Better Future Factory is a sustainable product design studio specialised in innovative solutions for plastic recycling – Better Future Factory mission statement
Installation: Plastic Reflectic
There is an urgent need to start addressing sustainability issues moving forward. That said, projects that encourage contemplation and propose novel solutions are few and far between. There are two projects that I would like to highlight from this incredible studio.
As an idea it is simple and straightforward. Our actions have a direct impact on the planet, and we need to start taking responsibility for them. The silhouette of the participant is captured as he/she stands in front of the pool of black water. This is visualised using all manner of sorts of plastic trash that were sourced from plastic islands around the planet.
The visual design of the installation is minimal, effective and poetic all at once. The clever use of black water serves both technical and artistic purposes. It hides the plastic objects as they submerge below the water surface, and black water subconsciously evokes a sombre and reflective mood. Coincidentally the participant is able to catch a glimpse of his/her own reflection in the water, providing a quick reminder that every individual has a role to play.
Needless to say, the technical accomplishments are impressive. The mechanics are simple in nature, but well executed and completely invisible to the audience, a hallmark of exceptional work.
As the participant walks away from the installation, the re-submerging of the plastic objects results in a pool of clear black water. This is a reminder to the audience that irresponsible actions will lead to an undesirable outcome for generations to come.
On a side note, as an additional touch, an enclosed layer of clear water can be positioned on top of the black water layer, and shown when the installation is in ‘idle’ mode. The clear water can be ‘flushed’ in/out via the sides on demand.
Landal educative installation
The above experiential installation is a great example of how message can be delivered through experience.
The installation was first introduced in a park, where the young and old get to learn more about the recycling process while having a little bit of fun, as well as bring something home.
The end product might be considered trivial, but the impact is real. Participants get to see first-hand the possibilities of recycling plastic. Humans are highly visual creatures, so it helps to be able to ‘see’ the possibility in a very tangible way. And being able to bring away a keepsake can serve as a constant reminder; long after we return to our fast-paced, consumerist lives.
On another level, makers, innovators and change-makers will be inspired. If a recycling process can be achieved via an installation as shown, with minimal facilities and manpower, imagine the possibility of small localised and organised efforts.
After many years of inaction, it is evident that we as global citizens, have to organise at the grassroots’ level to effect positive change. Governments and corporations are not going to magically start placing their other priorities below the climate change issue for the foreseeable future. This installation can serve as one of the many first steps we can take to start a responsible, sensible cycle of producing, consuming and recycling; to ensure there is a better tomorrow ahead.