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Rethinking Plastic: Sea Things by Sam Jacob in the London Design Festival

Rethinking Plastic: Sea Things by Sam Jacob in the London Design Festival

Sea Things by Sam Jacob Ph. Ed Reeve

Architecture and design play a vital role in the way we imagine the world today. In NESS 2 MAD WORLD PICTURES, we took this idea as a starting to question how we picture the mad, mad world that we live in, including a first-hand experience of Gaiagraphy with Alexandra Arènes and Bruno Latour as well as an exploration of the hybridization of nature with Parasite 2.0. It is a timely and necessary topic that this year’s London Design Festival has also taken on. The festival collaborated with architect Sam Jacob to create the installation Sea Things. Set in the grand entrance of the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), the installation explores the role of design and technology in reducing ocean plastics, in direct response to current predictions forecasting a higher amount of waste than marine life in the sea by 2050. It is developed in collaboration with the software giant SAP.

Sam Jacob designed this new installation to highlight the need to rethink the global plastics system; to consider its full lifetime journey; and to design future-use into every product. Titled Sea Things, the concept, inspired from a pattern by Charles and Ray Eames in the V&A’s Textiles and Fashion collection, takes the form of a large scale two-way mirrored cube suspended above visitors with an animated motion graphic internally reflected to an infinity that seems both as wide as the ocean and as large as the challenges we face. The project aims to evoke a powerful sense of emotion and a better understanding of the role of humans alongside technology and design to make the world a more sustainable place. 

Ph. Ed Reeve

“It’s fantastic to be able to work on such an urgent issue and to be able to draw both on the knowledge of LDF and the V&A, and the global intelligence of SAP. Working between research on the immediate future, but with roots in culture and history of design, is an inspiring place for a designer to operate.”

– Sam Jacob

“Plastics have become an intrinsic part of our lives and many are unaware of how much we use, or how it continues to affect our marine life, climate and economies. Now, more than ever, design has a vital role to play in creating a sustainable solution. The Festival will provide a platform for new material experimentation and discussion in a hope that it may move us one step closer towards creating a carbon neutral economy.”

– London Design Festival Director, Ben Evans CBE

The project aligns with SAP’s ‘Plastic Cloud’ project, which leverages the power of technology to turn the tide on ocean plastics. The software giant is working with global partners to create the digital infrastructure that will improve the economics of the global plastics system and increase after-use value of plastics. 

“SAP’s purpose from day one has been to enable organisations to create positive economic, social and environmental impact through our technology, and a fundamental part of that mission is our commitment to a world of zero waste. With 77% of the world’s transaction revenue touching an SAP system, we have an obligation to help design a sustainable future for the next generations. We are really excited to be working with Sam Jacob to help convey the absolute necessity for us to rethink our plastic waste system and make visitors feel emotionally invested in our journey to make the world run better and improve people’s lives. We can’t wait to see the public reaction to Sam’s powerful installation.”

– Jens Amail, Managing Director, SAP UK & Ireland

Ph. Ed Reeve

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