Art Out Of Trash

Thomas Dambo is an artist and designer who specializes in making art pieces, sculptures, furniture and anything you can imagine out of trash, also known as recycled materials. He also gives a lot of speeches about upcycling and arranges workshops for schools, companies etc. teaching people to build stuff from trash. One of his projects “The 6 Forgotten Giants” made from scrap wood, is not only inspiring as an art project but also pointing out the recycling necessity in the world we are living in today.



Thomas Dambo originates from Odense, Denmark. He has always loved building stuff and began at an early age to build treehouses, boxcars from old wood he found around his old neighborhood. After High School Thomas began studying to become a carpenter, he though quickly became bored with the repetive work and looking for a more creative way he applied for Kolding school of designs and was accepted in 2005. During his early years at the design school Thomas started to see great potential in all of the stuff that people threw out. He was especially intrigued by all the ply wood that was daily thrown away by constructing sites etc, and one day when he came across a giant container filled with this he got the idea for his first major street art project; “Happy City Birds”. Since then Thomas has build more than 3000 birdhouses and spread them in several cities all over the world.


After graduating Thomas got his own workshop in Copenhagen from where he started his business, while also pursuing his passion as a street artist. He is well known around the world for his large recycle sculptures and installations, his Happy City Birds project and the interactive pixel installation Happy Wall and the famous 6 forgotten giants in Copenhagen.


If you are in Denmark, “The Six Forgotten Giants” in Rødovre, Hvidovre, Vallensbæk, Ishøj, Albertslund and Høje Taastrup are waiting for you discover. All six sculptures are made from scrap wood with the help of local volunteers.


This project wants to bring art out of the museum, show the beautiful and often overlooked nature spots in the western part of Copenhagen, and at the same time give an exciting and different experience. The project consists of 6 large sculptures made in the outskirts of Copenhagen. Common for all sculptures is that they are made solely from local scrapwood and recycled materials, and made in a hidden beautiful location. This way it invites the viewers to go on a treasure hunt, not only to see the sculptures, but also to discover hidden gems in nature. For example, Teddy Friendly is a recycle sculpture Thomas Dambo made as a part of the larger project “Forgotten Giants”.


Teddy friendly is made from local scrapwood, including cut offs from cut down local trees, which has been used for his fur. He is standing at a water stream, at a lake holding out his hand helping people to cross. The Thomas Dambo team had help from a local activation center, which provided four unemployed people and a teacher to assist in building the sculpture. The teachers name was Teddy, he was a super friendly and hardworking guy, and together with his team he made a huge effort, therefore Thomas Dambo decided to name the sculpture after him.


On the other hand, Little Tilde is located in the area of Vallensbæk Mose, af beautiful area filled with wild nature and animal life. She watches through the trees at the other side of a small lake, from where you will be able to catch a glimpse of her at a distance. Tilde is also made solely from local scrapwood scavenged by the Thomas Dambo team. To build the sculpture the team had help from a group of volunteers including two senior craftsmen (one of which was aged 86), and a couple of locals including Tilde, from whom the sculpture got her name.

You can watch the youtube video to see further details of this interesting project: