Pentatonic has embarked on a mission to create attractive furniture made from the least-attractive materials: human trash. The Europe-based company is hoping to minimize the amount of waste that has seeped into our ecosystem and has taken over our ocean. They recycle this waste “ into beautiful, ergonomically designed” furniture. One look at their customizable, minimalist furniture will convince you that they have succeeded.
Founded by Jamie Hall and Johann Boedecker, the Pentatonic takes waste items such as plastic bottles, food, packaging, and electronic devices and transforms them into chairs, tables, glassware, and other pieces of furniture. Each piece is flat-pack and customizable by the customer. You design your own piece from the comfort of your own home and it is shipped to you. No tools are needed to assemble the furniture. Each piece uses a revolutionary gear system. You can adjust the height and angles, which allows you to swap parts to change a chair to a table or vice-versa. This modular design is unique and allow for endless combinations. The modern, flat-pack design of the tables and chairs are unique and stylish.
Pentatonic creates each piece of furniture by first separating trash and dividing them into similar components. Every step of the manufacturing process is designed to eliminate the size of their carbon footprint. They use nitrogen-assisted injection molding to disperse the plastic. This injects the recycled plastics into a steel mold and uses fewer materials altogether. In an interview with Design Week, Jamie Hall commented that “The process uses materials more efficiently and the whole procedure takes 90 seconds per part and requires only a few minutes of skilled labor,”
From Trash to Treasure
The first collection was revealed with critical acclaim at the 2017 London Design Festival. Upon looking at the sleek design features, it is hard to notice that the furniture is made from recycled materials. On their website, Pentatonic mentions that they strive to “invent new materials using the world’s most abundant and dangerous resource – human trash – and to do so without compromising an inch on design, performance or function.” Our personal favorite item from the collection is the unique glassware made entirely from smartphone glass. The glassware page greets you with “We’ve decided to reunite your hands with your old smartphone screens.”
The website offers a variety of product. Each piece describes what it was originally made from. The prints are wild and colorful on their bottle cushion pillows and wallets. They have recently launched a “fractured” line where two pieces of a table or bench appear to be literally fractured down the middle. These pieces are created by using a computer to specifically and dramatically cut the pieces in two. The bench uses “25 sheets of fine Plyfix, Pentatonic’s luxurious felt made entirely from recycled plastic (PET)… Each bench is then surgically severed to deliver a Fractured modularity, suddenly making the 2-seater, 2 seats.”
We appreciate both the sleek design of Pantatonic’s furniture and their mission to reincarnate human waste. Their answer to help eliminate our world’s consumption and trash present a beautiful solution. We love that this furniture can be taken apart to create a different piece. The collection can fit easily into any modern decor. We bought a few pieces to spice up our office decor, we can’t wait to put it together and take it apart again.