-made material and the organic forms of the plants.
For its part Wavin was pleased to support a project that draws attention to the outstanding qualities of one of its many products, according to Steve Skeldon, Product Group Manager. “Our products offer superb quality and are made using the very best materials but can be taken for granted because they’re so rarely seen – they just do their job year in, year out. So it’s great to be able to show their potential in such a visible way,” he said.
Yard Sale Project’s work has been sold in exhibitions all over the world, including Design Miami, PAD Paris and Gallery Seoul 12. The Museum of Art and Design, New York is including one of their chairs in a show called Against the Grain.