Designer Sam Lander creates bespoke organic-shaped furniture from polystyrene found in waste packaging. Polystyrene is a rigid material which has a negative impact upon the environment, accounting for approximately 30% of landfill waste. A synthetic material made from hydrocarbon polymer, polystyrene is typically used for packaging in the food and technology industries.
Lander usually designs his objects ‘backwards’ by researching disgarded materials he finds, then crafting his pieces around the material’s particular properties and qualities. Lander sources wasted polystyrene from commercial outlets and begins his process by heating the material until the long chain of polystyrene molecules is deconstructed and the material is transformed into a melted liquid form. This alters its chemical state, allowing Lander to sculpt the malleable material into his chosen design.
When melted, Lander adds vibrant colours to the mixture, creating a marbling effect similar to the aesthetics found in natural materials such as stone and resin. Through a process of compression and evapouration, he then layers the melted polystyrene which builds his pieces' material strength.