EXEMPLAR: GYRO TABLE

Fig 1.  Niell Brodie,  Gyro Table  2016, ocean terrazzo (made from fragments of ocean plastics waste).  

Fig 1. Niell Brodie, Gyro Table 2016, ocean terrazzo (made from fragments of ocean plastics waste).  

Fig 2.  Niell Brodie,  Gyro Table  2016, ocean terrazzo (made from fragments of ocean plastics waste).

Fig 2. Niell Brodie, Gyro Table 2016, ocean terrazzo (made from fragments of ocean plastics waste).

Brodie Neill's Gyro Table (see Fig 1. and Fig 2.) was constructed with tiny blue, black and white plastics collected from beaches around the world. Neil has used a low-grade material with perceived unworthiness and applied to a sophisticated, detailed, luxury work of art. In explanation of the piece, Neil stated:

"I saw marine plastic as a commodity, not waste. In this way I hope to, in the words of Dr Erik van Sebille, 'return plastic to the economy and free it from the environment'." 1

The table was a one off commission for the London Design Biennale 2016, the process of which Neill hopes to industrialize. The question that has started arising is whether the products I am looking at are creating closed loops? So, has the Gyro Table created a closed loop? Issues around how the waste material is actually re-purposed arise in some of the literature found in my research, and discuss whether it is the best use of that material.2 In the case of The Gyro Table, it was produced by combining the plastic with resin, which eliminates the ability to recycle again. Even so the plastic was not used in the most pragmatic sense, it is now part of a work of art, it represents a catalyst for change in how we use and see waste plastics. By lifting the perceived value and aesthetic appeal of the material, Neill ensures the life of the plastic material within the use stage to be cherished and kept as piece of great design. Thus in my eyes, creating a circular system where by the plastic is released from the environment and will not return to the environment.  

1 Rima Sabina Aouf, Brodie Neill Creates Terrazzo-Effect Table Using Recycled Ocean Plastics. Dezeen. Accessed August 19 2016. https://www.dezeen.com/2016/09/03/gyro-table-brodie-neill-recycled-ocean-plastic-first-london-design-biennale/.

2 Singh, Jagdeep. “Resource Recovery from Post-Consumer Waste” Journal of Cleaner Production 134, no.si (2016): 342.