Ahoy there me hearties! Have I got a project for you! These Uk designers trawl the beaches for plastic which they turn into chairs with their home made plastic recycling machine. I know… so sweet! Now they need money to develop the project further! They want to go to sea with their machine and make stools on the high waves! And they have got 18 days to raise the cash. Come on this has to be worth a few quid!



We have always been drawn to the sea, a fascination which led us to first conceive the ‘Sea Chair’ a project which is about making furniture using plastic that is polluting our oceans. We first heard about the huge problem of marine plastic in 2010, since then we have been designing a series of devices and contraptions to collect and process the sea plastic into sea chairs with tags indicating the geographic coordinates of where it was made.

The project began on a small beach in Cornwall, UK. We collected the plastic on the shore with self-made machines and turned them into chairs. Six months later, we went out to sea on fishing boats with a new improved furnace and made another sea chair with plastic caught in fishermen’s nets.

Since then the project has really grown and we have now designed and built a new machine – a plastic extruder which melts the plastic at sea with only the power of the sun, forming a 3D printer that is can be used either on sea or on land, far from any external power source and where plastic trash exists without the facilities to recycle them.

This October, we have an opportunity to go onboard the Sea Dragon – a 72ft vessel dedicated to research of plastic at sea. We will be sailing to the North Atlantic Gyre from the Azores Island to the Canaries. We are running this Kickstarter campaign to raise funding to join other scientist and ecologists on this journey with our new machine on board.

Gyres are where ocean currents converge creating a vortex of plastic fragments. A lot of awareness has been generated around the Great Pacific Garbage Patch but there isn’t a great public awareness or research about the problem in the North Atlantic Gyre. We want to take the project to the North Atlantic Gyre to make a design collection with the waste we remove, as well as a film that can really engage the public about the issue of sea plastic.

During the expedition we will be collecting plastic on the beaches for the Azores and Lanzarote as well as at sea. We will document the plastic collected and sort it to be processed with a machine we have built. The machine uses a parabolic mirror to melt the plastic with the energy from the sun. The extruded plastic can then be 3d printed into a range of objects that will all form a touring exhibition about the voyage.

Sketch by Andrew Friend
Sketch by Andrew Friend

Previously with ‘Sea Chair’ project we received numerous awards as well as coverage from design world and beyond with articles in global newspapers such as the Huffington Post and The Atlantic. The project also was awarded the gold award at the Design Biennale Slovenia in 2013 and the the film about the project received over 1/4 million views and picked up the 2nd prize at Cannes film festival.

On the back of this publicity we distributed our open source manual for people to build their own low cost furnace and Chair encouraging local beach cleaning and action against plastic waste.

For the first time we are offering our sea chairs as rewards you can buy.

With this Gyre project we want to engage people in the issue, too often the scale of the problem frightens or depresses people into fatalism, as if it’s too late and we are on an inevitable course, which leads to people not wanting to deal with it. That is why when reporting the problems of marine plastic we need to make something inspirational and capture the imagination as well as very real solutions that people can act on.


 A complete illustrated manual of how to make your own Sea Chair + personal message from Studio Swine.

A postcard (6″x4″) from the journey with a personal thank you and a plastic sample from the North Atlantic Gyre.

Sea Tag keychain is made with collected sea plastic, with this reward you will also receive a password to access the Captain’s Log- a blog with behind the scenes footage from the boat.

Synthetic fibres breakdown when washed and particles of plastic find their way into the Ocean. These unisex socks are made with natural Bamboo fibre which also has the benefit of being naturally deodorising. Each pair is hand dyed and embroidered. + Password to access the Captain’s Log – a blog with behind the scenes footage from the boat.

A Sea Chair keyring with a brass shackle, monkey fist knot and a tag made with sea plastic + password access the Captain’s Log – a blog with behind the scenes footage from the boat.

A box set containing a keyring, postcard, sea plastic and DIY manual + password access the Captain’s Log – a blog with behind the scenes footage from the boat.

 A box set containing keyring, 2 postcards, sea socks, and DIY manual + password access the Captain’s Log – a blog with behind the scenes footage from the boat.

The Sea Knife is a sailing knife (13cmx2.5cm) with a high quality blade made from Japanese Stainless Steel. The handle is made from Sea Plastic with a granite-like appearance. You will also receive a photographic print and geographical co-ordinates of where it was made + password access to the Captain’s Log- a blog with behind the scenes footage from the boat.

A box set containing a keyring, 2 postcards, sea plastic, sea socks, sea knife and DIY manual  + password access the Captain’s Log – a blog with behind the scenes footage from the boat.

