written by:
April 7, 2011

One of the nicest parts of traveling through the San Francisco International Airport is its art gallery in Terminal 3. As I made my way to Las Vegas this week for Surfaces and Las Vegas Market (check back soon for slideshows highlighting the best from both), I took a stroll through the latest installation titled Second Chances: Folk Art Made from Recycled Remnants.

Past exhibits in this long space between moving walkways have included a tribute to <a href="http://www.dwell.com/slideshows/wright-at-home-1930-1965.html">Russell Wright and his ceramics work</a>. For this show, on display through June 2011, the SFO Muse
Past exhibits in this long space between moving walkways have included a tribute to Russell Wright and his ceramics work. For this show, on display through June 2011, the SFO Museum collaborated with the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to host an exhibition featuring old and discarded materials made new, whether as license plates turned to dustpans or candy wrappers transformed into dresses.
1 / 8
Whereas in the United States we often use old license plates to decorate bars and grills, in many towns in Africa, India, and Latin America, these sturdy pieces of metal are repurposed into household goods, such as dustpans. Shown here are examples of tho
Whereas in the United States we often use old license plates to decorate bars and grills, in many towns in Africa, India, and Latin America, these sturdy pieces of metal are repurposed into household goods, such as dustpans. Shown here are examples of those made and sold in Mexico.
2 / 8
Writer, inventor, and environmentalist Svein "Slim" Sirnes created a tool to cut aluminum cans into strips then proceeded to create sculptures, clothing, purses, lamps, and furniture with the recycled metal. In the early 1990s he created this lawn chair w
Writer, inventor, and environmentalist Svein "Slim" Sirnes created a tool to cut aluminum cans into strips then proceeded to create sculptures, clothing, purses, lamps, and furniture with the recycled metal. In the early 1990s he created this lawn chair with such aluminum strips.
3 / 8
Having recently read Christopher McDougall's <i>Born to Run</i> (which, among others, describes the Mexican tribe of super-runners called the Tarahumara) and being a runner myself, this display case of minimalist sandals fashioned out of rubber caught my
Having recently read Christopher McDougall's Born to Run (which, among others, describes the Mexican tribe of super-runners called the Tarahumara) and being a runner myself, this display case of minimalist sandals fashioned out of rubber caught my eye. In Mexico, shoes that were once made of laminated leather are now often fabricated with castoff car tires.
4 / 8
Evoking images of the 50s as well as those of <i>Project Runway</i> challenges, this dress by Shelly Hedges was created with Mary Jane candy wrappers. Hedges doesn't limit herself to bonbons though, she's also created designs with wine foils, cocktail umb
Evoking images of the 50s as well as those of Project Runway challenges, this dress by Shelly Hedges was created with Mary Jane candy wrappers. Hedges doesn't limit herself to bonbons though, she's also created designs with wine foils, cocktail umbrellas, used stamps, sugar packets, bottle caps, twist ties, clothing labels, and metal spice tins.
5 / 8
As kids, my sister and I used to punch holes into metal cans to make decorative tea-light holders. In countries like India, a similar process is used but with a more utilitarian aim. There, they instill a new life into these cans by forming them into siev
As kids, my sister and I used to punch holes into metal cans to make decorative tea-light holders. In countries like India, a similar process is used but with a more utilitarian aim. There, they instill a new life into these cans by forming them into sieves and strainers for use in the kitchen.
6 / 8
Seattle-based artist Ross Palmer Beecher collects scrap metal and found objects to create what she calls wall quilts. Made by hand, this Box-Spring Quilt incorporates items like metal springs and pop cans to create a wall hanging.
Seattle-based artist Ross Palmer Beecher collects scrap metal and found objects to create what she calls wall quilts. Made by hand, this Box-Spring Quilt incorporates items like metal springs and pop cans to create a wall hanging.
7 / 8
In Southeast Asia, the Hmong make baskets using strips of cane and bamboo. Those who have traveled to the U.S., however, have adapted to local materials. Here, they use inexpensive plastic strapping to continue their traditional practice.
In Southeast Asia, the Hmong make baskets using strips of cane and bamboo. Those who have traveled to the U.S., however, have adapted to local materials. Here, they use inexpensive plastic strapping to continue their traditional practice.
8 / 8
Past exhibits in this long space between moving walkways have included a tribute to <a href="http://www.dwell.com/slideshows/wright-at-home-1930-1965.html">Russell Wright and his ceramics work</a>. For this show, on display through June 2011, the SFO Muse
Past exhibits in this long space between moving walkways have included a tribute to Russell Wright and his ceramics work. For this show, on display through June 2011, the SFO Museum collaborated with the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to host an exhibition featuring old and discarded materials made new, whether as license plates turned to dustpans or candy wrappers transformed into dresses.

