These upcycled chairs are the cutting-edge seats of Project99. They are built from used seat frames and upholstered with upcycled materials such as boat sails, street posters, inner tube tyres and industrial felt. Created by Dutch designer Stefan Louwerse, these are chairs with a story.
Stefan’s entry into furniture design is an interesting one. He started out as a fashion designer in the commerical fashion industry. While he craved working with colours and materials in hand, Stefan found himself constantly behind a computer. In an interesting twist of fate, Stefan’s girlfriend broke up with him and cleared their home of all their furniture. Faced with an empty space, Stefan decided to make his own upcycled chairs. He lived close to a recycle centre and so started to find resources there. He also found many chairs left on the street for garbage collection. Stefan liked the personal feel of the resulting furniture and so began to make upcycled chairs as a hobby for friends and family.
2 years after beginning his hobby, Stefan switched to making upcycled chairs in a full time capacity. While he once hunted the streets for chairs, Stefan now has a network for acquiring them. Once collected, the seating is separated from the frames and rust removed. The original fabric and foam are also removed and the surface thoroughly cleaned. The chairs are then rebuilt with new foam and upcycled materials.
We especially love the colourful chairs upholstered with street posters. These posters really do have that authentic urban-street feel. As Stefan puts it, these chairs bring city life into your home. Many are collected from Berlin. Stefan waits until the poster dates have passed and then collects the materials when it’s raining. This allows the posters to peel off easily.
Stefan finds it satisfying to create upcycled chairs. He finds that a lot of people buy new chairs as it’s more expensive to buy reupholster than buy new. But he believes there is still a lot of beauty in old chairs. No one wants the chairs when they throw them away, but once given the Project99 treatment, people become interested again.
It’s nice to find value in thrown away materials.
Stefan currently stocks Project99 chairs in stores in Amsterdam, Paris and Berlin. For his next upcycled project he will be working with old airplane tray tables. We can’t wait to see how it turns out!