The London-based social enterprise, Restoration Station, showcased ten unique up-cycled chairs at this year’s London Design Festival. Each of the chairs was made by someone in long term recovery from addiction. The aim of the project is to end the stigma surrounding addiction whilst, at the same time, encouraging environmentally sustainable design. Restoration Station specialises in up-cycling used furniture, and they believe that creativity plays an important role in helping people with addiction recovery. They have funded workshops in woodworking and vintage furniture restoration to develop skills, confidence and employment prospects for the recovering addicts.
Working in collaboration with furniture designer, Yinka Ilori, the chair makers are encouraged to use colour as a catalyst to tell their stories, and Ilori explains that “any ‘mistake’ that they make in the process can be a powerful part of their recovery narrative.” Restoration Station hopes that showcasing the work done by people in recovery will help change perceptions about addiction issues. They are also ecologically conscious and all of the materials used for the chairs are diverted from landfills. This sends an important message of encouraging more sustainable forms of design.