Local Designers Participate in Annual Re-Purposing Contest

Tis the season for reuse design contests.

Partnerships between reuse organizations, artists, and local businesses are the triple-bottom-line model. These contests and festivals are benefiting community development, environment,  and local economies.

Not to mention astounding creativity!


Re-purposing materials and fixtures intended for landfills has become de rigueur for on-trend designers and architects who wish to give their clients opportunities to utilize second-hand objects in new and unique ways. Antiques and vintage furniture aside, the use of recycled elements within home and commercial interiors is often employed to surprising and one-of-a-kind results.

Building Value in Northside is a nonprofit with a mission in line with the aforementioned professional home stylists and commercial architects. A building materials reuse center and deconstruction service, Building Value also provides on-the-job training for disabled and disadvantaged people in the community — lending credence to the notion that people, too, are not merely disposable.

Like its parent organization, Easter Seals Tristate, Building Value empowers individuals to achieve a higher quality of life through employment and self-sufficiency. And for the past three years, Building Value has included a “designer challenge” element at their ReUse-apalooza fundraiser, which demonstrates the remarkable work that artists and creative types can make out of the materials the nonprofit acquires from various deconstruction jobs, donations and retail recycling projects.

The designer challenge engages local business owners such as mother/daughter team Stephanie Heesten and Emily Chopelas of Market Side Mercantile, in crafting an object over the course of several weeks (with help from a modest store credit at Building Value,) that will be auctioned off at ReUse-apalooza with all proceeds to benefit job-training programs for people with disabilities and disadvantages.

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