Another man’s trash is designer Paco Pili’s next masterpiece
EVERYTHING IS DISPOSABLE, but not everything has to be thrown away. No, I’m not talking about your ex. Enter Paco Pili, a self-taught designer who turns thrifted objects into furniture that would de nitely go to your dream room Pinterest board. His portfolio includes wall mirrors made from old tennis rackets, mini cabinets with legs, and a split bathtub sofa, among many other fascinating things.
His process is upcycling, the transformation of old, used products into new things with better quality and value. (Still not your ex.) In the book The Upcycle, designer William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart say that the goal of upcycling is not merely the creative reuse of objects, but also the long-term redesign of our lifestyles toward sustainability.
For Paco, it all started with an old suitcase that he turned into speakers. He studied marketing in university, but since discovering his talent for repurposing items, he decided to take it seriously and make it a way of living. “I never had formal training in industrial design. I learned everything I know in carpentry and design from my dad and grandfather who always had things to tinker with in the backyard. I just love to play with old stuff, mixing the old and new into one.”
Since, Paco has earned the attention of notable colleagues in the industry, a sponsored set of power tools from Bosch, and new clients. “My next project is to build my brand. I know it’s important, and I’ll work on it seriously sometime soon.” Now, he’s content with his home garage that his family has allowed him to claim as his studio.
In the long term, he wants to be a household name. “I want every space to have a Paco-made upcycled creation. I want to have a team that will design and redesign old spaces. I also want to train our local carpenters to improve their craftsmanship. It’s all in the details.”
Paco Pili int his garage studio in Quezon City
Remastered Upcycling isn’t only about turning plastic bottles into plant pots. The Paraguaybased Orquesta de Instrumentos Reciclados de Cateura uses instruments that are made from found objects in the Cateura landfill.