Designer Andreu Carulla Turns Expanded Polystyrene Food Transportation Boxes into Stools | RR201

polystyrene food transportation boxes

Part of a series commissioned by three-Michelin-starred El Celler de Can Roca in Girona for Roca Recicla, RR201 is polystyrene stools designed by Spanish designer Andreu Carulla. Through the use of design, the stool is a part of the ambitious project of achieving a zero­-waste restaurant. Elaborating on the design philosophy, Andreu Carulla, designer and founder, Andreu Carulla Studio, says, “The aim was to reuse a non-recyclable material and invent a completely new process with which to recycle it and create a useful and durable product as a result.”

RR201 is a highly durable, lightweight stool that weighs less than 2kg.

Expanded polystyrene is a particularly difficult material to recycle. Therefore, the team had to come up with an entirely new process to recycle and reuse it. The design process began with the cleaning of the expanded polystyrene boxes, which are then shredded into raw material and compacted in a mould, using injected steam. The steam causes the polystyrene to bond together and expand into the mould. Slightly tapered in a honeycomb structure, the stools are covered in an eco-friendly coating, which is available in three colours. The coating provides rigidity, water-tightness and makes the stools suitable for outdoor use. The final result is that of a highly durable, lightweight stool that weighs less than 2kg.

Each stool varies in surface texture, meaning that no two are exactly the same.

Each day, the restaurant utilises produce from six polystyrene boxes. These discarded polystyrene boxes are converted into each individual RR201 stool that is made of the exact amount of resulting polystyrene waste. The restaurant makes one stool per day that will be numbered with the delivery date of the original polystyrene boxes. Although produced by mould, each stool varies in surface texture, meaning that no two are exactly the same, emphasising the relationship between the guests and the best products in the world through the material.

Image credits: Andreu Carulla

Designer Andreu Carulla

About the designer

With materiality, craftsmanship and sustainability as goals, Andreu Carulla creates beautiful objects with timeless appeal. Following his childhood dream of becoming an inventor, Catalan-born Andreu Carulla founded his eponymous product design studio in 2006, becoming one of the most versatile design firms working in Spain today. Constant exploration of materials, old-school techniques and contemporary processes hallmarks the studio’s projects, which include furniture, tableware, lighting, creative direction, interiors and more. Surrounded by an idyllic lake and an hour from Barcelona, a repurposed mill houses the designer’s studio and workshop, reflecting its Mediterranean approach to design. Andreu Carulla also runs sister studio ACID and serves as Creative Director for El Celler de Can Roca, Isist Atelier and Calma.


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