Materials Innovation supported by The Clothworkers' Foundation - Shortlisted 2017
Alexander Groves and Azusa Murakami set up Studio Swine in 2011. Their practice focuses on developing an engaging approach to sustainability through materials innovation hand in hand with unique, captivating stories.
Groves and Murakami’s process often involves the construction of machines. For their Sea Chair project (2011), they made devices for collecting the plastic pellets found on beaches, as well as a series of furnaces for melting the plastic to turn into ‘sea chairs’. This won them the RCA Sustain Award in 2011. Similarly, Can City (2013), involved a mobile furnace on the streets of Sao Paulo that could melt discarded aluminium cans to make moulds and items - like stools - on location, turning the street into an improvised manufacturing line.
The Hair Highway project (2014) explored the potential of human hair as a sustainable alternative to hardwoods and animal horn, combining it with resin to form a durable composite material that can make a multitude of objects from sunglasses frames and vases. It exhibited at Ideas in Action, Shanghai Art & Design Biennale (2016) and Brave New World at Lodz Design Festival, Poland (2014).