There’s no denying that planet Earth is awash in a sea of trash. So, what can discerning design lovers do to make both a statement and a difference? Here’s one solution: Snap up stylish furniture pieces made entirely of post-consumer waste—soda cans, laptop cases, plastic water bottles, coffee cup lids, and car bumpers. The Fractured capsule collection is manufactured by Berlin- and London-based brand Pentatonic in collaboration with New York design collective Snarkitecture; it consists of a bench and table, both of which break into two-part puzzles for more modular placement options. And, in the case of the table, its height is adjustable.
The project is just the latest in the history of the four-year-old firm, which identifies itself as a “circular-economy” lifestyle brand. The studio’s clients are clearly in favor, as Pentatonic works with Starbucks and vodka brand Ketel One, for whom they are designing a “bean” chair and “bar stool of the future” made from drink stirrers, respectively. “Our goal is to invent new things using the world’s most abundant, and dangerous, resource—human trash—without compromising on design or function,” says Pentatonic co-founder Jamie Hall, adding that they can easily turn plastic bottles into chairs and cracked smartphone screens into high-end glassware.
As for Snarkitecture’s desire to team up with Pentatonic, co-founder Daniel Arsham explains, “we were drawn to Pentatonic’s hard-core environmental mission and keen on the idea of using recycled materials to realize our designs in a sustainable manner. We were also intrigued by the possibilities of the pieces themselves. Are they whole, or in pieces? Total or ruptured? Is it one bench or two seats? The end result is not only contemporary but relevant—emblematic of our fractured world.”
The Fractured bench is covered in 25 sheets of Plyfix—a luxurious felt made entirely from recycled plastic (PET)—which have been pressed into a single 1.5-centimeter thick sheet and then heat-formed to the structure. Each bench, says Jamie, utilizes 240 plastic bottles, 45 aluminum cans, 120 bits of food packaging, and four car bumpers, while each Fractured table is made from 1,290 aluminum cans, 140 food package items, and six car bumpers. Only about 100 of each limited-edition piece were produced.