Updated: May 7, 2021
EVOLVE is part of a series designed by Tom Robinson, aiming to change the perception of waste material
Tom Robinson’s EVOLVE is an elegant black flat-pack chair designed using 100% recycled plastic (ABS and PS) from electronic waste, such as laptops and keyboards. E-waste is more and more becoming a threat to the environment as increasingly more people toss away their old electronic devices, they no longer use. United Nations University recently stated that e-waste has grown by 8% in just two years. In fact, this is considered the fastest-growing category of waste, even doubling plastic.
In the designer's opinion EVOLVE aims to present recycled plastic as a logical, attractive, and robust material to build our futures. Electronic waste is grinded and granulated before it is fused together into plastic sheets. These panels can then be assembled directly by the consumer to create many types of domestic furniture. Robinson's team cut the plastic panels with a table saw before they are hand-routed or CNC-milled and then assembled with dry-fit Festool Domino Connectors. This project was realized thanks to the collaboration of Netherlands-based The Good Plastic Company. All their recycled materials are carefully and cleanly manufactured from 100% waste plastic, with the lowest possible carbon footprint.
EVOLVE is part of a series designed by Tom Robinson, aiming to change the perception of waste material. The designer intends to diffuse the idea that both the environment and home furniture can benefit from recycled material as it provides the same natural and long-lasting feel. Robinson - while working on the material in his London workshop - found that underneath the smooth surface layer, lies a stone-looking side. He noticed it was very visually appealing since it uncovered a hidden beauty of recycled material, which many people are not aware of.
He explained that this new reprocessed panel resembles something closer to a porous wood or stone rather than something artificial. He added that plastic by nature is considered industrial, machine-made, and unnatural. He thinks it feels fitting and crucial to show recycled plastics as something that can appear more natural, crafted, and synonymous with the interior landscapes of today.
"I would always favor natural materials in any walk of life – but given the casual 6.3 billion metric tons of waste plastic we have produced on Earth; it felt imperative to find a logical way to use this resilient material resource and save the harvesting of virgin material". Recycling e-waste allows us to recover a lot of valuable metals and other materials from electronics. This saves natural resources, reduces pollution, conserves landfill space, and creates jobs. We hope new projects are on the horizon in this field to help us appreciate even more the potential of these materials.
images from TomRobinson.cc