Zilch Seating Concept Aims for Full-Circle Recyling
Sustainability historically centered on reducing consumption, but the growing recognition that the need for the 'new' is far from satisfied is prompting a shift in the manner that high-value, low-cost things are developed. The re-evaluation of the life-cycle processes for the consumer items we already have formed the basis of this project.
The concept of throwing away-away does not exist. An item that is no longer in use does not disappear; instead, it renders the location where it ends up, such as a landfill or a river, uninhabitable. There is no such concept as "throwing away." Our insatiable cravings for inexpensive commodities, fast fashion, and consumer goods that move quickly contribute significantly to the accumulation of waste in landfills. Every year, over 288 million tons of plastic are manufactured worldwide, and approximately one-third of the world's plastic is used to construct packaging, the majority of which is discarded after use. How can we design things that generate less waste, have the potential to regenerate themselves, and contribute positively to the ecosystem of our planet?
Designer - Shreya Thakkar
A deeper investigation into alternate abundance is required.
We have been dependent on the same natural resources for many generations, and we have cultivated and mined them almost to the point of exhaustion in order to satisfy our needs. We are adopting inventive ways to create naturally resilient crops for a number of applications since they are rising to the forefront as an alternative to sustainable resources. Mycelium, pine needle fibers, cork, and seaweed yarn are some of the options that can be utilized.
For the purpose of this research, Shreya Thakkar chose to utilize user-centric short-term measures in conjunction with bio-centered long-term metrics. She investigated how cork is sourced at its source and how blocks are made for use in order to learn about its qualities. The circular approach begins with the sourcing of the raw material, continues with manufacturing production, followed by transportation, and then moves on to alternate uses of the product after it has been used, in addition to repair and recycling so that it can become a raw material for its next life.
Zilch is a category of seating that could be utilized both indoors and outside, making it an excellent choice for use in waiting rooms and break-out areas. Cork is a renewable resource that biodegrades without leaving behind any harmful residues and is easily recyclable. Because of the high friction coefficient, it will gradually deform over time, and sitting in it will become less pleasant as more time passes. All traces of Zilch can be removed from the earth by recycling the aluminum legs and repurposing the cork seats as planters instead of throwing them away.
Shreya's profession is based on advocating for and designing solutions for societal problems like the homelessness crisis, employment equity, and creating stable conditions for healthcare systems. Her area of expertise as a design researcher is in identifying human-centered insights and transforming these findings into significant opportunities for design and innovation.