Sofa Made of Coins by Designer Johnny Swing

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Johnny Swing is a very original furniture designer who decided to give literal meaning to the phrase “sitting on cash” by building a series of sofas and chairs out of thousands of coins.

His latest creation, entitled “All the King’s Men” was made out of thousands of 50-cent coins, which makes it not only ridiculously uncomfortable, but also insanely expensive. Each coin was welded to a steel frame, which obviously takes a lot of patience, but considering Johnny has done it a few times before, it probably wasn’t that much of a problem.

While it’s not the kind of comfortable furniture you’d want to slouch on when you get home from work, Johnny Swing’s coin sofa is definitely something to look at, especially knowing that owning it is actually illegal in many countries.


Artist Creates Weird Igloo from 322 Refrigerators

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German artist Ralf Schmerberg has created a bizarre-looking igloo, in the middle of Hamburg, to send a message about the country’s uncontrolled waste of energy.

Entitled “Wastefulness is the biggest source of Energy”, Schemerberg’s igloo aims to raise awareness to the amount of energy people are wasting nowadays. A huge electrical meter set up outside the igloo shows passers-by how much electrical energy the 322 old fridges would consume, and is meant to inspire them to think carefully about how much energy they are wasting every day. According to recent studies, Germany could save up to 40% of its energy, if everyday people would use electricity more efficiently.

The refrigerator igloo was sponsored by a German energy provider and will be exhibited in Hamburg’s Gänsemarkt until November 9th. The bizarre installation is 5.6 meters high and 11 meters in diameter, and was built using 322 old refrigerators and 1,718 meters of wire. On the inside, visitors can admire a funny electrical installations made up of colorful blinking lights.


China Inaugurates Teapot-Shaped Museum of Tea Culture

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At 73.8 meters in height, and featuring a floor area of over 5,000 square meters, this unique teapot museum of Meitan is the world’s biggest teapot-shaped building.

China’s Meitan County is known as the “hometown of Chinese green tea”, and the reputation of Meitan green tea has surpassed national borders, so there was really no better place to build a museum of tea culture. As fascinating as visiting this place may be to tea lovers, we’re more interested in its unique architecture. Shaped like a giant clay teapot, and accompanied by a smaller building shaped like a tea cup, the Meitan tea museum is one of the weirdest looking museums in the world. Seen from a distance, it looks like just a strange teapot sculpture, but as you approach it, the windows give away its true purpose.

With a maximum diameter of 24 meters, and a capacity of 28,360.23 cubic meters, the Meitan tea museum is by far the world’s largest teapot.


Russian Builds House Shaped Like Noah’s Ark

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Nikolay Orekhov, from the village of Kemerovo, eastern Russia, has built his house to look like a miniature replica of Noah’s ark. Not that he’s ever seen the real thing, but we’ve all been blessed with an imagination.

47-year-old Nikolay Orekhov has spent more than a year working on his unusual house shaped like some sort of ugly ship. According to Russian site, the reason behind this modern version of Noah’s ark is Nikolay’s fear of floods caused by climate change. He says he’s not a fanatic but he does strongly believe in the possibility of a serious flood.

But according to the livejournal of Viktor Borisov, who also took some photos of Orekhov’s ship-shaped house, the weird craftsman actually dreamed about building the strange structure, and has really no fear of an actual flood. Regardless of his reasons, Nikolay Orekhov managed to create a truly unique piece of architecture, and he did it all without any blueprints. All the plans he needed were all in his head, and frankly, you can tell by the final result.

Located in his backyard, Nikolay Orekhov’s strange house measures 9 meters in height and 14 meters in length, and is three levels high. On the first floor, the Russian builder created a bathroom (complete with sauna and swimming pool) and a small kitchen, the second floor features two bedrooms and a nursery, while the third one is a greenhouse.

Nikolay began building his ship-shaped house on the “sacred” date of July 7, 2007, and is now living in it with his family. His neighbors have started referring to his weird creation as the “Ark of Nikolayev”.


The Food Packaging Fashion of Katell Gelebert

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French designer Katell Gelebert has created a line of clothes, made from various food packaging, that expresses her position as an environmentalist and human rights activist.

By using the packaging of everyday foods like pasta, frozen vegetables, coffee and even cat food, Katell Gelebert has created some pretty amazing pieces of clothing that have great potential for re-use and are also esthetically pleasant. Using only low-tech means, the French artist managed to combine design and reusable materials, without creating more waste.

