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Pacific Garbage Patch Project

This thesis project (2009) reinforces the significance of design in our daily lives while addressing a much larger global, man-made issue, which has been called the “Pacific Garbage Patch.”
In this two-part thesis project, the designer first researched the physical composition and impact of a large floating island made of trash that circulates around the Pacific Ocean. This island is caused by our “throw away culture” that is unaware of the long-term life cycle of the material that is thrown away and the effects it has on our oceans and the earth’s ecosystem.

The second part of the project was to respond to this issue by providing a solution through design in the creation of a chair that uses 100% post consumer material, the same material that might end up in the “Pacific Garbage Patch.”

The thesis not only creates a greater awareness of the “Pacific Garbage Patch” issue but also provides an alternative solution through design to the problem of re-cycling and re-purposing what we dispose of in a more thoughtful and efficient way.

Antonia Martinez is a recent graduate in Product Design. She believes that, “By aligning our lives with natural processes, we can transition into a higher quality of life without sacrificing culture."

Design Strategy [PDF]