Dwell on Design: A Plastics Innovation Showcase

Plastic pebble shaped furniture

Plastics Make it Possible® traveled to Los Angeles this summer to attend Dwell on Design, a three-day exhibition of modern design showcasing a wide variety of products for the home, outdoor living, and family fun—with a focus on innovative materials that “set new boundaries in sustainability, durability, performance, cost, and technology.”

This year’s show demonstrated that plastics—particularly recycled plastics—play an integral role in cutting-edge designer goods. Here are some of this year’s products made possible by plastics.

Loll recycled-plastic outdoor furniture: Loll Designs makes colorful, stylish outdoor furniture with recycled high density polyethylene (HDPE) plastics from post-consumer milk jugs. Each pound of furniture weight is equal to roughly eight milk jugs, and the company has recycled a total of 18 million milk jugs since 2005, according to its website. From Adirondack chairs to dining sets to planters to birdhouses, Loll offers a wide range of products made with recycled plastics to outfit your backyard for many summers. Best of all, plastic outdoor furniture doesn’t rot or attract bugs such as carpenter bees; it also stands up to harsh weather and is easy to keep clean.

111 Navy Chair: The sleek, modern style of the Emeco Navy Chair is now made with recycled plastics from beverage bottles, so you can “help your bottle do something extraordinary again,” as Emeco puts it. Available in several colors to complement any décor, each chair is made with 111 plastic bottles that might otherwise end up in landfills. The Navy Chair’s classic design may never go out of style, and the recycled plastics make it durable, too.

Modern Playhouse: Modern Playhouse has created an indoor/outdoor children’s playhouse—complete with table, stools and window box—made with recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastics. The Dacha Playhouse Set assembles with no tools, and its recycled plastics stand up to nasty weather. The company says it’s built to last a lifetime, so it could be handed down over generations. And the recycled plastics make it easy to clean when young ones make a mess.

Flux Junior: This children’s chair by CoolKidsCompany is designed using a single sheet of durable polypropylene plastic. It’s shipped flat like an envelope and assembles without tools: it simply folds into a modern, functional, colorful chair and then folds flat when not in use. Since it weighs only five pounds due to lightweight plastics and has a built-in handle, the Flux Junior is easier to stack, store, and transport than a conventional chair.

Yummy Travel Bowls: Portable pet dishes need to be lightweight, packable, tough, and long-lasting. The solution: plastics, plus a clever design. The Yummy Travel Bowl by Sleepypod is a portable, three-piece bowl set that stores and transports food and water in one innovative bundle. A big bowl, molded with a spill-resistant lip, holds water. Remove a smaller, shallow bowl from the top, turn it over, and it becomes a bowl ready for food. And the “lid” on top of the nested set is a bonus dish. Resembling a teacup and saucer, this dish has built-in pest control: put food in the bowl and add water to the base to keep out ants. And the tough silicone plastic is extremely durable.

Pebbles: These organically shaped seating “sculptures” from EIS Studio blur the line between furniture and art. Pebbles can be used as seating or tables and are made with a variety of materials to suit your style and décor. The Pebbles constructed from glass-fiber reinforced plastic (better known as fiberglass) have a smooth, high-gloss plastic surface. The durable plastic is weather-resistant and easy to clean, so Pebbles work just as well in your backyard as they do in your living room.

Plastics continue to inspire designers to develop ingenious home products that often combine form, function, convenience, and sustainability. Check out this photo gallery featuring products from Dwell on Design.