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Interview: Sustainable Living Through Creative Redesign with Lina Weckner

We recently received an e-mail from Lina Weckner, founder of Weckner Design, a company which redefines old, discarded furniture in order to create “unique, sustainable and functional designs”. We found her line of work quite interesting and we decided to ask Lina a few question about this unusual “business”:

  • Freshome: What occupations did you have before Weckner Design took off?
  • Lina Weckner: I used to buy the cans for Pringles.
  • What was the turning point that triggered the idea of redesigning discarded furniture?
  • Lina Weckner: I have had an interest in sustainable design for a long time. Moving to Scotland I saw both a need for sustainable design and great potential to find discarded material to work with.

reconditioned items Freshome07 Interview: Sustainable Living Through Creative Redesign with Lina Weckner

  • Freshome: Was it difficult starting out?
  • Lina Weckner: Starting out is always difficult, mostly in taking the decision to realize the idea.
  • Freshome: What inspires you?
  • Lina Weckner: The potential in what can be done with what is discarded today is my primary source of inspiration. I think furniture is not just restricted to one life, redesign can give discarded furniture a new personality. Great designers and designs inspire me as well and I find a lot of pleasure working with great designs. I am currently working on an armchair which will be ready end of January where I am using a fabric from one of my favourite Designers Stig Lindberg. Gold Finger is a redesign of a chair by a Philippe Starck which is also a designer I really like.

reconditioned items Freshome08 Interview: Sustainable Living Through Creative Redesign with Lina Weckner

  • Freshome: How do you select the products that are going to be reconditioned?
  • Lina Weckner: Selecting furniture for redesign requires a flexible approach. A large part of my products are created from furniture which has been discarded, which forces you to be quick to select items to save. Going from selection to final designs can be a much longer process. The hunter chairs redesign was rare in that the redesign idea came the moment I saw them, but for some other designs, there can be 6 months between rescuing a discarded piece and coming up with a design which fits.

reconditioned items Freshome09 Interview: Sustainable Living Through Creative Redesign with Lina Weckner

  • Freshome: We noticed most of your reconditioned products have a Scandinavian-style influence. Why is that?
  • Lina Weckner: Although based in Glasgow now, I am originally from Sweden. Even though I have been living outside Sweden the past 6-7 years the Swedish culture and design style has shaped me.
  • Freshome: Could you give us more details about the reconditioning process? Who comes up with ideas? How does the actual work go?
  • Lina Weckner: My time is split between sourcing, designing and production. Most of the time I work on a couple of designs in parallel, in different stages of the process. This makes the work more variable and helps to keep momentum through difficult stages. I do all work on my own from the idea to the finish. As the purpose is to redesign discarded furniture to encourage a sustainable living, I may not always have the right piece for my ideas. To solve this I keep all my ideas, drawings and patterns in a Google Doc, which I return to throughout the process to contribute ideas I have, and draw on it when I need inspiration.

reconditioned items Freshome05 Interview: Sustainable Living Through Creative Redesign with Lina Weckner

reconditioned items Freshome06 Interview: Sustainable Living Through Creative Redesign with Lina Weckner

  • Freshome: Would you define your work as “fun”?
  • Lina Weckner: My work is very fun most of the time, but once in a while I have these grand design ideas which are far from fun to actually make that’s when I wish I could go in the shower, put on a suit and walk to an office.
  • Freshome: How does the public perceive your projects?
  • Lina Weckner: It has been fascinating reading feedback from people who have discovered my designs. Right now, I have found that many people have had their attention caught by the Gold Finger chair. It has been exciting both that people have found the redesign desirable furniture, but also that they perceive that a new idea has been realized from something discarded.

reconditioned items Freshome03 Interview: Sustainable Living Through Creative Redesign with Lina Weckner

  • Freshome: Share something you would like the world to know about you or your ideas.
  • Lina Weckner: I think the Internet provides an opportunity to connect designers with the public in a way which was not possible before. In the next few months I’m excited about involving people throughout the design process through my website. People who are interested in this can join my mailing list at www.wecknerdesign.com.

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  1. By A (Re)design Company that Makes the Old New Again | River Oaks on January 7, 2011

    [...] You can learn more about the company, and founder Lina Weckner, at the interior design blog Freshhome. [...]