Think of the humble skip bins. You know the type – that strangely shaped steel box that sits outside the front of your neighbours house, whilst he hammers the wall behind your head at some ungodly hour of the morning on your weekend off work. The one that’s often seen down any number of streets across the globe, overflowing with damaged artifacts from abandoned homes or bizarre relics left behind after a student occupancy of a property. Why ever they happen to be there, one thing is for sure, they’re boring. They’re boring to look at, they’re boring to talk about and they’re boring to write about. I mean when you consider it rationally what is a skip bin? It’s a giant steel coffin for people’s unwanted crap. When it’s been filled with said crap it’s loaded up onto a wagon and driven somewhere to be poured indiscriminately on top of a load of other people’s unwanted crap. Truth be told, there’s very little interesting to actually say about a skip bin but luckily human beings can be a beautifully creative bunch and from time to time you do see an interesting use of one of mankind’s most boring inventions. Here are just a few of them:
Staff at Melbourne based design company CoDesign decided to highlight issues surrounding the usage of space in the city by modifying a rented skip bins into a boutique urban meeting space one Friday afternoon before turning it back to it’s intended application over the weekend. The young creatives transformed the lifeless steel storage unit into a funky modern seating area with flowers, deck chairs and cushions in an effort to bring light to the lack of public parks in their local area.
Professional street skateboarder Jordan Sanchez made excellent use of various different skip bins in his video ‘The Dumpster Part’ filmed for Thrasher magazine. Just about every trick in the nearly four minute section features a refuge solution used in a unique way by the skateboarder and he can be seen grinding, sliding and flipping off every possible edge on the bulky steel bins. Other skaters have laid flexible sheets of ply wood across the bottom of a skip bin, creating an adhoc ramp to perform tricks and maneuvers on.
The city of San Francisco, being something of trendsetters in the field of reusing and recycling, made innovative use of their old skip bins by transforming the unsightly industrial disposal units into vibrant street gardens. Filling the empty dumpster with earth and planting an array of colorful flowering plants, they attached seating options to some of the edges making a great upcycled bench and garden planter combination. The finished product provided the city with extra places to stop and unwind and also a nice dash of color to what could otherwise be a rather mundane metropolis.