A known phenomenon: when you start to work with pallets, you start to see them anywhere, I had a pallet glassed look through my neighbourhood already, and still i found quite a lot more pallet furniture just a short walk away. First, the “Kugelpudel” – in german, its the rhyming translation of “ball poodle”, selling the best icecream i ever had, with its upcycled furniture. Then, there was the “nature festival” with an almost pornographic usage of pallets – for seating, dj tables and even a complete stage. In between, there was a cultural event in a part of Bochum called “Speckschweiz” (Bacon swizerland? sounds like paradise 😉 ) where i met some unexpected pallets in a bunker. Unfortunately and as its always the case in those “inspirational picture posts” – the origin/creation of the respective pallet furniture is not documented.
The Kugelpudel and its pretty, mobile pallet benches. I guarantee: no money nor icecream was given/taken for the following statement. The ice cream here is the best I ever had, well, at least in the Ruhr Area. “Icecream” here means cream and sorbet (vegan), of which they offer not too many, but constantly changing flavors, from common Straciatella, (vegan) orange or raspberry sorbet to quite “exotic” stuff like sesame-jujube or cucumber. Sounds unfamiliar in the ice cream context, nevertheless, it tastes great. Moreover, they make virtually everything by themselves: ice cream, cake, cocktails and interiors. Mainly through re- and upcycling. Rollable pallet benches, tables from street signs and plastic barrels, pallet furniture with interesting drawer constructions, which inspired me for a kitchen drawer cabinet.
Back to the benches: they are glazed several times – I had an entertaining chat with their creator, who seems to use quite the same equipment and methods like me – lots of cleaning and grinding, cut-off saw and crowbar, usage of the same metal fittings and angles, even the same self-drilling wood screws. He glazed more layers, but mostly because of heavy outdoor use and and factors like food, children, etc. I like the processing and I am very impressed how the wheels make the whole story again look more “lightweight”, less massive. Friendly furniture.
Less friendly: a video installation in a bunker. For one week, a district of Bochum becomes some kind of “distributed arts and culture installation”, including an unused bunker which was largely cleared out and cleaned, with installations, readings, performances and art exhibitions. Among other things, there was this video installation: bunker atmosphere with NS-video projection. Cold in more than one meaning, strange and rather depressing.
Much more kind and friendly: the “Nature Festival” in Bochum. This small piece of garden is surrounded by the already known pallet benches – here its quite clear how “chunky”, bulky the static, three pallets high version looks compared to the “two-pallets plus wheels”-variants at the “Kugelpudel”.
Anyway, i liked the flower installation, and as occasionally noted: I sometimes imagine something like this to decay picturesquely in the garden, being slowly eaten up and overgrown by plants. As you like.
Some pallet porn found some steps further.
The C60 Collaboratorium at RUB UNiversity is planning a new campus and introduced the “A campus for the city – architectural presentation” on a pallet stage. In several pavilions urban planning designs for the quarter are exhibited, all placed onto a stage of pallets, somehow symbolizing the preliminary, “work in progress”-character of the plans.
Some days later, the pallet stage was actually in use, as seen in the pictures further below. Here its still in the (nearly completed) building procedure.
I didn’t experience live music the following days though, but there were quite interesting surround sound installations of sound-generating smartphones connected to solar panel-powered speakers instead . The meaning didn’t really reveal itself to me, but the use of technology was creative and therefore quite fitting my taste.
Later on the Nature Festival i found some more pallet furniture pieces. Benches, chairs, tables, even a DJ booth. How the latter works with turntables, being quite shock-sensitive, I do not know.
I really liked the two-seater for its cool palette-“crossing” look. This one should be easily upgradeable with an adjustable backrest. The canvas chair is quite cool, although I admit to like my adjustable pallet canvas chair better. This variant looks more simple and rustic, therefore maybe its even better suited as a nice, kind of retro looking fixed installation in the garden than the more “sophisticated” looks of the adjustable model I created.
Last impressions: the palette stage in use. Places to have a sit down, pavillons for the exhibited city quarter plans. Again, I had a short chat with the creator/designer – we both agreed that the “preliminary”, “improvised” character on the one hand and the construction- and work-related associations to pallets made a perfect fit for the theme of the event.
In the planning phase they considered a closed surface, but switched to the “natural” pallet surface – looking more lightweight, and a better fit to the occasion. The pallets were of course officially bought in larger quantity, at a low double-digit price per pallet for once used pallets (used, first choice: cheaper, still clean and undamaged, but with some “used” look without being filthy).
Really cool about all this stuff: its all about some 100 meters away from my place, only exception being the bunker, which is about 15 minutes to walk to. Sometimes i think those pallets keep haunting me 🙂