The S-1500 chair is born out of a Snøhetta-initiated exploration project on plastic, to understand it as a material, its journey and footprint in the value chain, as well as its inherent qualities. Could we shift the public's attitude towards used plastic from regarding it as waste to seeing it as a valuable resource that should be employed in new ways once it has served its original purpose?
As a result of this exploration, Snøhetta collaborated with furniture manufacturer Nordic Comfort Products (NCP) to develop a chair with a body made from 100 % recycled plastic from the local fish farming industry in the North of Norway, and a subframe made from recycled steel.
Waste from local fish farming
The materials used in producing the S-1500 chair is provided by local ﬁsh farming companies like Kvarøy Fiskeoppdrett and Nova Sea, which supply NCP with worn-out ﬁsh nets, ropes, and pipes from their operations. Once these components are worn out they can be collected, processed and subsequently ground into a granulate that can be injected into the formwork, generating endless possibilities for developing new objects. In this way, the project contributes to building a local, circular economy, as it employs plastic waste from the local industry to produce chairs in the same area.
By eliminating the need to use new raw materials in production, the chair has obtained a carbon footprint that is one of the lowest in the market.
Due to its production technique and varying plastic compositions, the pattern of each chair is always unique, even though the chair will be mass-produced. Its matte, pebbled, dark green surface bears a resemblance to marble. It tells the story of plastic that has been on a journey as fish nets in the North Sea to the production facilities of NCP and eventually ends up as a chair in a school, a home, or a public facility.
To reduce the need to produce new virgin plastic, consumers and industry need to acknowledge the value inherent in used plastic and find ways to substitute virgin plastic with recycled material. With the development of the S-1500 chair, Snøhetta hopes to inspire people to employ waste material in new and sustainable ways through innovation and design.