the ‘mom’ project upcycles ocean plastics into fishing gear and furniture for fishermen

PAN- PROJECTS and REMARE on the mother of the project

PAN-PROJECTS is a London-based architectural design studio hoping to develop furniture such as tables and fishing gear from discarded objects and ocean plastics for the fishermen under Project ‘mom’. He works closely with Japanese start-up REMARE and the local fishing community in Japan’s Mie Prefecture i upgrade abandoned fishing tools such as nets, buoys, and ropes and turning them into reusable livelihood objects.

Rather than letting them sit there for a long time and not be properly recycled, the design teams reuse them as recycled fishing gear for circular reasons. So far, a long table like food made of ocean plastics and discarded fishing gear found on the ocean banks has been created by PAN- PROJECTS and REMARE.

They broke these items into pieces and worked on them with machinery, tapping the local manufacturers to help them achieve the purpose of remaking these items. The result comes as a dining table that fishermen can use to eat their lunches or snacks or as a platform to place their gear or catch fish.

plastics mom project
images courtesy of PAN- PROJECTS

The design teams know that fishermen earn their living by extracting food and natural resources from the ocean, and as time goes on, the marine environment often takes its toll on their fishing gear. and throw it away. As a result, a significant amount of discarded buoys, nets and ropes are produced as by-products of the industry.

Fishermen may not consider them as useful as before, so they may chuck them in the trash without reusing them. To shift our perception of ocean plastic from pollution to a valuable resource, the project aims to re-identify by-products as one of the production of the fishing industry,’ said PAN- PROJECTS.

The dark color of the material is the result of the fishermen’s equipment being mostly worn after a short period of use. The design teams are looking to repurpose these ocean plastics and discards for a second life, and are looking into long-term plans beyond a one-off series to create fishing gear from recycled plastics in the future .

plastics mom project
a dining table created from discarded fishing gear

Depicting the calm waves of the ocean

Since the plastics and discarded objects are connected to the ocean, PAN- PROJECTS and REMARE to imitate the unbroken flow of waves for their dining table. At first glance, the glistening surface of the table resembles dried seaweed, but after examining its form, it recalls the gentle sway of water during quiet hours.

‘The material’s wavy texture changes due to dirt, sea salt, and other factors that the material inevitably contains. This gives it an individual character that cannot be completely controlled by human convenience to perfection,’ said PAN- PROJECTS. Much of the design inspiration comes from Japanese culture, the home of the project. The term ‘mom’ comes from the traditional interpretation of ‘Mother Nature’ in Japanese culture.

Since Japan is surrounded by the vastness of the sea, people get their sustenance from the ocean. The design teams think that it is only to pay homage to the home country of the project by keeping a table design that is still rooted in the country’s culture. Through the ‘Mum’ Project, the design teams seek to raise awareness of the issues related to the fishing industry and at the same time change people’s perception of ocean plastics as a natural material, a gift from the sea.

plastics mom project
the surface of the table is reminiscent of ocean waves

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