loading video...

project 'mum' upcycles ocean plastics into fishing equipment and furniture for fishermen

PAN- PROJECTS and REMARE on project mum


London-based architectural design studio PAN- PROJECTS has its eye on developing furniture such as tables and fishing equipment from discarded objects and ocean plastics under Project ‘mum’. It works closely with the Japanese start-up REMARE and the local fishing community in the Mie Prefecture in Japan in upcycling abandoned fishing tools such as nets, buoys, and ropes and turning them into reusable livelihood objects.


Rather than letting them sit there for a long time and not being recycled properly, the design teams repurpose them into remade fishing equipment for circular reasons. So far, PAN- PROJECTS and REMARE have conceived a long dining-like table made from ocean plastics and discarded fishing gear found by the ocean banks.


They crumbled these items into pieces and worked on them with machinery, tapping the local manufacturers to help them bring out the remade purpose of these objects. The result springs as a table that PAN- PROJECTS designed for people eating in the rooms of Ryokan, or traditional Japanese hotels.

project mum plastics
images courtesy of PAN- PROJECTS



The design teams know that fishermen source their livelihood by harvesting food and natural resources from the ocean, and as time wears on, their fishing equipment often gets damaged and worn out by the marine environment. As a result, a significant amount of discarded buoys, nets, and ropes are produced as by-products of the industry.


Fishermen may not view them as useful as they were before, so they might chuck them in the trash without repurposing them. To shift our perception of ocean plastic from pollution to a precious resource, the project aims to reidentify by-products as one of the productions of the fishing industry,’ says PAN- PROJECTS.


The material’s dark color results from the fishermen’s equipment being mostly discarded after a short period of use. The design teams want to transform these ocean plastics and discarded objects again for a second life, and they are looking into long-term plans rather than a one-off series with the creation of furniture from repurposed plastics to come in the future.

project mum plastics
dining table conceived from discarded fishing gear



Reflecting the tranquil waves of the ocean


Since the plastics and discarded objects are tied in with the ocean, PAN- PROJECTS and REMARE mimic the unperturbed flow of the waves for their dining table. At first glance, the glistening surface of the table resembles dried seaweed, but upon scrutinizing its form, it recalls the gentle sway of the water during quiet hours.


‘The wavy texture of the material fluctuates due to dirt, sea salt, and other factors that inevitably exist with the material. This gives it an individual character that cannot be completely controlled by human convenience for perfection,’ says PAN- PROJECTS. A lot of the design inspiration stems from Japanese culture, the home of the project. The term ‘mum’ comes from the traditional interpretation of ‘Mother Nature’ in Japanese culture. 


Since Japan is surrounded by the expanse of the sea, people derive their sustenance from the ocean. The design teams think it is only just to pay tributes to the homeland of the project by curating a table design that remains rooted in the country’s culture. Through Project ‘mum’, the design teams seek to raise awareness of the issues around the fishing industry while shifting people’s perception of ocean plastics as a natural material, a gift from the sea.

project mum plastics
the table’s surface recalls the ocean waves


Project ‘mum’ by PAN-PROJECTS and REMARE

project mum plastics
discarded buoys

project mum plastics
crumbled fishing equipment

project mum plastics
growing pile of junked buoys

project mum plastics
thrown-away ropes



Project ‘mum’ by PAN-PROJECTS and REMARE

project mum plastics
the design teams are planning to develop fishing gear made from ocean plastics

project mum plastics
making the dining table for project ‘mum’


Project ‘mum’ by PAN-PROJECTS and REMARE


project ‘mum’ upcycles ocean plastics into fishing equipment and furniture for fishermen
project ‘mum’ upcycles ocean plastics into fishing equipment and furniture for fishermen
project ‘mum’ upcycles ocean plastics into fishing equipment and furniture for fishermen

project info:


name: Mum

design teams: PAN- PROJECTS, REMARE


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

designboom will always be there for you

milan, new york, beijing, tokyo,  since 1999