An intrinsic part of West African daily life is for people to sit together around a low table to drink tea and talk. Plastic tables made in China – which are somewhat wobbly, too high and unstable – have now taken a possibly unloved, yet undoubtedly indispensable role in this ritual. Searching for an alternative to this mass-made imported piece of furniture, designer Bibi Seck created the Taboo furniture series with a Senegalese company that manufactures recycled plastic tanks and cisterns as its core business.
The tables and chairs are made of 85% recycled plastic bags and bottles, giving the finished products a characteristic set of colours. The patterns that thus emerge are reminiscent of popular Senegalese carreaux cassées (broken tiles), used both in the house and as a pavement for terraces. The Taboo items are weather-proof, extremely durable and flexible in use. Entering unobtrusively into the daily lives of its users, the Taboo stools and tables demonstrate – in both a practical and creative way – that it is possible to create sustainable, locally-manufactured products that not only closely follow tradition but also look ahead to the future.