Dezeen Magazine

Format Formwork series

Niceworkshop presents furniture made from reused skyscraper formwork

Design studio Niceworkshop has created furniture for recycling brand Format made from aluminium formwork used for pouring the concrete on large-scale buildings, which is on show at Milan design week.

Showcased at the Capsule showcase at Corso Como 10, the collection includes chairs, benches and tables made from slabs of aluminium fastened together by industrial bolts.

Niceworkshop worked with Format, the design and recycling arm of Korean construction company Sungji Alfex, to reuse the large metal panels used in the pouring of concrete in the construction of large buildings.

"My family has been making formwork in Korea for more than 50 years," Format co-founder Phillip Lee told Dezeen.

"And instead of throwing it away, I thought we should recreate it into something else."

Format Formwork series
The collection included reused and recycled materials. Photo by Ben Dreith

Because the company doesn't have a design background, Format looked to Hyunseog Oh of Niceworkshop to take the industrial materials and create collectible design objects.

The installation included two collections with similar forms. Called Aged Form Line, the first collection was made with formwork directly reused from construction and "captures the enduring texture of concrete on the surface event after the repair process".

These pieces have a darker hue with slight imperfections on the surfaces of the furniture.

The other series is called New Form Line and features furniture created with aluminium that has been recycled. These have a much more lustrous hue and smoother surfaces.

Niceworkshop showed chairs, benches and tables created with both materials. The design of both pieces is almost identical, with the rivet holes from the original formwork used as the points of connection between the different pieces of furniture.

The New Form Line pieces were presented as a group, set up as they might look in a space, while the Aged Form Line was presented on aluminium plinths, separately.

Format Formwork series
The New Form Line pieces were presented as a group. Photo by Ben Dreith

In the centre of the space, an example of how the material looks as it is used in the construction process, rebar and all, was shown to let visitors understand better where the material comes from.

"Our use of the materials was inspired by the circulation of the process of aluminium," said Oh, noting how similar the final product looks to the actual formwork.

The collection is the first collaboration between Format and Niceworkshop and is the debut collection of Niceworkshop during Milan design week.

The photography is courtesy of T-Space at 10 Corso Como unless otherwise stated.

The Aluminum Formwork Series is on show at Corso Como 10 from 15 to 21 April during See our Milan design week 2024 guide on Dezeen Events Guide for information about the many other exhibitions, installations and talks taking place throughout the week.