IMG_20140608_172254Breakthrough! Our first HexBench– made entirely from ecobricks, this modular bench provides an easy, low-low cost way to transform ‘waste’ into something immediately practical, useful, and COOL.  The technique leverages my experience making glass bottle furniture with silicone a few years back.  Frankly, I can’t believe I didn’t think of it before.

The coolest part is how this bench fits together with others like LEGO. The hexagonal shape and bottle-top bottom allow seamless integration with other modules to form small tables, big tables, benches and seats as needed. They even interlock vertically for storage! Bannague Coteng and I made the discovery and worked with Noel, Randy and Mam Jessica from the Catholic Church in the small mining town of Monkayan in the Northern Philippines to make the first one.  When Noel walked his new bench back through the busy Monkayan market, it created quite the stir– everyone wanted to try it out!

The next day I worked with Tadian School of Arts and Trade and Tadia Central School to make over a dozen modules and take the photos below.  The students and teachers were so excited when they saw the assembled configuration that they immediately returned to siliconing to make more!

Now that there is a super easy output to Ecobricks, this will supercharge community ecobrick and waste transformation.

Best of all– not only is it comfortable but when kids push their friends it skims across the floor super smooth and fast!

DSC07318These bench-modules are made from coke bottles that were tightly packed with plastic ‘trash’ (i.e. Ecobricks)and joined together with simple silicone (100 pesos for a tube). A 12 Ecobrick triangle module fits like LEGO into a 19 Ecobrick hexagonal module– enabling endless combinations to make tables, benches, beds, desks and more! Taken apart they can even be securely stacked 4-6 modules high. That’s me with the students of Tadian High School (TSAT) proudly sitting on our remarkably comfy creations.

This is the first ever showcase of this simple and ultra practical technique that has the potential to empower schools and communities to not only transfrom their plastic waste, but create indefinitely reusable indoor ecobrick applications. The benches are almost indestructible when siliconed properly, yet with a knife can be separated to be used again in its next life (i.e. with cob to build a wall or bench).