Upcycled Designs Showcase

We were recently contacted by an enthusiastic member of a growing sect of the design and art community, Niels Craens, whose environmentally conscious mindset has crossed into his creative side. Niels is an Upcycling designer. This popular method of green re-purposing of materials to soften the environmental impact created from our over-indulgent consumer society provides our FYC readers with an inspiring showcase of some truly breathtaking creations.

Niels, provided us with some eye-opening facts about an area of our wasteful culture that wrought an imaginative creation that inspired us to not only put together this showcase, but to feature his brilliant design.

Niels Craens

Niels Craens is a graphic designer that has completed extensive research into the advantages and disadvantages of cardboard drinking packages. In response to his findings, he created the ingenious lamp “Enjoy Twice”.

An independent study by Freedonia exposed that in 2010 in the United States only, 236 billion drinking packages will be used in daily activities. In the last few years, we have seen a trend develop, preferring the use of cardboard packages over plastic bottles. The trees used in fabricating the cardboard have absorbed CO2 in an earlier phase, making its packages less harmful for the environment than its plastic equivalent. However, due to for instance its plastic cap and aluminium layer, the used package is not allowed for paper recycling. Often, waste combustion is the only alternative.

For Niels Craens, this is an interesting problem as a designer to take a swing at. The words “Enjoy Twice” shine through the packages that lack aluminium. This makes the text only legible when the lamp is switched on. With this design, he gives an environmental negative a positive twist. This approach can be applied on many other aspects as well. Why go to Ikea when you can personalize your own furniture? Not only does it save money, it saves the environment as well




Mark Langan

Mark Langan is a talented artist that inspiringly uses corrugated cardboard to craft wonderfully intricate artwork unlike anything you are likely to have seen before. This ain’t your momma’s cardboard box…though it technically could be if she lives in Ohio.

Creating one of a kind sculptures via the unique medium of reclaimed corrugated boxes. An obscure material used frequently by all, being transformed into something other than its original intended purpose…aesthetically beautiful three-dimensional art. Corrugated board is a material that can be easily recycled over and over again. I see it as an endless supply source that I purge from my trash and neighborhood, reusing it towards my creations… A form of green art, that makes a definitive statement with its contribution to the recycling movement.




Junior Fritz Jacquet

As we continue in our showcase we come to Junior Fritz Jacquet, a pure joy of an artist who uses recycled cardboard and toilet paper rolls to create an inspired collection of whimsical little masks and characters. So much personality exudes from his weathered looking creations, it is hard to not be inspired by them.

He explores and experiments with folding and crumpling techniques, innovating with his fingers methods undiscovered to create forms and craft poetic objects, that visually enhance any surrounding. The origins of his unique technique are still heavily inspired by the traditional art of origami, using only one sheet of paper.




Michael Yonke

Michael Yonke has found a fascinating outlet in the industrial design arena for his upcycling ventures, using natural materials to upcycle into furniture and much more. These inspired designs flawlessly achieve a balance between a classic and a more modern style.

I advocate for the environment, nature and sustainability by design through my eco-art and furniture. I reclaim, repurpose and upcycle wood, metal and glass into furniture, art and complete interior designs. Material qualities, handmade crafting and unique finishes infuse each piece with stimulating energetic intensity. Upcycling is achieved by repurposing the materials into objects with higher end use value that will endure and inspire for centuries.




Tom Deininger

Tom Deininger is a richly creative artist who uses a variety of discarded materials, including cigarette butts, bottle caps, bits of plastic, metal, and pretty much every other kind of scavenged materials you can think of, to create so many amazingly intricate pieces of exceptional artwork.

Attended Salve Regina University, graduated with Academic honors in art. Upon graduation was selected to execute two large commissions for a local church. With the money he traveled to Europe. Spent his twenties going from place to place setting up studios, selling artwork. In 1999 He moved to Newport, RI. Where he found a large studio space in nearby Fall River, Ma. to execute large found object works. His work is in numerous public and private collections through out the world.




Upcycle Yours!

Upcycle Art is a place you will find fun projects that you can make from those things you’ve been tossing into the garbage or recycle bins. Follow the step by step instructions and enjoy upcycling a few cool items of your own. And if you do get crafty, make sure you submit your work to the FYC Flickr group, we would love to take a look.

Rob is the talented author and graphic designer, celebrated podcaster and poet, who is now the co-editor and imaginative co-contributor of Fuel Your Creativity. With a background working through most areas of the arts, Rob works from a creative wellspring that shows no signs of running dry.


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