UpCycling is a new trend that appeals to 'optimists' who reject waste, value craftsmanship and items with history. There are actually four 'lifestyle' trends according to Fawn Chang of PPG Pittsburgh Paints. Based on the compilation of extensive research, PPG analyzed the current U.S. psyche. According to Chang, we are cautiously stepping out of the recession/depression that we have been experiencing and adding color back into our lives. We are coming from a 'recession prison grey' palette so we are retaining a lot of neutrals but with a pleasant addition of color.
As a 'sustainable' designer I am familiar with the term UpCycling, but this is the first time I am aware of it coming into mainstream lifestyle images, colors and designs. I am intrigued that our acceptance and dedication to recycling (sending materials away to be recycled) is pushing the new trend of UpCycling. UpCycling as a design concept is basically taking existing items and creating something new from them. A stereotype of UpCycling that we may be familiar with is art that is made from bottle caps or plastic bags. UpCycling is more than art, however, these are functional items that are created from your existing collection of 'stuff.' UpCycling as a lifestyle trend is all about living simply and wasting nothing. 'It embodies simple living, keeping only what is functional and personal.'
My friend and colleague Vidal Bitton created this wonderful outdoor seating for his new juice bar at Lakeview Yoga and Wellness Center. Located on the Burke Gilman Trail in Kenmore, this juice bar and seating area is the perfect refuge on a hot sunny day.
Bitton salvaged old plastic laminate tables, painted the plastic laminate (believe it or not, it looks great) and built wood benches that are permanently attached to the table. Between the heavy table metal table base and the stained benches, these units are stable, weather resistant and UPCYCLED!
As far as our renewed desire to include color in our surroundings, I defer to PPG's statement..."Our color choices are more and more about what makes us feel happy."
And right now, I am very happy! Ciao!