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Taisan Bench

Winner of iF Desgin Award 2023, Dezeen Awards 2022

Released: 2022
Client - Seoul Facilities Foundation

South Korea
3d printing with recycled plastic materials

Powered by Project LOOP
The project is a street furniture range sourced and manufactured from tikkle plastics (discarded small pieces of plastic that are unlikely to be recycled), discarded toys, 3D printing cut-offs, and bio-materials.

The bench is the first piece in the range, and takes its inspiration both from Korea's mountainous terrain and the practice of traditional 'sumukhwa' ink wash painting. The symbol was derived from the collection of small pieces of dust plastic to create a huge mountain. The scenery of Bukhansan Mountain was captured from the brush strokes depicted in the paintings, and reinterpreted as the gradient grayscale layers and granolithic sheet on the top.

The Taisan Bench is the first piece in the street furniture range and aims to bring the discourse of circular economy to everyday life, and eventually, to create a touch point to encourage cooperative contribution and efforts towards sustainability.

The bench translated elements from Korean traditional art into a rather futuristic piece of furniture. The top silhouette reflects the terrain of Mount Bukhansan from the bird’s-eye view, and the curves on the exterior resemble the mountain valley. From bottom to top, the pervasive grayscale tone comes from Sumukhwa, a traditional ink wash painting technique. On top of the 3D printed body, a marble-like recycled plastic sheet was used for the seat. This gives contrast in pattern and texture to the monotonous repeating 3D printed layers.The two benches truly capture the essence of Korean paintings and evoke intense yet tranquil feelings.

 In order to encourage interaction amongst users, the Bench is designed in two parts; a 2-3 seats version and another single seat version. In comparison with the traditional linear design of benches where three seats are confined to one space, the Taisan Bench embraces and brings people together, whilst also creating more space.

 Discarded toys, plastic bottle caps, 3D printing scraps, and even oyster shells. These are the materials that form The Taisan Bench. The collected Tikkle plastics go through a meticulous process of sorting by colour and type. Then, they are washed and shredded into small particles. Next, the plastics are compounded with bio-materials. The Taisan Bench can be ground down into bio-material and be reused to create new objects. During the process, it draws a continuous line amongst the local communities and citizens to convey the issue of the global plastic crisis and how to be part of the solution.

It offers a touch point to carry the message of sustainability. People of all ages can directly interact with the recycled benches to experience how they can contribute to the environment in their daily lives. The Taisan Bench shows a glimpse of 'less plastic' society and opens new possibilities to environmental solutions.