In 2019, the world generated 54 million metric tons of e-waste — a worrying number that’s expected to increase to 64 million metric tons by 2030. London-based designer Tom Robinson wants to help curb that amount by turning e-waste into sleek, minimalist furniture.
The designer’s latest project involved using 100 percent recycled plastic from e-waste to produce the Evolve Chair, which aims to give plastic a more natural feel and thus encourage more people to opt for items made of recycled materials.
To make the chair, Robinson partnered with Netherlands-based The Good Plastics Company, which creates recycled plastic sheets from e-waste, such as discarded laptops and computers.
The chair’s ebony color comes from the black plastic of the electronics, which is crushed and granulated before being transformed into plastic panels. “This new reprocessed panel resembles something closer to a porous wood or stone, rather than something artificial,” said Robinson.
“Plastic by its very nature is considered industrial, machine-made and artificial – it feels quite fitting and important to show ‘recycled’ plastics as something that can appear more natural, crafted and synonymous with the interior landscapes of today,” he added.
The resulting chair has a minimalist, modular design with softly rounded corners that seems to resemble the shape of laptops, computers, and keyboards. Robinson envisioned the product as a scalable, adaptable piece of furniture, and designed it to be flat packed to reduce its transportation footprint. It is the first edition in a series planned to change the perception of waste materials.