Centre of Applied Research Technology


Exploring inspiring possibilities for the old stadium chairs of the Amsterdam ArenA


When Amsterdam ArenA commissioned the replacement of its stadium chairs, no reuse had been prospected for the old seats or the material they are made of. For that reason, the agreed baseline scenario for this research was that the stadium seats were to be treated as waste. This meant that the steel frames could be sold to metal manufacturers for recycling, while the seats could end up being partly ‘downcycled’ and partly incinerated by plastic recyclers.

Based on this initial assumption, would it be possible to explore alternative scenarios to give stadium seats a second life? AUAS and Amsterdam ArenA decided to explore the viability of three options:

  • Scenario 1: Redistribution of seats for reuse in other stadiums
  • Scenario 2: Upcycling of stadium seats to consumer chairs
  • Scenario 3: Recycling the raw material of stadium seats for various applications

In scenario 1 the stadium seats, including the frames, are disassembled, transported and installed in other stadiums. This scenario was explored by Amsterdam ArenA, by redistributing smaller parts of the gallery to amateur stadiums in various parts of the world.

Scenario 2 (this research project): The AUAS research team explored the upcycling of the stadium seats based on the principles of the circular economy and with due regard for Amsterdam Arena’s requirements – responding to the wishes of fans, generating local employment and ensuring a cost neutral project.

This project resulted in a collection of chair designs and corresponding prototypes made with the original seats. In consultation with potential producers, these physical prototypes were assessed in terms of their economic and technical viability.

The designs and prototypes that were made can be divided in four groups:

  1. Chair designs reusing the original steel frames
  2. Chair designs incorporating other, existing frames
  3. Chair designs with a customised frame
  4. Chair designs with a digitally produced frame

Follow-up research was done regarding consumer appreciation of the different concepts. View the results of this project Consumer appreciation for Circular Design with a waste stream.

Inge Oskam, professor Circular Design & Business

Marta Malé Alemany, Head Lecturer in Digital Production

Erno Langeberg, Researcher Circular Design and Digital Production

Liselotte van Dijk, Project manager

7 november 2023

Project Info

Startdatum 01 dec 2016
Einddatum 01 jul 2017


Erno Langenberg
Liselotte van Dijk