1000 Belt Bench by Hongtao Zhou
About the idea:
Bench made of 1000 belts
In many cultures the cow is symbolic of Mother Earth, and has been a symbol of fertility, nurturing, and power. We drink their milk, use their strength, eat their meat and wear their skin.
Where will our belts go when they reach the end of life? Most of them are made of multiple types of materials and not easy for recycling. A large portion of old or old fashioned belts are dumped as trash. This bench frame system is designed to collect, reuse and exchange old belts in public space for local communities.
Reuse 1000 belts, rethink over-consumptions, rethink our relationship with animals, trees and Mother Earth.
This on going project is installed as a two-ended bench: one end is a “belt buckle” functions as an end table. Cross the wall, the other end is a bull’s head made of chair parts and belts. All belts are collected/donated in Madison in Wisconsin. They have ties with local people, each one holding a personal story. Do not throw your old belts away; you can still come to buckle your old belt on the bench.
Project is still in progress, please donate old belts and broken wooden chairs.
Design: Liner rate between human waistline (ellipse) and hip width (liner): men belts-16-17 inch bench width; Women belts-14-15 bench width. Strength and safety: most of belts are strong enough for holding load and hazard free for human contact. Form: Belt; Dragon Dance
About Hongtao Zhou
Hongtao Zhou is an artist, designer and engineer working in the interdisciplinary areas of furniture design, engineering, installation and performance.
He started college in Chemistry at Northeast Forestry University in Harbin, China. After one year of working on chemical formulas, he joined the Interior & Furniture Design program and received his B.S and M.S. He came to the U.S. in 2005 and received his Ph.D. in Furniture Design & Manufacturing from Purdue University in 2008. Presently, he is a furniture designer and sculptor at the University of Wisconsin working in areas concerning furniture sustainability, climate and culture.
Hongtao has won national & international awards and has published abstracts and biographies in art, design and scientific research. Recent achievements include: exhibition at the National Museum of China in Beijing, a silver medal at the International Snow Sculpture Competition Quebec, exhibitions at the Milwaukee Art Museum, profiles in American Craft, 3rd Place award in the International Design Awards (IDA) Competition in Los Angeles, 6th place award in the Taiwan International Design Competition and first place award in Design Emphasis, International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta.