0 comments / Posted by Wendy Pashman

We had the pleasure of hearing and seeing the groundbreaking work from Studio SWINE (Super Wide Interdisciplinary New Explorers), a husband & wife designer/filmmaker team, at Design Talks 2016 at Harpa Concert Hall in Iceland.  

Their approach to design is one of taking charge and embracing one's surroundings, to “Make your own opportunity”.

And their inspiration for vernacular design, or design that is born out of need, is seeded in three areas: 

1) Exploration – Studio Swine embarks on nomadic travel to find inspiration for new ideas in global markets, based on local needs and traditions
2) Materials – Studio Swine seeks out local resources in natural abundance and turns them into a luxurious design that delivers on necessities
3) Sustainability – Studio Swine leverages waste and/or byproducts that are a natural occurrence in our environments

The unique and innovative collections that came out of this partnership are awe-inspiring and award-winning. We’d like to share a few of their design successes with you – we were inspired and hope you are too.


Inspired by the social world that takes place on the streets of Sao Paolo, Studio Swine realized that the epicenter of urban Brazilian life took place on the go, enabled by mobile street carts.  Creating their own mobile design studio, they up-cycled waste byproducts, including vegetable oil and aluminum cans, to create a luxurious line of handcrafted aluminum chairs.

➟  Check out Studio SWINE's Can City Photos


Inspired by the Human Hair Market in China, and the “Hair Highway” men who rode in on their motorcycles, saddled with fresh hair from the corners of the country, Studio Swine envisioned a new use for a material as old as time – hair.  Using color and resin to breathe new life into the hair, they created an imaginative, colorful and design-forward line of homewares, from combs to mirrors to chairs.

➟  Check out Studio SWINE's Hair Highway Photos


This next film, winner of a Cannes Lion award, was inspired by the gigantic “piles” of plastic trash floating around in all of our oceans, a byproduct of consumerism and non-biodegradable materials.  Studio Swine started a Kickstarter to fund a few seats on a boat to these landfills of the sea. Slowly they collected piece by piece of plastic, and created sturdy sea chairs, or stools, for the sailors who spent many hours sitting while away at sea.

➟  Check out Studio SWINE's Sea Chair Photos

Thank you for the inspiration and ideas for making design more meaningful and mindful, Studio Swine.


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