With so much attention being placed on swans lately, particularly those of the black variety, I thought I’d share a remarkably simple yet stylish swan-related design concept from Kamric To, a Hong Kong-based designer. It’s called the Ugly Duckling Project.

Directly referencing the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale in which a sad and homely duckling gets a major self-esteem boost after maturing into a radiant swan, To uses “ugly” discarded materials — in this case, PVC piping leftover from construction and renovation projects and plastic soda bottles — and upcycles them into something beautiful: a functional, non-ugly, and dare I say, elegant, lamp with a craning neck and head that resembles a swan. I can totally see these lamps gracing industrial chic living spaces (e.g. urban loft apartments).

Even though the Ugly Duckling project isn’t the most complex instance of upcycled design, I find the resulting product to be rather stunning and the fairy tale inspiration to be clever.  And really, you can’t get any uglier than PVC piping and old plastic soda bottles.
Have you recently wrangled up any unloved, unwanted, and potentially landfill-bound materials and transformed them into something functional and beautiful for your very own Ugly Duckling-style project? 

Via [Designboom]

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Green swan: The Ugly Duckling Project
Green product design takes a heartwarming, fairy tale-inspired turn with the Ugly Duckling Project, a series of swanlike lamps made from discarded materials of