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Amazing Design Science

System 001: An Innovative Design to Remove Plastic From the Ocean has Been Deployed off the Coast of California

October 26, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Founded in 2013 by 18-year-old (at the time) inventor Boyan Slat, The Ocean Cleanup is a nonprofit organization that’s working to clean up our oceans by removing plastic. After five years of rigorous design and testing, the Cleanup’s cleaning apparatus, called System 001, has been deployed off the coast of California.

System 001 is a passive collection apparatus that works by moving in tandem with the ocean’s currents, taking advantage of the water’s circular movement patterns, called gyres, that cause the trash to accumulate in the first place. The Ocean Cleanup points out that 92% of the debris in the Patch is still large enough to be collected using the System’s large suspended net, and it’s critical to remove this plastic now before it degrades into microplastics that enter the food chain. Because of the net’s passive, slow-moving design, the group has reported that it has not caused animals to get caught, presumably because they have sufficient time and space to navigate away from the debris-funneling nets.

While the organization has global aspirations and an international team (the founder is Dutch), their first focus is on the massive Pacific Garbage Patch, which floats in the ocean between California and Hawaii. The Pacific Garbage Patch is the largest aquatic aggregation of trash in the world, first recognized thirty years ago. It is estimated to contain about 80,000 metric tons of garbage spanning 5.2 billion square feet (nearly a million square miles). Ocean Cleanup’s boat, the Maersk Launcher, towed the System 1,200 miles from Alameda to begin its work.

You can see a live update of the System’s location and learn more about The Ocean Cleanup on the organization’s website, as well as on Twitter and Instagram.

  

 

 



Art

A 38-Foot-Tall Whale Made From 10,000 Pounds of Plastic Waste Surfaces in Bruges

June 27, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

In response to the Bruges Triennial’s 2018 theme “Liquid City,” Brooklyn-based architecture and design firm STUDIOKCA designed a 38-foot-tall sculptural whale composed of over five tons of plastic pulled from the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The studio, led by Jason Klimoski and Lesley Chang, wanted to address how cities from across the globe are contributing to the waste that has piled up in our oceans—the discarded plastic that is washing up on our shores and endangering and killing marine life.

Skyscraper contains nearly 4,000-square-feet of plastic waste, which is just a dent in the 150 million tons of plastic that currently circulates in our seas. STUDIOKCA worked with the Hawaii Wildlife Fund to coordinate several beach clean-ups, which is how the team found most of the plastic for the 10,000-pound whale.

“Right now there is 150 million tons of plastic swimming in the ocean, our oceans, the oceans we share,” says Klimoski in a video created about the project. “Pound for pound that is more plastic waste swimming in the ocean than there is whales. So an opportunity like this to show the type of plastic and the amount of plastic that ends up in our oceans is really important.”

You can learn more about the team’s process behind the large-scale whale on their website and in the video below. The Bruges Triennial continues through September 16, 2018. (via Colossal Submissions)

Triënnale 2018; STUDIOKCA – ‘Skyscraper (the Bruges Whale)’

Triënnale 2018; STUDIOKCA – ‘Skyscraper (the Bruges Whale)’

Triënnale 2018; STUDIOKCA – ‘Skyscraper (the Bruges Whale)’

 

 



Art Design

Collaborative Lamps That Weave Traditional Fibers With PET Plastic Waste

February 1, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Spanish designer Alvaro Catalán de Ocón started the PET Lamp Project in 2011, collaborating with communities from all over the globe to transform plastic waste into unique and functional works. Over the past five years Catalán de Ocón has worked with artisans in Colombia, Chile, Japan, and Ethiopia to produce the collaborative lamps, most recently working with eight Yolngu weavers from Arnhem Land in Australia’s Northern Territory.

The collaboration was prompted by the National Gallery of Victoria Triennial who commissioned the designer to create woven lamps that express the craft traditions and visual languages of weavers from the Australian community. Catalán de Ocón worked with Lynette Birriran, Mary Dhapalany, Judith Djelirr, Joy Gaymula, Melinda Gedjen, Cecile Mopbarrmbrr, and Evonne Munuyngu from the Bula’Bula Arts Centre in Ramingining to produce a series of circular ceiling-mounted lamps. The works combine PET plastic bottles with naturally dyed pandanus fibers, and are inspired by patterns seen in traditional Yolngu mats.

A work from the project, PET Lamp Ramingining: Bukmukgu Guyananhawuy (Every family thinking forward), is currently on view as a part of the National Gallery of Victoria Triennial through April 15, 2018. You can see more of Catalán de Ocón’s past collaborations with artisan weavers on his website. (via Yellowtrace)

     

 

 



Art

Chandeliers Constructed From Recycled Plastic PET Bottles by Veronika Richterová

October 30, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Czech artist Veronika Richterová (previously) uses the near indestructible nature of plastic PET bottles to her advantage. By snipping, twisting, and heating the drinking vessels, she forms long-lasting sculptures that visually mirror the qualities of glass. This similarity inspired her series of PET luminaries, a project composed of fully functioning light systems in the form of chandeliers and lamps.

The included works are decorated with tulip-shaped light bulb covers, scalloped edges, and long, twisted segments of recycled bottles that imitate electrical cords. In order to protect these heat-sensitive sculptures, Richterová installs her works with bulbs and cables that produce minimal heat.

A few of Richterová’s plastic chandeliers are currently included in the 50-artist exhibition Eden Unearthed at Sydney’s Eden Gardens through February 2018. You can see more recycled works in the form of cacti, animals, and more on the artist’s website. (via Lustik)

 

 



Art

New Split-View Trash Sculptures by Bordalo II Combine Wood and Colorful Plastics Into Gigantic Animals

July 21, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Bordalo II (previously) has created a series of bisected animals, colorful plastics forming one half of the creature while a combination of wood and metal created a muted mirror on the other side. In one piece the Portuguese artist created a turtle with legs that extend to the ground, appearing to crawl along the side of a a low wall in Moncton, Canada. Other works are more monumental, such as a rabbit that extends two stories in Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal, and a raccoon that seems to dangle head first from a building in Pittsburgh.

The globally-placed installations are the newest evolution of his series Trash Animals, large public works that address the impact our carelessly tossed waste has on the environment around us. You can observe his process for collecting plastic and other waste, as well as follow more of his recent work, on Instagram.

 

 



Art

Organic Creatures Crafted from Plastic Cable Ties by Sui Park

June 29, 2016

Christopher Jobson

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Amoeba. Fish. Sea anemone. Aliens. These are all fair interpretations of Korean artist Sui Park‘s sculptures and installations made from interlocked cable ties. Weaving together the plastic fasteners she creates undulating organic surfaces or swarms of creatures that swim in schools and cluster together like eggs. Park recently had a solo exhibition titled ‘Playing with Perception’ at Denise Bibro Fine Art and currently has work on view at Summer Sculpture Showcase 2016 in Connecticut. You can see more of her work on Behance.

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