Tubo desk and shelving unit in oak
The London-based studio has designed a range of home office furniture for Brazilian brand TOG that includes a chair made from Coke bottles
“It’s made of shredded Coke bottles,” says Sam Hecht of Industrial Facility, showing me the bucket of his Tubo chair. “They’re rolled into a big blanket, about two inches thick, which is then hot pressed. When the material is inside the tool, and melts and moulds together, it colourises, and we’re able to control that process.”
The result, in two shades of grey, has impressive stability and a surface that resembles soft felt. “We didn’t want just to use this sustainable material as a resource,” Hecht adds, “but to try and bring to it some quality.”
The Tubo range also includes a shelving unit and desk, available in black and white lacquer, marble and oak. “A lot of people we know are working at home,” Hecht explains, “and they need some level of performance, like a revolving or adjustable chair, but they don’t want to be reminded of the office at the end of their working day.”
Having designed the Locale office furniture system for Herman Miller, which involved years of research into office behaviour, Industrial Facility are experts in designing flexible workstations. The Tubo bookcase is on wheels, so that it can be pushed into a corner, and the desk includes a small, movable stand, under which you can slide a computer when you’re not using it.
Tubo chair with white-lacquer Tubo desk
Tubo is produced by TOG, a new brand started by the Brazilian shoe company Grendene, maker of Melissa shoes, and sold through Heals. TOG is art-directed by Philippe Starck, who has designed several pieces for the brand, and other collaborators include Sebastian Bergne, Ambroise Maggiar and Nicola Rapetti. Starck emphasises that all the furniture is customisable, available in a large number of colours and variations (white, black or mustard yellow in the case of Tubo). Customers can also buy each product “naked”, so that they can adapt it themselves, or commission bespoke pieces using a special app.
“Melissa is the largest shoe brand in Brazil,” Hecht says, “so Grendene has enormous understanding of the production of polymers and plastics in huge volumes, and it wanted to invest in a new idea of furniture. It’s a very bold statement. Many of the processes are very industrial, and because it’s industrial, it’s very expensive, very involved. And to have a company where you can literally play with the processes is really very unusual.”
Industrial Facility’s Tubo chair was nominated for a 2014 Icon Award. Read about the rest of the nominees, including the winner of the category, Barber Osgerby’s chair for Oxford’s Bodleian Library
The Tubo chair comes in two shades of grey