Aluminum Cans Become Stools by Studio Swine

Studio Swine’s latest project takes aluminum cans and vegetable oil waste and turns them into something much more interesting!

‘Can City’, as the project is called, is essentially a mobile foundry that operates around São Paulo’s streets that smelts aluminum cans using waste vegetable oil collected from local cafes as fuel. The moulds and the finished pieces are all made on location, turning the street into an improvised manufacturing line.




Although São Paulo has 20 million people, about 80% of the recycling is collected by an informal system of independent waste collectors known as Catadores who pull their handmade carts around the streets. ‘Can City’ creates a system where their livelihoods can extend beyond rubbish collection.




Studio Swine explains:

Where the majority of carbon cost is in the transportation of goods rather than their production – ‘Can City’ explores the possibility of industry returning to our cities, using free metal and free fuel to produce an endless range of individually crafted aluminum items adaptable to customisations and able to ‘cast on demand’.

The stools are the first line items to be produced, inspired by vernacular design the seating is made for the food market that provided the waste materials.

See how it all comes together:






‘Can City’ was made for Coletivo Amor de Madre Gallery, São Paulo. The project was made possible with the generous support of Heineken.

Jaime Derringer, Founder + Executive Editor of Design Milk, is a Jersey girl living in SoCal. She dreams about funky, artistic jewelry + having enough free time to enjoy some of her favorite things—running, reading, making music, and drawing.