Designers Azusa Murkakmi and Alexander Groves have made a name for themselves creating beautiful objects out of refuse they’ve collected on far-flung journeys around the globe. The design duo, who together make up Studio Swine, have previously traveled to China to create combs from human hair and to São Paulo to design furniture made out of the city’s trash.
For their latest collection, Gyrecraft, Murkakmi and Groves took to the sea, traveling over 1000 nautical miles to collect tiny pieces of plastic from the ocean’s major gyres and transform them into opulent pieces of art.
Traveling from Azores to the Canaries, the UK-based designers visited each of the Atlantic Ocean’s five major gyres collecting plastic with a self-built contraction they’ve dubbed the Solar Extruder. Using sun and a parabolic mirror, the device melted down the marine debris, then forces it down a tube onto a printing bed to create layers of plastic sheets. The resulting plastic is reminiscent of material as rare and valuable as turtle shell and coral, but made at a fraction of the cost.
Made from a mix of plastic and other natural resources–such as gold, wood and glass–each piece is as beautiful as it is sustainable. And by finding a new use for the discarded plastic, not to mention going to great lenghts to track it down, Studio Swine has ultimately restored its value. “In the swirling gyre, most of the plastics have broken down into tiny fragments which are spread over massive stretches of the Ocean,” Studio Swine writes on their website. “Due to their size, they are incredibly difficult to recover in any large quantity making this once disposable material very precious.”