If you’re interested in more packaging artworks, check out Jason Clay Lewis’ rat poison packaging art.


Inventionland – Coolest Workplace in the Whole Wide World

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I remember seeing a set of photos from Google’s offices in Zurich, and thought that was pretty cool, but Google has nothing on Inventionland’s fairytale workplace.

Inventionland, like the name suggests, is a company that invents stuff, over 2,000 new inventions every year. To come with that many inventions, the Inventionland team must really be inspired by something, but what could it be? Believe it or not, it’s actually everything that surrounds them in their Pittsburgh headquarters.

The 70,000 square feet facility looks like nothing you’ve ever seen before, featuring 15 different fantasy sets, from pirate ships to tree houses and even a house shaped like a giant shoe. And it’s not only the world’s most creative workplace, it’s also equipped with the latest in sound, video and animation technology to help creationeers come up with the best ideas. Oh, that’s right, Inventionland employees are called “creationeers”, they get to wear lab coats and they brainstorm for ideas in a room called “Inventalot”. Now, how cool is that!


Belgian Pavilion Built Out of 33,000 Beer Crates

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If the world needed any more proof Belgians love beer, this temporary pavilion, built out of 33,000 plastic beer crates should clear all doubts.

Set right in front of the iconic Atomium building, the beer crate pavilion of Brussels was designed and built in celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the 1958 Universal World Exhibition. Beer crates were chosen for the project, because the architects decided their work should evoke the concepts of universality and reusability, and nothing did that better than an ordinary item from the daily life of an ordinary consumer.

An exercise in how a normal item can transcend its normal purpose and become architecture, the beer crate pavilion is made up of approximately 33,000 beer crates. It may seem like a tough structure to build, but designers actually said the chosen material made assembly easier and allowed them to explore architectural features like columns, arches and domes.

As soon as the temporary pavilion is taken down, the beer crates will go right back to transporting bottles of delicious Belgian lager. I wonder if the designers had the “terrible” task of emptying all the 33,000 crates of beer, before using them…



The Bike Chain Chandeliers of Carolina Fontoura Alzaga

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Artist Carolina Fontoura Alzaga uses old bike parts, like metal chains, to create one-of-a-kind steampunk chandeliers.

Inspired by Victorian chandeliers, DIY culture and bikes, the bike chain chandeliers start out as unartistic, due to the nature of the materials used, but end up as genuine works of steampunk art, fit as decorations for the equally awesome steampunk house.

Combining the elegance of the classic Victorian candelabrum with the elegance of discarded mechanical bike parts, Carolina Fontoura Alzaga’s bike chandeliers are both an example of original art, as well as upcycling done right.


50,000 Milk Cartons Make a Great Castle

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Built back in May, during an event that took place in Granada, Spain, this recycled castle was made of 50,000 empty milk cartons.

Designed by the students of the Facultad de Arquitectura de Granada (Granada’s Architectural College), the milk carton castle of Granada was built exclusively out of  tens of thousands of empty milk cartons, gathered by over 5,000 primary school children. The three schools that gathered the most number of milk cartons had the privilege to attend the unveiling ceremony and see the end result of their efforts.

The 29-meters-long, 14.07-meter wide and 7-meter-high milk carton castle was acknowledged by the Guinness Book of Records as the biggest sculpture ever made with recycled materials.


Farmer Creates Amazing Spitfire Shaped Maze

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To mark the 70th anniversary of The Battle of Britain, farmer Tom Percy created a giant maze, shaped like a Spitfire fighter plane.

Tom Percy has made a name for himself, after creating a series of incredible corn field mazes, just outside Yorkshire town, in Britain. In previous years, he designed mazes shaped as an astronaut, the Statue of Liberty, the Flying Scotsman, Big Ben and a Viking longship. This year, he really outdid himself, creating one of the biggest mazes in the world, the size of 8 football fields.

Using GPS technology, Tom completed his giant Spitfire plane in just one week. And what’s even more amazing is that he managed to create an intricate maze, from over one million corn plants, inside the shape of the fighter plane.

Measuring over 1,000 feet in length, Tom Percy’s maze is the largest image of the famous World War 2 fighter.



