One of the benefits of working as an educator is the opportunity it affords to work with others and, as a consequence, to discover their discoveries.
Being involved in education opens your eyes, it provides you with the scope to see through others’ eyes, and – perhaps most importantly – ensures you’re attuned to the wealth of interesting things you might, otherwise, have missed.
It’s a wonderful example of how design can take waste and, through alchemy, turn it into something of value. As the duo behind Studio Swine put it:
[The] Sea Chair is made entirely from plastic recovered from our oceans. Together with local fishermen, marine plastic – [waste] – is collected and processed into a stool at sea.
The result of this process is a piece of furniture that is loaded with narrative. It’s a functional piece of seating that poignantly captures and communicates an important story.
What can we learn from this?
As humans we’re hard-wired to appreciate stories. Products that have a built-in narrative appeal to us in ways that the everyday objects that we surround ourselves with often don’t. Ask yourself: What’s the story behind your product? How might you share that story?
Do so and you’ll find your audience connects with you. Mass manufactured products serve a need – they’re low cost and affordable – but if you build a strong story into your products they can encourage your audience to go the extra mile, pay a little more, and support your work.
Studio Swine’s Sea Chair story is just a few minutes long, I’d encourage you to take a few moments of your day and soak it up, it offers a number of lessons you can learn from.