Personal reflections on urbanism, urban life and sustainable urban design in Wellington, New Zealand.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


One of the things I love about Midland Park is the fact that, despite being in the pinstriped heart of corporate Wellington, it's still a true public space that welcomes all sorts of people and activities. Among the suited coffee addicts and lunching couriers, it's not uncommon to see political protests, children's games, lone guitarists and artists selling their wares, but I think that this is the first time I've seen someone selling furniture.

Vickie's Originals chairs in Midland ParkAnd no ordinary furniture, either. Vickie's Originals offer a somewhat surprising combination of 1950s vinyl and chrome with Māori designs. Since these are refurbished pieces, some might call this recycling, but with a nod to William McDonough and Michael Braungart, Vickie Davis calls her furniture "upcycled" functional art. In their book Cradle to Cradle, McDonough and Braungart argued that most "recycling" is actually "downcycling", since the materials get downgraded in the process and the "cycle" is not sustainably repeatable. With upcycling, the raw materials become something of equal or greater value. While there's presumably some new material involved, and it's not a new concept (see Upcycle Art or just about anything on Treehugger for more examples), it's great to see someone promoting the concept here.

With Māori designs, bright colours, retro furniture and upcycling, it all sounds very Nelson. And it is: Davis is based in Nelson, but has a temporary exhibition in Cable Car Lane until Saturday. Along with the Fine exhibition at Shed 11, this is an example of how Wellington might go some way towards making up for stealing the World of WearableArt awards (which are finally getting their parade this Friday) by providing a wider audience for their works.


At 9:40 am, September 27, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

any comments on the new supreme court?

my first impression? 'mosque'

At 10:56 am, September 27, 2006, Blogger s. said...

Vickie does superb stuff. And comfy too - I've sat on some!

At 6:47 am, October 15, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice, looks real confortable..



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