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

senses smell products
The nose knows: Though fleeting and immaterial, scent is the lifeblood of Proustian memories, both evoking and imprinting visceral associations.
February 06, 2016
design icon josef frank villa beer vienna
Josef Frank: Against Design, which runs through April 2016 at Vienna’s Austrian Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Art, is a comprehensive study of the prolific architect, designer, and author.
February 06, 2016
senses sound products
From an alarm to a symphony, audio frequencies hold the power to elicit an emotional call-and-response.
February 06, 2016
Italian Apline home with double-height walls on one facade.
Every week, we highlight one amazing Dwell home that went viral on Pinterest. Follow Dwell's Pinterest account for more daily design inspiration.
February 05, 2016
A built-in sofa with Design Tex upholstery marks the boundary between the two-level addition and the bungalow. Leading up to the master bedroom, a perforated metal staircase, lit from above, casts a Sigmar Polke–like shadow grid on the concrete floor.
From a minimalist Walter Gropius design to a curving sculptural stair, these six stairways run the gamut.
February 05, 2016
distant structure lakeside prefab norway facade stones green roof
Dwell has traveled all over the world, from Tasmania to Indonesia, to report on modern houses.
February 05, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment master bedroom atrium
Get ready for a weekend of rest with these sleepy, little cocoons.
February 05, 2016
lamp show 99 cent plus gallery 0
At Brooklyn's 99¢ Plus gallery, 30 artists and designers re-imagine the lamp in an illuminating light show.
February 04, 2016
Hidden storage stairwell with raw brass hardware
Having ample space to stow items is a daily struggle—peep these modern homes for some ideas on maximizing your square footage.
February 04, 2016
modern fairhaven beach house blackbutt eucalyptus living room Patricia Urquiola sofa
Whether it's along a coast in Australia or the French Alps, wood provides a natural touch in these interiors.
February 04, 2016
Glass and steel sculpture in Printemps store of Paris.
In the Paris' venerable Printemps department store, two Toronto-based firms were tasked with enlivening a new atrium and creating a unique experience for visitors. YabuPushelberg, partnering with UUfie, designed this stunning steel "sail" embedded with vibrant dichroic glass.
February 04, 2016
Monochromatic Master Bedroom in Copenhagen Townhouse
Whether it's to maximize limited light or create a soothing interior, these five projects go white in a big way.
February 04, 2016
EQ3 Assembly quilt by Kenneth LaVallee
The new Assembly collection from EQ3 celebrates up-and-coming figures in Canadian design. Discover this newly appointed class, which debuted at Toronto's Interior Design Show, here.
February 03, 2016
The Greenhouses of Half Moon Bay
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most viral design and architecture shots of the week.
February 03, 2016
Deck of Australian addition to Edwardian home.
A 1,500-square-foot home in Melbourne welcomes a modern black and white kitchen, dining, and living area.
February 03, 2016
open plan concrete home in japan
Embracing the organic, imperfect material, these raw concrete surfaces are a step up from exposed brick.
February 03, 2016
Renovated DC Row House loft space with Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair.
The classic designer's signature and comfortable forms continue to be popular in homes today.
February 03, 2016
Zinc-roofed cabin France.
An architect builds an energy-efficient home near one of France’s most popular pilgrimage sites.
February 03, 2016
1973 Palm Springs home
Made for casual design enthusiasts and Palm Springs connoisseurs alike, Unseen Midcentury Desert Modern offers a peek into 51 buildings—some not open to the public—in that Southern California mecca of modernism. Begun in 2008 by photographer Dan Chavkin, the book is set for release this February 9th and will be available on Amazon and at multiple venues of Modernism Week in Palm Springs, February 11 - 21. Here we preview some of its images.
February 03, 2016
Millennial concept home with an outdoor living area
A concept home aims to reflect the requests of the Millennial market.
February 03, 2016
The two twelve-by-sixteen-foot bedrooms, directly above a comparable pair on the first floor, feature a glass transom that follows the pitch of the roof. “The stair and railings were very simple,” Depardon observes. “We added a bit of design, with panels
Skylights needn't be simple overhead daylighting; sometimes they can truly define a room.
February 03, 2016
Modern small space Rhode Island cottage with landscaping and cedar cladding
Surrounded by nature, these cottages are tranquil retreats from the city.
February 03, 2016
The couple kept original touches, including the arch.
Historic archways belie these contemporary homes with physical reminders of each structure's storied past.
February 03, 2016
modern guesthouse in norway with angular facade and cutaway patio with spruce cladding and ikea chair
These houses make room for nature, not the other way around.
February 02, 2016
Modern kitchen with yellow sectioned walls and monochrome appliances
Whether it's a splash of color or bold strokes, this collection of interiors brightens up these homes.
February 02, 2016
Rust-washed concrete wall in Moscow apartment renovation.
This 590-square-foot apartment was stripped down to admit sunlight and dramatically reveal forgotten surfaces.
February 02, 2016
Nendo's collection of objects inspired by Star Wars
In a galaxy not so far away, Japanese studio Nendo has released a versatile collection of objects inspired by classic Star Wars characters.
February 02, 2016
Monti catered to his mother’s love of cooking by giving her ample storage areas along the 70-foot long walnut wall-slash-cabinet. The refrigerator, kitchen items and other goods easily disappear into the wall when not in use. The nonporous, stain-, scratc
Sometimes the earthy colors and vivid grain of a wood like walnut is all you need to make a space.
February 02, 2016
renovated modern home in Austin interior kitchen
From California to Connecticut, these midcentury interiors still shine through thanks to the careful attention of architects and residents alike.
February 02, 2016
Outdoor dining area at a Saigon home.
A city home honors the local culture with communal outdoor space and reclaimed materials.
February 02, 2016