How many ways can you reinvent a chair? Hundreds, according to Martino Gamper. He set himself the challenge of making 100 different chairs in as many days using elements of chairs that he had gathered from wherever he could. From cheap plastic patio chairs to design icons, he set to work making one-off constructions that challenge and provoke our understanding of what a chair should look like. For his exhibition “100 Chairs in 100 Days,” held in October 2007, Gamper arranged the resulting designs over two floors of a large mid-Victorian house in London’s South Kensington. Which one is your favourite?

British designer Karen Ryan has made a career out of reusing existing pieces. Her ‘In The Woods’ series, on show in Copenhagen in April and May, creates a surreal living-room forest. More of her work appears on page 21 of our latest issue (on shelf this Thursday, 21 April).

Fellow Briton Rupert Blanchard scours junkyards and second-hand shops for anything that he can see a new use for – old drawers, cupboard doors, taps, garden furniture…. and then whips them into truly unique pieces  such as this:

How much can you do with a wooden cube? French designer Sonia Verguet’s ‘My Family’ series of seating shows that there’s no end to what you can make, if you incorporate found bits of recycled flea-market furniture.

James Plumb –  creative couple James Russell and Hannah Plumb – are carving a name for themselves in the London design scene for their unusual installations and conversation pieces that incorporate abandoned elements such as roof beams, machine parts and paperback books. ‘For As Long As We Both Shall Live’ is a sofa – made for Italian gallerist Rossana Orlandi – whose missing seat has been replaced with cast concrete.