Sea Chair

Sea Chair (Vimeo) [Detail]

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.

One of my Masters students recently shared a project with me that captured my imagination. The Sea Chair, by Studio Swine, is a lovely project that turns a negative into a positive.

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.

Sign Up For Updates

Occasional updates on Tiny Books’ progress, and to be notified when new books are published. No spam, I promise. Scouts’ honour!