just plane furniture
August 10, 2007 5:56 AM   Subscribe

Ever had a yen for a table made from jet engine turbine blades or a desk fashioned from a wing or a cowling? Giancarlo de Astis and Moto Art are two high-end design firms that are creating eye catching furniture and functional art from scavenged airplane parts. You can see their work and the work of others in the aviation art community at InterFlight Studio. Or do-it-yourself-ers in the crowd might just prefer a Field Guide to Aircraft Boneyards.
posted by madamjujujive (20 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I really like the idea of sitting on a couch or using a desk that has been in the air countless times. There's arguably no other furniture in history that you could say that about. And of course the whole recycling idea, you can't beat recycling and reuse, I'm all for that. But I'm not that crazy about these particular designs. Just personal taste, but, for me they're a little too fussed over, or something.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:06 AM on August 10, 2007

Ideas are everything. Everything.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:08 AM on August 10, 2007

Nice stuff. Like Marc Newson's Lockheed Lounge made from actual Lockheeds.
posted by WPW at 6:13 AM on August 10, 2007 [2 favorites]

Ideas are everything. Everything.

I'm with you up to your first "everything" there, stavros, but you lost me with the "Everything". Cause if I don't want to actually go buy one, then there's something lacking...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:14 AM on August 10, 2007

Ideas *are* everything. But making them something usable is a lot of work.
posted by yoga at 6:15 AM on August 10, 2007

Well, these seem to be one-off proof-of-concept works than prototypes for production. The trouble with design-as-reuse is often it ends up having to make the "waste" that it's using; like some of the Campana Brothers' work.
posted by WPW at 6:18 AM on August 10, 2007

>Cause if I don't want to actually go buy one, then there's something lacking...

>But making them something usable is a lot of work.

That's true. But buying stuff as opposed to just thinking about stuff (even stuff to buy) tends to be much overrated, I've noticed.

I'm going to make up a statistic and claim that Stupid Corporations buy 87.3% of tangible art these days, just to display it outside or inside their glassy steel edifices.

Stupid stupid corporations! It's not the object that matters; it's not the thing! It's the idea in the head of the person that made the thing, and the ideas in the heads of all of us who can look at it for free -- that's what's beautiful!

If not worth a dime, it's true.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:23 AM on August 10, 2007

This is getting fun! I essentially agree with what you're saying, stav (right from the start), but just for the sake of argument, let me maintain that we are indeed talking about things here, not only ideas, but actual things. And these things are not just for looking at (whether that looking is free or not), but primarily for using: for sitting in, for writing at, for putting your pencil case and you laptop on. So, of course it is the object that matters. Or at least it matters as much as the idea.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:41 AM on August 10, 2007

And I completely contradict myself by saying that I spend days and hours trying to convince my wife that if we buy, for example, a little box for chopsticks and spoons and stuff, it's a million times better to get something made by someone's hands, made of stone or wood or something, rather than the 1000-won plastic piece of shit at the corner store that does the job but means nothing.

OK, well, it's Friday and I've had a few, so I'm not sure if that supports what I've said or contradicts it: but.

I guess I'm all for 'craft', and less trustful of 'art', particularly when the words are being applied to everyday objects. If that makes any sense at all.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:46 AM on August 10, 2007

And still and all, I'd love to have a desk made of old aircraft wings, not especially because it was fashioned and repurposed with someone's hands, but because that metal buoyed up thousands of people over years, impossibly up there in the stratosphere, people nervous and scared and drunk and carrying paper-handled bags of tomatoes for their grandchildren and all. That's pretty fucking cool.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:50 AM on August 10, 2007

That's pretty fucking cool.

Indeed, that's the very first thought I had, as expressed in the first comment I posted here, about these things having been in the air and all, and I still think that's the most beautiful (by far) part of this whole airplanes-reused-as-furniture thing. That idea! (And I've had a few beers myself ... you and me are in the same time zone after all, stav!)
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:56 AM on August 10, 2007 [1 favorite]

I loved the Wing Nuts show, which featured this company. I can't find it on the TV schedule anymore...
posted by The Deej at 6:57 AM on August 10, 2007

They actually had a TV show about the MotoArt guys a few years ago. I watched a few of them.

It looked like a lot of drudge work. Refinishing a desk-sized piece of wing takes a lot of grinding and polishing to get it to furniture quality. Especially when it was junked in the desert for 20 years.

The pieces are pretty breathtakingly expensive too.
posted by smackfu at 6:58 AM on August 10, 2007

Ah, Deej, that's the one. Maybe they cancelled it because one of the major "characters" died.
posted by smackfu at 7:01 AM on August 10, 2007

My dad was an aeronautics engineer. So nobody show him this stuff please. Because he's just crazy enough about planes that if he got the idea in his head that he should own this furniture no matter the cost -- 'cuz it's from planes, dammit -- he'd probably end up a homeless guy living on the street carting around a bunch of airplane furniture.
posted by miss lynnster at 7:12 AM on August 10, 2007

These are probably not my ideal home furnishings, either, flapjax. Just as I couldn't see myself living in some of the homes in Architectural Digest. Too spare, too industrial, not cozy enough for me. But I can nevertheless appreciate and love the aesthetic and the design. And I can definitely see some of these pieces working in some of those AD homes. Or as stav says, in some public or corporate settings - like the lounge WPW links to - in such settings, these would work beautifully.

Quite a bit of what is categorized as functional art is the fusion of design, form and function to create works of art. In this case, the reuse of waste materials adds another cool dimension. And the fact that, for many, the source materials are imbued with a high emotional quotient associated with flight, travel, and adventure - just adds another dimension.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:14 AM on August 10, 2007

Ah, Deej, that's the one. Maybe they cancelled it because one of the major "characters" died.
posted by smackfu

Yeah, my daughter and I were big fans of the show, and we were both really sad when that happened. :(
posted by The Deej at 7:24 AM on August 10, 2007

...when people start making decorative furniture out of old software.

Say, yeah, sit on this motherfucker!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:27 AM on August 10, 2007

b1tr0t, your comment reminded me about this stuff: cassette tape culture.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:32 AM on August 10, 2007

My second home is built out of free AOL cd's.
posted by hermitosis at 7:56 AM on August 10, 2007

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