A chair made with sea plastic with chromed steel legs. You will receive a photographic print and geographical co-ordinates of where it was made + password access the Captain’s Log – a blog with behind the scenes footage from the boat.

The Original Sea Chair Design with Sea Plastic legs and tagged withgeographical co-ordinates + original framed drawing + photographic print signed by Studio Swine + Studio visit and invitation to exhibition private view + password to access the Captain’s Log. (travel not included)

You will be the Official Sponsor of the film made by award winning Director Juriaan Booij. You will receive prominent credit and be mentioned in international press, future exhibitions and film festivals around the world.


Since the discovery of the Pacific Garbage Patch in 1997, which is predicted to measure twice the size of Texas, five more have been found across the world’s oceans with the Atlantic gyre predicted to be even larger. This plastic takes thousands of years to degrade, remaining in the environment to be broken up into ever smaller fragments by ocean currents.

More of a ‘plastic soup’ than a tangible mass, the gyre stretches from the coastlines of California to the shores of Japan. Recent studies have estimated 46,000 pieces of plastic per square kilometer of the world’s oceans. The number of plastic pieces in the Pacific Ocean has tripled in the last ten years and the size of the accumulation is set to double in the next ten.

  • Enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the earth four times.
  • Over the last ten years we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century
  • 50 percent of the plastic we use, we use just once and throw away.
  • We currently recover only five percent of the plastics we produce.
  • Plastic in the ocean breaks down into such small segments that pieces of plastic from a one liter bottle could end up on every mile of beach throughout the world.
  • Annually approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide. More than one million bags are used every minute.
  • 46 percent of plastics float (EPA 2006) and it can drift for years before eventually concentrating in the ocean gyres.
  • It takes 500-1,000 years for plastic to degrade.
  • Billions of pounds of plastic can be found in swirling convergences in the oceans making up about 40 percent of the world’s ocean surfaces. 80 percent of pollution enters the ocean from the land.
  • The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is located in the North Pacific Gyre off the coast of California and is the largest ocean garbage site in the world. This floating mass of plastic is twice the size of Texas, with plastic pieces outnumbering sea life six to one.
  • One million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals are killed annually from plastic in our oceans.
  • 44 percent of all seabird species, 22 percent of cetaceans, all sea turtle species and a growing list of fish species have been documented with plastic in or around their bodies.
  • Virtually every piece of plastic that was ever made still exists in some shape or form
  • Plastic chemicals can be absorbed by the body
  • Some of these compounds found in plastic have been found to alter hormones or have other potential human health effects.

(Source –

For more information on sea plastic, visit 5 Gyres


How will your money help us?

All the money raised from this campaign will go towards making this project happen. So far we’ve self funded the making of the machine, beach cleaning trips, travel, equipment etc. but the passenger fee on the boat is very expensive and we need your help to pay for our place on the boat. The money will also go towards making the rewards, the more rewards we sell the more plastic we can remove from the sea.

What happens if the funding exceeds the asking amount?

The money that is over the asking figure would go towards making our film. We are working with internationally acclaimed filmmaker Juriaan Booij who will make a beautiful short feature about the voyage, enabling us to share the journey with you and show the machine printing the product at sea. The film would bring the issue of Sea Plastic to a wider global audience and increase the calls for action.

Who is in the team?

Studio Swine – (Alexander Groves & Azusa Murakami) is a design studio based in London. We are interested in narratives, sustainability and vernacular design.

Andrew Friend – A keen sailor, mechanical genius and a designer. We have been collaborating with Andy to make the solar 3D printer for the journey.

Juriaan Booij – An award winning filmmaker. We have been working together with Juriaan for the past 3 years producing many exciting design films.

Risks and challengesLearn about accountability on Kickstarter

Project Risks and Challenges

Getting enough plastic

We will be collecting plastic everyday during the trip with a trawl net. In addition we will be collecting plastic from fishing boats on Azores and Canaries which have collected it in their nets and we will be joining beach cleans on both the islands. From experience beach cleaning in the UK we are confident we will recover more than enough plastic to make the rewards for more than double our funding goal. In the case that we far exceed our goal the funding would allow us to spend more time collecting plastic in the Atlantic.

Making the rewards

We have made all the objects offered as rewards already so we know the challenges and techniques very well. We make them in house so don’t rely on other manufacturers, getting funded would enable us to deal with sea plastic on a larger scale.

Making the solar extruder work

We have made countless solar ovens testing them in many different weather conditions on both on land and at sea, and have been successful at melting plastic with them.

In case of bad weather

We are travelling from Azores to the Canaries so there will be lots of sun. In case of poor weather conditions we will still be able to use the marine printer with a back up heating device.

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