One man trash is another man's treasure. For Azusa Murakami and Alexander Groves of Studio Swine, this sage saying can get even more specific: One man's discarded soda cans is another man's one-off designer stool. The design duo that has experimented with spurned materials ranging from São Paulo's strewn glass bottles to miscellaneous trash from the Pacific Ocean is at it once again with a project called CanCity.
The video shows how CanCity is as much about the city as it is about the aluminum cans that are cleverly re-purposed. Groves is seen wheeling his ad hoc machine through the streets of São Paulo, collecting unusual materials along the way: He picks up old batches of frying oil from local food purveyors and collects discarded aluminum cans (São Paulo's unsought nickname "Aluminium Capital" exists for a reason, so the designers explain) along with miscellaneous scraps of wood; other commonplace objects such as a basket, a palm leaf, and some perforated bricks become fragmentary templates for his furniture.
Groves is later shown unpacking the CanCity contraption. He creates instant molds out of wet sand and, using scrap wood and cooking oil as fuel, he fires up a concrete drum used to melt his stash of cans into liquid aluminum. The liquified metal is then emptied out onto the makeshift molds, where they are cast into shapes, eventually hardening into parts needed to assemble a stool. The weave of a basket, the grooves of a palm leaf, and the abstract volumes of other São Paulo readymades become artful seating surfaces, while custom-cast aluminum rods come together to form the legs of the stool.