Upcoming Expeditions

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Adios

Lanzarote, on the horizon for hours as a question mark – cloud or land? – came into focus as an extended sprawl of volcanic hills. A fantastically arid landscape, all browns and tans like the dried pelt of a brindled creature, a stark contrast to the lush greens of the Azores. Clusters of white buildings ran in lines like barnacles on a low-tide rock.

Deck

Studio Swine and the Golden Machine

Reconfiguring our conception – and use – of ‘waste’ is a theme running through Studio Swine’s work, which has seen them crafting chairs from aluminium cans in Brazil, and extraordinarily beautiful, tortoiseshell-like table-tops and other objects from human hair and bio-resin in China. They first became interested in ocean plastic after Alex heard a BBC Radio 4 programme about a previous Sea Dragon voyage from Brazil to South Africa through the South Atlantic gyre. On our current journey, as we lower the fish-mouthed trawls into the sea for the daily collection of plastic and plankton, we’re witnessing an intriguing, real-time intersection of science and art.

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Ocean Friendly Design

According to the UK Design Council, 80% of a product’s environmental impact is ‘locked in’ at the design stage. Take the humble toothbrush. Most of these apparently simple objects are made from three or four different kinds of plastics. For a toothbrush to be recycled, the different plastics would have to be separated, making toothbrush recycling, even were this technically feasible, an immediate non-starter financially. The toothbrush as a whole is a short-lived item, but actually, the only short-lived bit of it is the bristles in the head. The plastics in the handle will probably last upward of 450 years.