London department store Selfridges is hosting Project Ocean (August 31-September 3 2015) to raise awareness of harmful plastic waste in the sea through a series of innovative projects. Here, we round up the highlights:
- Anglo-Japanese designers Studio Swine are showing a series of objects created from sea plastic and reclaimed materials. Each item explores maritime craft techniques and was made using the studio's Solar Extruder – a machine that melts sea plastic using sunlight. It is then squeezed through a small pipe, allowing the objects to be formed layer by layer in the same way as a 3D printer. This technique produces a distinct, chunky marbled material, with colour iterations and patterns reminiscent of geological forms. Combined with brass, rope and glass, the pieces serve as hyperreal representations of coral, sea animals and other marine entities.
See our Materials Focus 16-17 rationale Resource and our report Revaluing Plastic for more on how new approaches are elevating plastic beyond an everyday material.
- Italian food design studio Arabeschi di Latte's Water Bar offers fruit, herb, mineral and vegetable-infused refreshments, inviting the public to "imagine life without the plastic water bottle" and reconsider the everyday ritual of drinking water. The bar has a clean aesthetic, featuring a marble-effect terrazzo material made of recycled glass and epoxy resin, as well as brass and copper taps.
- A historic and futuristic selection of alternative vessels for transporting and consuming water are also being displayed. The curated objects are made from ceramic, glass and metal and feature a variety of functions – most notably, charcoal and coconut shell filtration systems, vacuum temperature control and loofah insulation.
See our A/W 16-17 Design Direction Restore for further inspiration on how everyday routines, such as serving tap water, can be elevated into ritualistic experiences. See also Charting New Waters, which explores innovations within the bottled water category.