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Blickfang, I Can’t Quit You!
10 April 2019 - Impact Hub Basel

Please tell me I’m not alone…do you have this argument with yourself, too?

I don’t need it.

But I want it.

But I don’t need it.

Ooh, but I want it…

That was totally me at Blickfang! What a gorgeous collection of high-quality European-designed-created-produced goods! It was my first time there and I must say, as someone who actively tries to keep purchases to a limit, and reduce the amount of ‘things’ I own, it was SUCH. A. CHALLENGE.


Everything was absolutely stunning. I especially fell in love with two lines of furniture made from salvaged wood, and since then, I’m all inspired to make some ‘reclaimed’ furniture again.

What—you didn’t know I was such a spectacular furniture-making talent to behold?! What can I say, people? But truth be told, I can’t take all the credit. Three years ago I found a fantastic place called Freizeit Werkstatt in Basel that can make even a newbie look good.

Check this out—Freizeit Werkstatt is a carpentry workshop that is open to the public at various hours, six days a week—so you can always find a time that fits your schedule. You can use the machines and tools, buy wood from them, and keep your items there while you’re working on them (just in case you live with anyone who just doesn’t appreciate a ‘craft corner’). And the cost of membership is a mere—and very ‘un-Swiss-like’—80 chf a year. Can you believe it?! Cheapest thing on the menu, folks. But the best part is there are actual real-life professional carpenters who are available to guide/teach/help you at every stage—even with sketching a design.

Because Basel is such a transient place, with people on contract for a year or two, it’s quite common for ex-pats to make a Saturday run to IKEA, buy the cheapest furniture they can to ‘set up shop’ for the duration of their stay, and unload it at the Brocki or Basel Buy & Sell before they head off to their next gig. And if you’ve ever tried to move house with IKEA furniture, it doesn’t hold up so well.

So, why am I going on about this? What does this have to do with my visit to Blickfang, or building my own furniture? It’s this: quality, solid, well-built furniture is made to last. And the resources you choose to build your own piece can be sustainable, reusable, devoid of harmful chemicals. And while tastes do change, solid wood can be reclaimed and reused. (I myself have torn apart a ‘ruined’ coffee table and created an ottoman). The cheap stuff and particle board ends up in the incineration plant or landfill. This is an incredible waste of resources!

So, my point is, just like Impact Hub Basel creates a space where people come together to solve the great challenges of our time (no pressure!), I try to live my life in a way that ensures a healthy planet for future generations. Thus, sustainability is always on my mind. Thus, I love to share this information to help it catch fire. Thus, you’re welcome.

So, back to making furniture—if you’re feeling even remotely excited about this, even if you have zero experience, I highly recommend you pay Freizeit Werkstatt a visit. Not so much a do-it-yourself-er? No time? No worries. Check out the fabulous second-hand shop Ecochair. Not only does this store sell quality pre-loved furniture, but they also promote the buying of second-hand in general by providing this detailed map of other local shops. Thanks, Ecochair!

As for me, after Blickfang, I’m feeling the itch to create some sawdust again. Reclaimed wood headboard, anyone?

Carrie Aikman