Pure Gold! The art of upcycling and upgrading in MK&G Museum in Hamburg

OK, this post about upcycling and upgrading has not been planned at all! Me and the kids went to Hamburg for few days during the half term holidays to visit our family. All we had planned was for some quality family time and exploring the city. And that’s exactly what we did! But with my brother’s older son’s kin interest in art and my interest in design we decided the trip to the museum was a must!

So I came back not only with fresh memories filled with giggles of our kids, new family photos and feeling regenerated in general. I also came back with loads of photos of great designs, upcycling projects and great art. And that, my dear, would be a shame not to share with you all!

So, if you’re wondering what the hell I’m talking about, here’s a little explanation…

Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe (MK&G) is a museum in Hamburg and in exact translation (yeah, you guessed it) it means Museum of Art and Industry. Pure Gold! Upcycled! Upgraded! is one of their temporary exhibitions that can be viewed until January 2018 before it will be shipped to Thailand to continue its world tour.

“Bulky trash, waste, cheap materials: pure gold! At least in the eyes of many active designers. Pure Gold – Upcycled! Upgraded! explores the subject of rubbish.”

But this  exceptional exhibition is much more than just showing how to reduce the amount of waste. It’s a proof that with a bit of creativity anything can be turned into valuable products!

And yes, it all comes down to saying that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure that we all know so well, right? Wrong! It seems like so many of us are caught up in the circle of buying things, that despite the trend for upcycling, we still prefer shiny and new. But maybe we should all just stop for a minute and acknowledge the fact that this all rubbish is in fact a pure gold!

The materials used in the examples are easily available and very often free – but often seen as a trash.  Techniques used to upcycle or upgrade them are mainly based on traditional methods. The aim of this exhibition is to “disarm all the bad names that reuse has, and to achieve a new notion of raw materials and thus also a new appreciation of these products.”

But don’t just take my word for it, you can see for yourself. Try to guess what material and what technique of upcyling has been used before reading description of each photo…

Pure Gold! Upcycling heaven!

And here’s few more snaps of what, with a bit of creativity (OK, a little bit more than just a bit) and upcycling, can be accomplished…

If you require more information visit MK&G Museum website and Pure Gold website here

So what do you think of that? Does this still look like rubbish to you? Are you tempted to try upcycling yourself? Maybe even you’re brave enough to follow those genius designers and have a go at making something similar for your home? Drop me your thoughts in the comment section below… Have a wonderful week!


And hereZapisz


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  • Reply
    December 2, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    Wow, some interesting upcycled. I especially love the cross stitch on the washing machine drum chairs.

  • Reply
    Juan Sandiego
    November 29, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    This is upcycling to a new level. I’d love to see manufacturers using these techniques in their mass-produced designs. The aesthetics are not compromised, the function is preserved and it’s positive for the planet. This has to be the future.

  • Reply
    jade wilce
    November 29, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    What an amazing exhibition, thank you for sharing with us. i love when people bring new life into older products and there are some amazing examples here.

    • Reply
      November 29, 2017 at 10:47 pm

      I wasn’t actually planning on writing this post but when I looked at the photos after we’ve come back I thought it would be a shame not too 😉

  • Reply
    Fawn Interiors Studio
    November 29, 2017 at 9:45 am

    Just goes to show what can be achieved with some ingenuity! Some great design pieces in this fabulous exhibition which is much needed in our increasingly disposable society…thank you for sharing (and enlightening).

    • Reply
      November 29, 2017 at 10:11 am

      Yes, i think it is so much needed. It’s a consumption life style that we all lead at the moment and that needs to stop 😉

  • Reply
    Rosanna Alicia Design
    November 28, 2017 at 9:05 am

    Wow – these pieces are so visually stimulating! It’s interesting that some works look really polished and wouldn’t look out of place in any modern furniture shop, whilst others look (I assume intentionally) very recycled. I think one piece in a home would really stand out & look brill. Rx

    • Reply
      November 29, 2017 at 12:39 am

      I agree. Some of them you really have to look close to see what they are made of but with some it’s more obvious and I think these are the ones I like most 😁

  • Reply
    November 27, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    very timely post… I am considering whether to upcycle (well, recover) my grandma’s furniture or change them (they are not very comfy I must say… Sometimes our taste change and while it is not ideal to continue changing products around our homes, I find that it is necessary to suit the newer taste and needs. The endless chair was my favourite from the exhibition.

  • Reply
    Becky at PinksCharming
    November 27, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    Wow what a fantastic set of finds! What a brilliant exhibition, thanks for sharing it with us! xx

  • Reply
    November 27, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    Wow love the creativity and always love seeing rubbish made into something useful and beautiful! My fav is the cloth chair – reminds me of using my old jeans to reupholster my wingback chair. Inspired!

    • Reply
      November 27, 2017 at 3:14 pm

      I think this one is one of my favourites too. I felt very inspired after I left the museum, sadly I never attempted any of the projects that I was hoping for 😁😁 Maybe after new year 😉

  • Reply
    November 3, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    Fantastic exhibition! Love the creativity that has gone into turning waste into rather gorgeous products! The tyre stools are my fav, I’d happily have the gold one in my home!

    • Reply
      November 3, 2017 at 5:09 pm

      Yes, it’s amazing what you can do with waste 😁 I’m definitely trying few things myself 😁

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