At Salone: Drink a Beer, Make a Chair

If you ever find yourself sitting in a double wide trailer, wearing a wife-beater tank and throwing back the last of an ice cold one - you are either:

a) Warren Spector contemplating, "Maybe the sub-prime mortgage concept wasn't such a great idea."

b) Paris Hilton taping yet another episode of the "The Simple Life" and wondering "Does this wife-beater need to be accessorized?"

c) Just your "Average Joe" thinking "Who needs a Mojito when I can have a Bud Light?" while making yet another significant contribution to the world of Art and Design.

d) Michael Vick asking, "Has anyone seen any good dog fights lately?"

And the answer is . . . "C". No – this isn't another performance artist exhibition gone awry, but rather the story of how one man's can of Bud Light is another man's chair.

Emeco (The Electric Machine and Equipment Co.) is a little manufacturing company located in Hanover, Pennsylvania that designs and produces some of the world's finest aluminum chairs made from 80% recycled aluminum. Forty percent of this recycled aluminum is post consumer aluminum derived from the likes of soft drink cans (or in this case - "Average Joe's" recycled beer cans).

Perhaps you are familiar with Emeco's original Navy Chair which was commissioned by Alcoa in 1944 for use on submarines during World War II? Interestingly, this little chair was catapulted from obscurity and into the limelight following its appearance on "Sex and the City". America's fascination with pop culture, and recently the industrial arts, has only solidified this chair's standing as an iconic classic.

At Salone: Drink a Beer, Make a Chair

Nine-O chair. Designed by Ettore Sottsass. Manufactured by Emeco.

Emeco's most recent collaboration was with the late Italian designer Ettore Sottsass to create the Nine-0 collection; a reinterpretation of the original Navy chair. This stunning collection of aluminum seating makes its debut this month at the Milan Salone Internazionale del Mobile. With the Nine-0 collection, Sottsass leaves us with a beautiful and sustainable seating collection guaranteed to last a lifetime; perhaps his ultimate masterpiece.

And while I sincerely doubt that Sottsass had ever met our "Average Joe", I think he too, on some level, would have appreciated "Average Joe's" six pack-a-day contribution to the making of world class product.

So raise your glasses (I mean cans) and let's make a toast: To Ettore Sottsass – an undeniably brilliant designer with impeccable tastes in all things design!

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