arca de pallet
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Arca de Pallet- Upcycling from Pallets to Critters

Finding new uses for unwanted, discarded, or low-value materials is the type of challenge that keeps the Madrid based designer and lecturer, David Perez Medina busy.

In his most recent project titled Arca de Pallet, Medina designed a series of wooden animals from used pallets. Wooden pallets, which are used in the shipment and transportation of  goods and materials around the world, are being transformed into objects like office furniture, coffee tables, retail interiors, trivets, and wall gardens.  Once the pallets are damaged or broken in transport, they become non-exchangeable and must be repaired or thrown away.  Instead of ending up in the trash, the pallets were upcycled and transformed into conversation piece critters- perfect for the table or home decor.

To make and assemble the animals, David decided to partner with the Spanish non-profit, Fundacion Personas, a local organization that provides education, training and employment for intellectually handicapped individuals.  “Fondacion Personas was a good fit for Arca de Pallet due to their previous project experience making wooden items.  The animals were designed with the team of makers and assemblers at Fondacion Personas (FP) in mind” shares Medina.  For David this meant figuring out a solution so requirements of assembly matched the varying level of skills from the FP team.  “The outlines of the pieces were deliberately designed with a clean edge, simple entry and exit points and few curves” shares David.

Arca De Pallet

INTERVIEW: David Perez Medina, Designer, Arca de Pallet {Madrid, Spain}

01 What is the inspiration behind Arca de Pallet?
The project is about creating an inspiring object that will evoke a memory.  I chose to design a series of animals out of used pallets. The simple shapes of the animals take on the quality and the characteristics of the recycled pallets.  I want the Arca de Pallet series to serve as an example of the real value of design- where you work with a material with little to no value- and transform it into something that not only has greater perceived value but also overcomes the barrier of a product- in this case, the pallet was previously used as a support object in logistics- today it has been converted into a decorative element and a toy.

02 How did the design process unfold for Arca de Pallet?
When I first started conceptualizing the animals, the goal was to create a series of critters using the “idealized image” of a creature so the shapes were easily recognizable to both adults and kids.  I studied the pallets and devised a construction model that would work with the material.  As I refined the procedures of cutting out the pieces for each animal part, I started to think about how Arca de Pallet could be mass produced by employing the skills of those part of Fundacion Personas- an organization in Spain that provides education, training and employment for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

arca de pallet

arca de pallet

arca de pallet

arca de pallet
Photo Source: Estudio Perez Medina

Arca de Pallet is currently available in wood, cardboard and in a ring version. You can find them in selected stores and pop-up markets in Spain and will soon be sold through the Arca de Pallet website.

Watch Arca de Pallet in action:

ARCA DE PALLET from Estudio Pérez Medina on Vimeo.

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