Since the discovery of the Pacific Garbage Patch in 1997, which is predicted to measure twice the size of Texas, five more have been found across the world’s oceans with the Atlantic gyre predicted to be even larger. This plastic takes thousands of years to degrade, remaining in the environment to be broken up into ever smaller fragments by ocean currents.
The gyre stretches from the coastlines of California to the shores of Japan. Recent studies have estimated 46,000 pieces of plastic per square kilometer of the world’s oceans. The number of plastic pieces in the Pacific Ocean has tripled in the last ten years and the size of the accumulation is set to double in the next ten.
Sea Chair is made entirely from plastic recovered from our oceans. Together with local fishermen, Studio Swine collects and processes the marine plastic into a stool at sea.
Description of the Process
Studio Swine first presented the idea in collaboration with Kieren Jones at the Royal College of Art show in 2011 and have since simplified the process to build the chairs using a small factory onboard vessels. They have released a manual so others can build the chairs too.
Plastic caught in fishing nets or found washed up on the shore is sorted according to colour and chopped into small bits, then melted at 130 degrees centigrade in a DIY furnace.
Some is then squashed between two flat slabs of heavy metal or stone to create the seat, while more is scraped into a mould formed from bent scraps of aluminium.
Cooled and solidified by the sea water, the seat and three legs are then scraped with a knife to tidy the edges and screwed together to create the Sea Chair.
Result of project
Problems during the the realization of the project and how they were approached
Open Source Sea Chair by Studio Swine
Studio Swine has created an open source design based on 'Sea Chair' by Studio Swine & Kieren Jones, accompanied by a film of the process where a chair is made on a fishing boat at sea.
The United Nations estimates some 100 million tons of plastic waste to be contaminating in the worlds oceans, a proportion of which washes up on coastlines across the globe, last year Japan had over 200 thousand tons of plastic debris wash up along it's shores. This abundance of plastic presents an opportunity where the material is delivered by the sea to coasts where it can be processed to make new products with the intention of removing the plastic from the marine environment for good.