Mater transforms the plastic of the oceans into an outdoor collection designed by Nanna Ditzel

11 July 2023

ocean collection mater

It’s called Ocean and it blends iconic design and environmental responsibility

With the claim “This is not waste, this is our future”, the Danish company Mater launches a new challenge to creativity: to collect the plastic that invades the oceans and transform it into furniture with an iconic and resistant design. Mater was born in Copenhagen in 2006 and its founder, Henrik Marstrand explains the choice of the name as follows: ” “Mater means ‘mother’ in Latin. The name is the daily reminder of our small contribution to preventing the challenges ‘mother earth’ faces. Design influences how we as humans live our lives; it shapes values, culture and society. Unfortunately, we are increasingly aware that the choices made during design processes often have environmental consequences. However, as a manufacturer, we have the opportunity to rethink dubious practices and create ethical and sustainable design that minimises adverse social and environmental impacts.”

Environmental awareness goes hand in hand with formal research, through which the company has decided to enhance the work of iconic names in Scandinavian design alongside those of today’s designers: from Børge Mogensen to Space Copenhagen, from Esben Klint to Maija Puoskari just to name a few. The Ocean Collection is a project by Nanna and Jørgen Ditzel brought to light with the intention of merging its strong design soul with the urgency of putting a sustainable production approach into practice. Nanna Ditzel was one of the most important and influential Danish designers and to identify the right project Mater carried out careful archival research thanks to the help of Dennie Ditzel who takes care of the design legacy of her parents. The choice fell on a collection of outdoor furniture that the designers had probably created for themselves. A collection that is both current and evocative and which today takes on a new life thanks to a material obtained from the recycling of fishing nets and plastic waste collected in the oceans.

The collection was designed in 1955 to furnish an outdoor dining area. It therefore consists of a dining table and chairs but also small tables and a bench and the design is characterized by a structure with parallel bands held together by metal tubes to which they are screwed. Each element of the collection has distinctive characteristics and small formal variations that make the whole more dynamic, defining its identity.

The chairs are arguably the standout element of the collection, and one chair is made with just under a kilogram of recovered plastic. As in all the elements of the collection, here too we find the parallel bands held together by a metal tube to which they are installed, but this tube is shaped in a very particular way. On the sides of the base, it takes on an almost triangular shape and then goes up, without a break, up to the rear part of the backrest and also acts as armrests. The same dynamic is found in the bench and in the armchair.

Tables and side tables are, on the other hand, more essential: here the tubular does not take on folded shapes but follows strictly linear trajectories, without sacrificing style. The chromatic choice deserves a separate note: there are two color variants, sand and black. Both fit fluidly into any outdoor space, establishing a discreet dialogue with the surrounding nature. The overall style delicately evokes Danish aesthetics, which can be read in the essentiality of the lines and in the attention to comfort, guaranteed by the roundness that envelops the body and recurs in every element. Practicality is another recurring motif in the work of Nanna and Jørgen Ditzel: all the furnishings are extremely light and easy to move and can be disassembled and further recycled.

Mater Ocean Table
Mater Ocean Table
Mater Ocean Chair
Mater Ocean Chair

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