studio swine transport mobile foundry to create can city
all images courtesy of studio swine
transporting a mobile foundry around the streets of são paulo, brazil, designers at ‘studio swine’ have created ‘can city’, a series of stools made from recycled materials. the foundry smelts aluminum cans using waste vegetable oil that they collect from local cafes to be used as fuel. operating around the city streets, the moulds and the finished pieces are all made on location, turning these public spaces into an improvised manufacturing line. in a city with some 20 million inhabitants, the waste is on a massive scale, over 80% of the recycling is collected by an informal system of independent collectors known as catadores who pull their handmade carts around the streets. this new initiative creates a system where their livelihoods can extend beyond the rubbish collection.
the process for the catadores is that they mine the streets for materials to go in the furnace – then cheap and adaptable sand moulds are made using readily available construction sand from local building sites. in producing ‘can city’ the majority of carbon cost is in the transportation of goods rather than their production. the project explores the possibility of industry returning to our cities, using free metal and free fuel to create an endless range of individually crafted aluminum items, which are adaptable and customizable, with the ability to ‘cast on demand’. based on vernacular design, the stools are the first line items to be produced, and the seating is made for the food market that provided the waste materials. ‘can city’ was made for coletivo amor de madre gallery, são paulo and the project was made possible with the generous support of heineken.
collection of can city stools
palm leaf stool
car hubcap stool
ingots made with cans
can city ingots