London – Design agency Studio Swine has turned waste plastics swirling in the world’s Oceanic gyres into hand-crafted artefacts inspired by maritime explorers.
On an epic 1,000 nautical mile journey across the North Atlantic Gyre, team Swine collected plastic using fine nets before separating them into colour groups. Using an onboard solar extruder, a device of their own invention, Swine melted the plastics down, leaving solid blocks of colour to create their designs.
Each piece is inspired by a different gyre and draws on local customs and techniques. For The North Atlantic Gyre, Swine created a replica whale’s tooth based on the long tradition of scrimshaw, the art of engraving on whale teeth, which whalers in the region were known for.
The team also created a replica tortoiseshell from red, black and yellow plastic and reclaimed hardwood inspired by the South Pacific islanders’ tradition for gift-giving.
The Big Picture: Find out more about the designers converting cast-off materials into high-end products in our Whole-system Thinking macrotrend.