Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sea Chair: A Project by Studio Swine

The existence of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch was predicted by many oceanographers and climatologists for some time. However, the actual discovery of the patch took place in 1997 when a racing boat captain named Charles Moore stumbled upon it after completing a race and noticed millions of pieces of plastic surrounding his ship. Since then, five more have been discovered across the world's oceans with the Atlantic gyre predicted to be larger than the Great Pacific Garbage Patch which, itself, has been predicted to be twice the size of Texas.

The motion of the gyre prevents the garbage from escaping and takes thousands of years to degrade, still forever remaining in the environment. Recent studies estimate an average of 46,000 pieces of plastic per square kilometer of the world's oceans with the number in the Pacific Ocean tripling in the least 10 years. That's estimated to be a total of 100 million tons worldwide and only looking to increase at an alarming rate.

So let's just recap that for a second. There's a huge mass, I'm sorry, masses, of plastic larger than twice the size of texas currently occupying our oceans. Twice the size! I've driven across that beast many times and I cannot fathom the size of such a mass. How are we not freaking out about this?

Well, one of the most amazing things about design is that it covers a variety of things. Design is the creation of solutions and Studio Swine has decided to dedicate a project to this specific effort. 

Britain's fishing community is in decline with depleting fish stocks and industrial trawling miles offshore. With the E.U unveiling plans to pay fisherman for plastic by-catch, advances in the development of nets for collecting plastics and by collecting washed up plastic on shore we have designed a floating factory ship that recycles this marine waste into sea chairs.

Project Sea Chairs taps into the history of seamen and their tradition of furniture making in Britain's port towns. It's a lovely creation from such a terrifying source. Hopefully this and other innovative solutions can lead to the clean up of our oceans and overall environment. Great job, Studio Swine!

Monday, January 13, 2014

What will your verse be? | iPad

Oh Apple. This is beautiful.

It's not often I come across an ad that makes me stop dead in my tracks while walking around my apartment. There it was; one of my favorite monologues. That voice. That film. That speech. That poem...

Putting aside all the controversy and animosity that comes with commercials, ads, and products created by Apple itself, this campaign is successful in so many ways. Steve Jobs always pointed out that his ideal product was to simply be an extension of the individual person. So what makes that person unique and how can a product provide such a personal experience without interrupting basic daily functionality or becoming downright unnecessary? While I do agree that technological devices cause a great amount of interruption and I also fail to see the need for a 6 year old child to own a cell phone, Apple has provided its consumers with the ability to express themselves in ways that would otherwise be impossible and that is what makes them stand out from the competition. In turn, this leaves them with a question. A question that, as an artist and human being, I personally have had to ask myself.

(This is when the magic happens; answering the "Why" questions, right Don Draper?)

The challenge: Why is expression relevant to humanity?

The answer: How is humanity relevant without expression?

"We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering — these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love — these are what we stay alive for.

To quote from Whitman,

'O me, O life of the questions of these recurring.
Of the endless trains of the faithless. Of cities filled with the foolish. What good amid these, O me, O life? Answer: that you are here. That life exists and identity. That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.'

'That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.'

What will your verse be?"

- Robin Williams, Dead Poets Society


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