Environmentalist Builds Floating Island with 100,000 Plastic Bottles

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Eco-pioneer Richard “Rishi” Sowa designed and built an artificial island kept afloat by 100,000 plastic bottles.

Spiral Island II is actually Rishi Sowa’s second artificial island. He built the first one in 1998, near Puerto Aventuras, using 250,000 plastic bottles to keep it afloat. Sadly, his recycled island was destroyed in 2005, when Hurricane Emily passed through the area. Most of Spiral Island was washed up on the beach, but Sowa decided to build a whole new island, in a safer area.

And that’s how Spiral Island II came to be. With the help of volunteers, Rishi Sowa gathered around 100,000 plastic bottles and hand-built his second recycled island, in a lagoon that offers protection from bad weather. The new island features a house, beaches, 2 ponds and a solar-powered waterfall, but its creator says Spiral Island II is and always will be an eco-work-in-progress. Although smaller than its predecessor (only 20 meters in diameter), you can expect the new Spiral Island to increase in size, significantly.

One of the most impressive DIY projects ever attempted, Spiral Island has inspired volunteers to come to Mexico and help Rishi Sowa improve his creation. But while some believe it a perfect environmental design, built entirely of recycled materials, there is some controversy surrounding Spiral Island. There are those who believe that if the island gets destroyed by a hurricane, again, the materials used to build it (mainly plastic bottles, sand, mangrove plants) will litter the waters of the Atlantic.


Book Desk Is the Perfect Piece of Library Furniture

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I don’t know no one has ever thought about making a desk out of recycled books, before, but having one in a library seems natural enough. The lovely book desk you see below is located in the TU Delft architecture bibliotheek, which is a library in the Dutch city of Delft. Made of what looks like thousands of recycled books, this incredible looking desk stays true to its origins as well as its purpose.


Cyckisk – The Bicycle Obelisk of Santa Rosa

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California-based artists Mark Grieve and Ilana Spector used around 340 bicycles and a tricycle to built the Ciclysk – a 65-foot-tall version of the Washington Monument.

The newly installed Ciclysk may be perceived as a monument that encourages people to ride bikes instead of driving cars, but its funding actually came from the “1-percent-for-public-art” that Nissan paid to open a big car dealership just south of where the odd obelisk is now located. Santa Rosa currently has a law that requires one percent of every major construction project be donated towards public art.

Although the Cyclisk looks like it’s made of brand new bicycle parts, artist Mark Grieve says he only used parts that beyond being used on a functional bike. All he did was cover his creation in a special coating that will keep it looking nice and colorful for a long time. The bicycle parts were all donated by members of the Santa Rosa community who were excited to contribute to the creation of their city’s newest landmark.


The Suitcase Architecture of Yin Xiuzhen

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Chinese artist Yin Xiuzhen creates her Portable Cities by carefully arranging discarded clothes and other pieces of fabric, in suitcases.

One of the most original artists of our time, Yin Xiuzhen says she first got the idea for her amazing Portable Cities while she was traveling. Looking at the conveyor belt, in an airport, waiting for her baggage, she felt like she was actually traveling with her home, and decided to use this idea in her art. According to Yin Xiuzhen, her Portable Cities represent the ease with which the modern man is able to travel from one city to the next.

In the expert hands of Yin Xiuzhen, old clothing articles worn by everyday urban citizens become unique pieces of architecture. So far, the artist has created some of the cities she’s visited throughout the years, including Berlin, Vancouver, Seattle and her home city of Beijing.


Yet Another Awesome Iron Man Suit

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I’m a huge fan of cosplay, and although I’ve already featured a few home-made Iron Man costumes on OC, I just couldn’t help share the metal suit made by Ted Gorzkowski.

Ted is a carpenter by trade, but a talented blacksmith at heart. And since he’s always been a fan of superhero movies, he decided to put his blacksmith talents to the test and create a metal replica of Tony Stark’s famous suit. He spent months molding the pieces of metal, painting it in just the right colors and creating the arc reactors out of hundreds of LEDs, but the final result was totally worth the effort.

This Iron Man suit made by Ted Gorzkowski may not be as detailed as the War Machine replica created by cosplay master Anthony Le, but it’s definitely worthy of our praise. For more photos of this cosplay masterpiece, check out Ted’s MySpace profile.

Thanks a lot, Ted!


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