Emma Scully Gallery is proud to produce this re-edition championing the work of visionary British designer, Jane Atfield (b. 1964). This re-edition and its gallery debut commemorate the 30th anniversary of Jane’s RCP2 Chair, the first chair produced from post-consumer recycled plastics.
Jane Atfield’s pioneering work in sustainability and ecologically conscious design began during her time studying furniture design at the Royal College of Art (RCA). There, she came across a small sample of Missouri-based manufacturers Yemm & Hart’s recycled, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic board sheets. Jane commissioned Yemm & Hart to produce a prototype, shown at her RCA graduation in 1992. After the RCP-2 Chair’s successful debut, Atfield founded MADE OF WASTE, where she produced and designed new works from recycled plastic sheet.
Jane Atfield designed the RCP2 Chair to highlight issues of sustainability and consumption. Through the radical honesty of its evocative source material, the chair’s former life as waste-consumer product was exposed; a hyper-object that could only be created as a result of the millions of pounds of plastics trashed every year. As one of the earliest designers working within a speculative context confronting the eminent climate crisis, Atfield’s innovative work in reclaimed materials led to widespread use of recycled plastics. In the subsequent 30 years, many designers have worked within the precedent Jane set.
This series of re-editioned chairs honors the legacy of the first RCP-2 Chair. The three colors: a replica of Jane and Stephen Yemm’s first multicolored prototype, a MADE OF WASTE blue edition (in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, The Design Museum London, and the British Crafts Council,) and a new, never before created black and white. Also on view is an original Jane Atfield designed table produced for the first time for this exhibition.
Photos by Sean Davidson