Gyrecraft: Ocean Trash to Treasure

‘Gyrecraft’ is a project by design practice Studio Swine exploring the transformation of plastic pollution found in the ocean into a collection of high-end, luxury objects. The name of the project comes from a combination of the word ‘Gyre’  (circular currents in an ocean basin where plastic pollution concentrates) and two
distinct meanings of the word ‘Craft’: skill, dexterity and art – and also a vessel in which you sail.

Gyrecraft is the result of an adventure across the North Atlantic Ocean, undertaken by Studio Swine co-founders, Alexander Groves and Azusa Murakami in the autumn of 2014. They travelled over 1000 nautical miles, collecting plastic on their way between Azores to the Canaries through the North Atlantic Gyre. The collection shown above is made from plastic collection from the North Pacific (other collection include the Indian Ocean, the North Atlantic, the South Atlantic and South Pacific) – along with some images of the team and their materials process during their journey.

In order to transform this plastic pollution they collected on their journey into desirable objects, the invented and built their own ‘Solar Extruder,’ which melts and extrudes sea plastic using just the sun.

Within the ocean’s swirling gyres, most of the plastics break down into tiny fragments that are scattered over massive areas of the ocean. Because of their tiny size, gathering any significant amounts of this material is exceedingly difficult, thus making this waste material something with potential value.

In the Gyrecraft collection, Studio Swine uses sea plastic as a valuable and desirable material alternative to turtle shell or coral. The five objects represent the five major ocean gyres. The goal  is to use plastic in a more artisan, innovative way, which
adds value to an undesirable material while drawing attention to the prevalence of a largely invisible problem throughout the world’s oceans.

Photos Credit: Petr Krejčí