There’s an old saying that runs something along the lines of “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” These days, artists and designers are doing what they can to be environmentally-conscious by repurposing discarded items into found-object art and usable household items. German-based designer Yuya Ushida‘s innovative chopstick sofa is a perfect example of this.
The piece, entitled “SOFA_XXXX,” is an expandable furniture unit that can be used in its compact form as a single-person chair or extended to about three times its length to accommodate up to three people. The sturdy construction allows for it to hold a maximum of 210 kg (about 463 lbs).
Ushida created the sofa using 8,000 chopsticks, all cut to one of four different lengths and tapered at very precise angles. The wooden sticks are held together by hundreds of rings and joints to allow for the unit to be stretched out into sofa-mode.
To make the construction process easier, the chopsticks were placed into box molds and cut to length in batches, allowing the artist to move through the preparation phase quickly. The sticks were then sanded to the proper angles and then arranged with the joints and rings into one of two elements that was repeated throughout the design to give the sofa shape and structure.
Although the piece is definitely a neat concept, I have to wonder how comfortable it is to sit on 8,000 chopsticks. The splinter factor alone is a bit off-putting. It’s also a fairly bland design, but I bet it could be spiced up with the addition of some kitschy sushi decor and a blanket or two.
Overall, despite the boxy design and questionable comfort level of the sofa, Ushida’s design is unique and innovative, and definitely worthy of all the attention it’s been getting in the world of design. Hopefully it will help other artists realize that inspiration can be found in the most unexpected places.
Like the trash can, for instance.