Sea Things by Sam Jacob

Landmark Project

14 — 22 Sept 2019

Multi-Disciplinary Design, Materials

Sam Jacob designed a new installation within the grand entrance to the V&A to highlight the need to rethink the global plastics system; to consider its full lifetime journey; and to design future-use into every product.

The installation for London Design Festival followed the recent announcement that Sam Jacob Studio has been selected to transform the Cromwell Road entrance. Titled ‘Sea Things’, the concept took the form of a large scale two-way mirrored cube suspended above visitors. An animated motion graphic within, created alongside Rory Cahill, reflected an infinity that seemed both as wide as the ocean and as large as the challenges we face. The project aimed to evoke a powerful sense of emotion, so visitors came away feeling empowered with a better understanding of their role alongside technology and design to make the world a more sustainable place. Upon entering the space, the installation – which was both a digital and physical manifestation of the global single-use plastics crisis – had an intention to immediately impact visitors. In addition, Jacob took inspiration from the V&A’s Ceramic Galleries and remade a selection of water vessels from the V&A’s Collection. From recycling to experimental post plastic materials, the intervention emphasised issues of value – the design of water vessels in global culture and history, along with the value of plastic itself – whilst demonstrating the potentials and opportunities for the future. Sam Jacob said: “It’s fantastic to be able to work on such an urgent issue and to be able to draw both on the knowledge of the V&A and the global intelligence of SAP. Working between research on the immediate future but with roots in culture and history of design is an inspiring place for a designer to operate.”The project aligned with SAP’s ‘Plastic Cloud’ project, which leverages the power of technology to turn the tide on ocean plastics. The software giant is working with global partners to create the digital infrastructure that will improve the economics of the global plastics system and increase after-use value of plastics. Supported by SAP.