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Jane Atfield may not be a household name, but the visionary Brit made design history when she unveiled the RCP2 Chair—one of the first pieces of furniture produced exclusively from recycled plastic—for her graduation show at the Royal College of Art in 1992. While sourcing materials, she came across a small sample of Missouri manufacturers Yemm and Hart’s recycled high-density polyethylene plastic board sheets and hired them to manufacture the first chair, whose simple form nods to Gerrit Rietveld’s 1923 Military Side Chair.
Not only did Atfield’s prescient insight into the necessity of using reclaimed materials in furniture production set her apart as one of the earliest designers reacting to climate change and consumer culture, but it paved the way for other designers to follow suit. Now, Emma Scully Gallery nods to the unsung pioneer, enlisting Yemm & Hart to manufacture limited runs of the confetti-like chair along with new bright blue edition and a black-and-white table.
(Photography by Sean Davidson)