Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Innovative Design in Ghana

Its great to surf the web or walk through stores like the Sharper Image to scope out new designs and technology that have been applied to general products. I recently featured the Silent Clock and Sumosac on my blog that have both made use of modern design and materials to set themselves apart from other products on the shelves. But it is not often you come across common and easily available materials that have been manipulated to serve as practical objects for daily use. In places like Ghana however, where usually function plays a more substantial role than form, it is sometimes fascinating to see what people can come up with using materials that can be found anywhere at low cost or in some cases even free. 

Take for example this furniture we came across yesterday. Being back on the coast, the first thing I did when I got up on Sunday was to head out to Labadi Beach to enjoy a few cold beers and snacks with my buddy. We were sitting there for at least 30 minutes before we realized that this whole set of 3 couches is built completely from PVC pipes and fittings. 

The short segments of extruded plastic and joints are easily available from small vendors or can even be found lying around construction sites which are all over the place here. Pilferage is also common amongst local construction workers so designing furniture from stolen pipes and fittings seems like a pretty good way to increase the value of your materials. 

This is not something I would personally purchase and use in my living room, but I do admire the design and concept. Who ever built this furniture also came up with a limited variety of shapes and designs using the joints in different ways. I'm loving' it. 

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