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Designer makes gorgeous furniture from abandoned electronics

Living in the Computer Age Benjamin Rollins Caldwell

Benjamin Rollins Caldwell is interested in what happens to electronics when they die. The designer was walking through an old warehouse when he came upon a hodgepodge of obsolete computers, calculators, telephones, and printers, and decided to take the pallets back to his studio. His vision produced The Binary Collection, a line of furniture made out of up-cycled, disposed electronics that shows us how much e-waste we actually produce.

The understructure of each piece is made of computer towers and sheet metal from printers that are bent to the proper form and riveted together. The surface of each piece is completely covered with colorful motherboards, computer chips, LCD screens, and hard drive disks held in place by sheet metal screws. In the chairs, the cushions are made from woven together ribbon cable and ethernet cables, and the tables have a functional surface made of salvaged glass above the base.

The art and pop culture worlds have taken notice of The Binary Collection, the most famous fan being Mother Monster herself. The collection was exhibited in a large installation called "Living in the Computer Age" at Lady Gaga's ArtRave, an event to celebrate and promote the singer's latest album, ARTPOP. Rollins Caldwell found the partnership fitting, not only because the chair looks like how many of the tracks on ARTPOP sound, but also because he says he likes viewers to be able to relate to his work, much like music.

In addition to Gaga's show, The Binary Collection was recently exhibited at Design Miami. Next stop — San Francisco's FOG art fair, where the entire Binary Room installation will be from January 16–19, 2014.

All images courtesy of BRC Designs.

  • <i>The Binary Collection</i> was featured in a room installation at this year's Design Miami.

    The Binary Collection was featured in a room installation at this year's Design Miami.

  • The entire exterior of the Binary Chair is made from motherboards and computer chips.

    The entire exterior of the Binary Chair is made from motherboards and computer chips.

  • All of the parts used to make the furniture were 100 percent recycled from abandoned electronics.

    All of the parts used to make the furniture were 100 percent recycled from abandoned electronics.

  • Chair cushions were made from woven ethernet and ribbon cables.

    Chair cushions were made from woven ethernet and ribbon cables.

  • The added piece of salvaged glass on the Binary Table provides functionality without impeding its beauty.

    The added piece of salvaged glass on the Binary Table provides functionality without impeding its beauty.

  • Rollins Caldwell spent hours deconstructing computers and other electronics to get the parts he needed, and even more time placing them on each design to make the final pieces as aesthetically pleasing as possible.

    Rollins Caldwell spent hours deconstructing computers and other electronics to get the parts he needed, and even more time placing them on each design to make the final pieces as aesthetically pleasing as possible.

  • Caldwell says the Binary Cabinet was the most challenging piece to create, because the interior is made of bent and riveted computer tower metal — something that's not easily made visually appealing.

    Caldwell says the Binary Cabinet was the most challenging piece to create, because the interior is made of bent and riveted computer tower metal — something that's not easily made visually appealing.

  • Designer Benjamin Rollins Caldwell in The Binary Room.

    Designer Benjamin Rollins Caldwell in The Binary Room.


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