How many times has your lobby or reception area been populated with guests searching for something a bit more enlightening to read than an outdated issue of People magazine? Graduate student Laura Cahill has presented a clever idea that could surely serve this purpose.
Based in London, Cahill has collected unwanted books and turned them into pieces of furniture with an unusual sense of beauty and purpose. She has also discovered a creative way to reuse an item typically rejected from recycling programs due to its glue content.
To fashion the vases (pictured at the top of this post), “Cahill cuts profiles from the books using a band saw, then wraps the spines around test tubes to form waterproof receptacles.” Her technique for other items is captured in this interview featured in the Blog, Dezeen:
My idea of using second hand books came around after doing research into common unwanted objects. One of the most common unwanted objects that can be found at either charity shops, car boot sales and sometimes on the streets are books. I discovered that the glue in old books make them extremely difficult to recycle. Aware of this I challenged myself to turn the second hand books that I had been collecting, into desirable objects such as furniture, lighting, and ornaments.
I took a hands-on approach and started experimenting with the possibilities in which books can be used in other ways; I developed a number of delicate yet practical designs. Using traditional methods of book binding I transformed them into valued objects. My designs transform local waste, not only by adding value but also by creating art forms which are aesthetically pleasing.
I first made a stool called ‘Heavy Read’ (pictured at left, directly above) by fixing a lot of old books together. Continuing with the book theme I developed a way of creating 3D forms by profiling the edge of the whole thickness of a book, so when opened, the shape follows around into a cylinder shape. I designed a range of ‘book vases,’ using test tubes as the central water container, and then stretched the concept to form the upright of this floor standing lamp. In the ‘Reading Light’ I have used traditional elegant curvaceous shapes on the base of the light creating a soft and ghostly effect, which is relatively durable.