All photos: Studio Swine
Plastic is forever, more or less. Recent studies estimate that an average of 46,000 pieces of plastic can be found per square kilometer of the world’s oceans, while the UN reports that the number of plastic pieces in the Pacific Ocean has tripled in the last ten years. Even more alarming is the nearly incomprehensible 100 million tons of plastic waste deposited worldwide, with that figure expected to double in the next ten years alone. Where to go out of this bleak?
Studio Swine and Kieren Jones' "Sea Chair" seeks a way to collect this stray plastic and harvest it for constructive ends. Launched this past spring at the Milan Furniture Fair, the chair is made entirely of debris collected and processed through a series of custom devices.
Inspired by early mining equipment, the designed developed a curious contraption--made of salvaged machinery and dubbed ‘The Nurdler’ after the industrial plastic pellets it collects--whose chief function sorts large quantities of debris from the water as simply and efficiently as possible. The Nurdler consists of a hand powered water pump and a sluice that sifts the micro plastic pellets, plus a flotation tank that ensures the recycling of those elusive plastic pellets, separating the debris by density.
The "Sea Chair" was fabricated with bits of plastic collected from Porthowan Beach, one of the UK’s most polluted beaches. The fodder was then fed into the "Sea Press", a furnace and hydraulic press combo that compresses the debris--plastic intermixed with seawood, wood, and shells--into disks and molds. The press is compact enough to fit on a sea frigate, and so, according to the designers, "enable[s] production at sea". Once the stools have been cast, they are tagged with a production number and coordinates according to the geographic location of its sandy contents.