These designers make trash look good

Every week, Inside Africa takes its viewers on a journey across Africa, exploring the true diversity and depth of different cultures, countries and regions.

CNN  — 

Scrap the Eames. Your next designer office chair could be made from an old shopping cart. Your lampshade? A glistening array of jewel-like bread tags.

At the 10th anniversary of Design Indaba, South Africa’s premier annual design festival, these trash-to-treasure goods are on full display in accordance with this year’s creative campaign theme: #makechange.

“We thought, let’s try to do something where we can actually affect some positive change and affect design in a way that has a tangible effect on the local community,” says expo manager Kim Seeliger.

Take 2, an exhibit within the festival, spotlights some of the innovative ways designers are repurposing scrapyard goodies.

“In Africa, we throw a lot of things away. We don’t really have the commitment to recycling you see in Europe and the U.S.,” explains Gerhard Van der Merwe of Silo Designs, whose work – including a lamp made from a washing machine drum – is on display.

“From the African perspective, we see upcycling every day as something done out of necessity – whether it’s using the box you got your shoes in or turning a peanut butter jar into a vase for flowers,” notes Seeliger.

“It hasn’t necessarily been a luxury before, but now you’re seeing it move from this zone into something that can be more aesthetically pleasing,” she says.

Design Indaba continues through March 2.