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Broadway Malyan launches Project Plastic to celebrate 60 years in business
28th June 2018

Teams across the globe got creative to mark the practice’s 60th Anniversary.

Broadway Malyan has come a long way since its early beginnings in 1958. Over the last 60 years, the business has grown from a small partnership to a global firm with a 500-strong staff of 43 nationalities, speaking around 50 languages.

To celebrate 60 years of creativity, diversity and collaboration, our staff competed in a global, sustainability-driven challenge to design and build the best recyclable plastic seat.

With just 2.5 hours to complete the challenge, colleagues across the world came together via live streaming as they brought their creations to life and toasted to the next 60 years.

The chairs were a triumph of creativity, featuring a range of colours and textures offered by the huge amount of plastic items we dispose of on a daily basis.

All seats had to include clear references to the local context, which resulted in unique solutions including Dragon horns made out of stacked yoghurt pots and plastic bottles filled with water from the River Thames.

Director David Whitehead helped scope the brief. He said: “Project Plastic has been a great way to celebrate creativity across our studios and bring our colleagues together. It made everyone reflect on the amount of plastic we use every day and find inventive ways to approach this modern day problem. I think it was a great way to celebrate Broadway Malyan’s achievements over the past 60 years while looking to the future and the challenges ahead.

“As designers, we have both the ability and responsibility to shape the future of our environment. Sustainable solutions that have an aesthetic value and respond to society’s needs, while limiting our impact on the environment will be key for years to come.”

But aesthetics wasn’t the only goal: all chairs had to be entirely usable and respond to a weight-bearing criteria subject to test at the end of the challenge.

Furniture designer and external judge Gemma Allman, Director at Decca, selected the winning chair: a convertible, multipurpose seat that matches beauty with simplicity and functionality, designed by a Madrid-based team of four creative colleagues.

Special mentions also went to the Weybridge Studio’s minimal yet ingenious ‘bean bag’ pouf chair and to a colourful seat by the Shanghai team with a strong reference to the Chinese culture.

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