Dezeen Magazine

Pentatonic and Snarkitecture create Fractured furniture from recycled waste

Startup company Pentatonic has collaborated with Snarkitecture to create a collection of modular furniture made from recycled waste, including cans, computer parts and coffee cups.

The collaboration between Berlin-based Pentatonic and New York studio Snarkitecture resulted in a furniture collection named Fractured, which includes a modular bench and table.

Each item features a large crack down its centre, splitting the piece into two parts – which the brand likens to "a child's puzzle."

Formed entirely of post-consumer waste, the making of each bench requires 240 plastic bottles, 45 aluminium drinks cans, 120 items of food packaging and four car bumpers.

Each table is made using 1,290 cans, 140 food packaging items and coffee cup lids, and six car bumpers.

"Fractured for us, is a new take on the relationship between looseness and precision," Snarkitecture co-founder Alex Mustonen told Dezeen.  "On one hand, you have the precision engineering and circular technology of Pentatonic, but it's been disturbed by this dramatic separation."

The nature of each table or bench is designed to reflect the recycling process itself, as they can be transformed from a whole element into a broken one, and then back to whole again.

"The theme of separation chimes with Pentatonic's mission to consign disposable, single-use materials to the past in search of a new consumer culture where the tools of our lives are endlessly revivable and environmentally sound," said Pentatonic co-founder Jamie Hall.

Both the table and the bench are created using nitrogen-assisted injection moulding, in the startup's patented AirTool system.

According to Pentatonic, this method incorporates the same gas-assisted manufacturing techniques that are used to make the most complex modern car parts.

This causes all the components to be hollow – meaning they are lighter, stronger, and made using as little material as possible.

Each item is made from either recycled aluminium, or Pentatonic's own Plyfix felt, which, up close, looks and feels like a soft wool-type material, despite the fact that it is developed entirely from old plastic.

This patented material is able to simultaneously purify the surrounding air – "it literally pulls in carbon molecules from the air, cleaning your immediate environment," said the company.

The Fractured bench consists of 25 sheets of Plyfix that have been pressed down into a single 1.5-centimetre-thick sheet and then heat-formed into a curved two-seater bench.

After reaching a complete form, the table and the bench are severed into two separate parts.

"Fractured is a beautifully imaginative interpretation of what we are doing at Pentatonic, which is fracturing today's culture of casual disposal and one-time material use," Hall said.

"They can be pushed together or pulled apart with ease," he continued. "Either separated as two items or pushed together as one, they are stable and practical for use."

Fractured follows Pentatonic's first series of customisable flat-packed furniture, made entirely from recycled material, which was released during last year's London Design Festival with the aim to "radically transform consumption culture."

Everything produced by the brand is fully re-recyclable, to ensure all materials can "remain in one continuous loop of applications, over and over again," in a bid to "lead the world into the circular economy."