Friday, 28 August 2009

Boards not bombs

One of my friends is a travel journalist, and she told me about the village of Phonsavan in Laos. Unexploded bombs dropped by American B-52 bombers during the 1964-1973 Secret War litter the countryside in the province. Enterprising residents have upcycled these into fences, pillars and furniture, and Dang Ngo has some amazing pictures of this in his Flickr photostream, so sneak a peak.

In another example of American policies creating privations in other countries that have led to upcycling ideas that leave me in awe, visit one of my favourite magazines Huck. The new issue is on newsstands now, which means you can browse the June/July digital edition online for free. The article by Sarah Bentley on page 76 explores surf culture in Cuba:

"Little is thrown away in Cuba, with everything reincarnated into something new once it fails to serve its original purpose..."

Sarah goes on to describe the upcycling centre that is the workshop of a shaper called Eduardo, who has been known to reclaim the foam from inside old US-made Westinghouse refrigerators in order to make blanks for boards (see pic above), and to use old cheese graters to shape them.

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