Rock Climbing Meets Modernist Aesthetic

My Climbing Crash Pad (To be used as cushion)

For my upcycle project, I will be repurposing a rock climbing crash pad that I don’t use very much anymore into a couch. I will be using the crash pad as the main cushion for the couch and I’ll be building a frame out of wood to support it. I am hoping to combine the aesthetic of rock climbing that I wrote about last week, by using the crash pad and decorating the frame with climbing brand stickers, with the aesthetic of modernism, by giving the couch frame a simple, geometric look. I am hoping that combining the those two aesthetics will create a piece that has its own unique style to it. I do think that the two aesthetics are already even somewhat related; as the climbing aesthetic has aspects of simplicity and flow, which the modern aesthetic shares. 

CAD mockup of crash pad couch
Pad at angle that it will sit on the couch frame

As you can see above, I modeled the couch frame with the crash pad as the cushion/decoration part of the chair. I am hoping to get recycled wood to use as well to play to the description of the project even further. I really like the aesthetic of chairs that don’t use any fasteners, and I feel like that gives the couch frame the modern feel that I’m aiming for. I also think that it might make it a slightly more useful design in that it will make the couch somewhat portable. The frame will be made up out of 5 wooden pieces, fitting together sort of like a puzzle (see exploded view of frame design below).

Exploded view of frame pieces

I drew inspiration from wooden benches that I’ve seen before that look like they just fit together in an elegant way. Also, I really like using the crash pad itself as a couch when I’m out bouldering, and thought it would be interesting to try to bring that relaxed feeling that sitting on a crash pad at the crag creates into the home. Crash pads also take up a lot of space to store, so it would be great to have it serve a purpose while I’m not using it rather than just sit around.

Bench inspiration
Couch frame model
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3 Comments. Leave new

  • Hey Maya, what a great idea for the Upcycle Project! It seems you have done most of the upfront work and just have to actually cut and assemble the wood. The stickers in your post will also go along way to achieving the climbing aesthetic you want. If the project doesn’t turn out the way you thought I will definitely take that crash pad off you.

  • Hi Maya,

    This is SUCH a cool idea! I love that you’re repurposing an old bulky item that you don’t use into something brand new and super functional. Also love the idea of not using any fasteners. Not only does that mean you don’t have to purchase those, which then diminishes the overall upcycled-ness, but it makes construction way easier. And I agree, it also adds to the simplistic aesthetic. I had a thought about how the crash pad will be secured in place to the frame. It seems like as people sit on it, the pad may constantly slip down and off the frame. Have you considered how you’re going to get around this issue? Also, you said you’re going to decorate the frame with a bunch of climbing stickers, and I wonder if this detracts from the modernism aesthetic more than it adds to the climbing aesthetic? When I think of modernism I think of simple, sleek designs like you describe in the new form of route setting in your other post. Adding the stickers may lessen the feel of this aesthetic. Maybe only adding a few could be a good balance between the climbing and modernism aesthetics. What do you think?

    Again, love this idea and am excited to see the final product!

    • Hey Valerie-

      You make some really good points. Yes, I have considered the issue of the pad slipping on the frame; and I think that I will be able to solve that by utilizing the straps on the pad. The pad that I am using actually has straps that hold it open at an angle (you can kind of see them in the third photo) and I think that will help keep the overall shape of the couch together. If that’s not enough, I might end up adding an upturned piece of wood to hold it in at the base of the seat piece. And that’s a good point with the stickers, I think that maybe if I am particular/tasteful enough with the placement of it then it will still look sleek. Definitely something to keep in mind though when trying to balance the two aesthetics well.


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