Dezeen Magazine

Space Available workshop and studio in Denpasar, Bali

Space Available opens closed-loop design workshop and studio in Bali

Design studio Space Available has transformed a former warehouse in Bali into a workshop and office space featuring a mezzanine clad in offcuts from its plastic recycling projects.

Situated in an industrial suburb of the island's capital Denpasar, the building houses the first physical workspace for Space Available, which creates products and clothing from ocean plastic and other waste materials.

Stairs with recycled plastic railing
Space Available has designed its own studio and workshop in Bali

The organisation, founded in 2020 by English designer Daniel Mitchell, wanted to create a studio that can act as a creative hub for hosting activities centred around the themes of recycling and closed-loop design principles that aim to keep waste materials in use.

The space was designed to accommodate recycling machines, upcycling stations and a bio-design lab created in collaboration with Mycotech Lab – an Indonesian startup developing materials from mushroom mycelium.

Space Available workshop and studio in Denpasar, Bali
The studio makes products from recycled plastic

Mitchell and Space Available's in-house architect Andika Permana oversaw the renovation of the 500-square-metre building, defined by typical industrial features including grey breeze block walls.

"The raw warehouse space underwent a transformation of refinement to make it feel less industrial," Mitchell told Dezeen.

"We skimmed and painted the walls white along with painting the previously unfinished metal ceiling. Our aim was to create a clean, white, almost gallery-like atmosphere."

Recycling machine next to stacks of recycled plastic sheets
Offcuts from the production process were used to clad the stairs

Towards the rear of the space, a double-height steel structure was erected to house the laboratory as well as an office on the upper level. This volume is clad in waste plastic offcuts that are repurposed from the studio's homeware and furniture production.

"The blue 'marble' structure stands out against the clean white backdrop, creating a dramatic 'structure within a structure' effect that really pops out as you enter the studio," Mitchell added.

The use of offcuts fits with Space Available's mission to "change the perception of waste through elevated design".

In addition to forming the facade, the material is used to create shelving, furniture, speakers and other amenities throughout the building.

The warehouse's remaining open floor area functions as a flexible space for building and exhibiting projects or hosting events. Large shelving units at one end are used to store and display the studio's furniture and archival products.

Sewing machine on recycled plastic stand
The studio's sheet material was also used to form various furnishings

Space Available was founded during the coronavirus pandemic by Mitchell, who moved to Bali with his wife in 2014 after working in the fashion industry for several years.

Shocked by the global plastic waste crisis that is evident in the volume of pollution washing up on Indonesia's beaches, he wanted to develop a design studio that would explore circular design principles and revolutionise the perception of ocean plastic and waste.

The organisation has recycled more than six million plastic bottles in its projects, which range from large-scale sculptural installations to furniture and fashion design.

Shelves holding woven seats by Space Available
A shelving unit displays the studio's furniture and archival products

Its furniture and solid surface sheet materials are made from waste plastic collected from rivers and landfills. The material is shredded, added to a mould and baked to create panels featuring vibrant colours and patterns.

Space Available previously collaborated with South Korean DJ Peggy Gou to create a chair made from 20 kilograms of recycled plastic with an integrated compartment for storing records.

Bathroom in Space Available workshop and studio in Denpasar, Bali
The recycled plastic resembles colourful marble

In 2022, the studio opened a dedicated gallery, recycling station and upcycling bar called Museum of Space Available in the coastal town of Canggu, which features

The building features a facade made from 200,000 recycled plastic bottles and showcases the work of the studio alongside projects by other artists, designers and scientists.

Another Indonesian organisation giving new life to plastic waste is Sungai Watch, which recently launched its first furniture designs made using discarded plastic bags.

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