Cyrc Dignifies Post-Industrial Plastic Through Circular Design

It’s a sobering statistic, but less than 10% of plastic waste produced globally is properly recycled. While many makers turn a blind eye, designers Guy Snover and Daniel Martinez find an untapped resource with which their Montréal-based studio is pioneering the beauty of conscious design for interior decor. Cyrc – a portmanteau combining “recycle” and “circular” – is a moniker that clearly defines the cofounders’ creative practice and ethos. “We’re trying to bring that notion of what a circular economy is into people’s houses, into their conversations. We sometimes saw we’re making that economic model the centerpiece,” Martinez says. The two are applying their fine arts backgrounds and technical know-how to tackle the horrors of waste using traceable recycled PLA filament – formally food packaging – as a raw material to 3D print their sculptural objects.

A textured vase with flowers and a winding bowl with fruits on a table scape.

Cyrc’s latest offerings trade the hyper-pigmented, often saccharine colors associated with plastics saturating the home accessories market for deep jewel tones and complementary neutrals in a finish quality somewhere between eggshell and satin. Inspired by the Baroque oil paintings of Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer, inky hues lend themselves to a richer expression of shadow and form, imbuing each artifact with a bit of solemnity not often afforded to this material expression. The nine colors are available across all the designs offered within the five fresh collections made from post-industrial plastic.

A table scape with contemporary, textured, and sometimes amorphous vases and bowls with fruit and flowers scattered about.

And while PLA is a plant-based plastic that can be bio-degraded, it ultimately still requires a process that most local waste management facilities cannot or do not facilitate. What’s more, almost every plastic has the ability to be recycled, but it requires a conscious effort to change how it is consumed and disposed of. No matter the circumstance when the life of your Cyrc product comes to an end, the company will gladly take it back to be shredded, chopped, extruded, or pelletized in preparation for a new life – circular by design.

A few textured vases with flowers on a table scape.

The duo’s aspiration to scale their work to that of furniture – an industry yet to confront its propensity for wastefulness as fashion now attempts to – is not far off. “We’re switching to a pellet-based extrusion, which is another beast altogether. But it’s really going to help our mission in terms of a circular business model,” Snover says. “Guy’s actually custom-building the printer right here in the studio. It’s brand new,” Martinez adds. Cyrc joins the ranks of studios like Fyrn and John Pomp, who have fabricated a proprietary means of manufacturing their own parts and products – a sign of the ingenuity required to realize contemporary design solutions. A shift to something like polypropylene – a durable plastic found in fishnets – foreshadows a promising outdoor furniture collection.

A table scape with contemporary, textured, and sometimes amorphous vases and bowls with fruit and flowers scattered about.

Says Snover of the future: “We’re doing it all, the way we do it, to the best ideals we can, and we want our work to exist as a reminder, conversation starter, or just something that might get someone thinking a little bit more about the end of life for the things that they have.”

A contemporary vase with flowers on the table placed behind two candles.

A classic collection for Cyrc, the additive manufacturing process has helped Banksia evolve into its present iteration with a fresh vocabulary expressed in the Absalon, Augustus, and Mariette vessels. This collection also embodies a design DNA intrinsic to the brand – a unique fusion of organic and industrial aesthetic genes. The connected branch structures are sculpted in a variety of poses, which can only be achieved through 3D printing, that echo classic forms of tulip vases. This approach scales up well to create bespoke installations and exclusive offerings.

Several textures vases with flowers and bowls with fruits on a table scape.

While vertical ribbing has become synonymous with 3D-printed products, few do it with the same elegance or fitness of purpose as Cyrc. The texture isn’t just a matter of aesthetics, it conceals the horizontal lines created as layers are laid by the manufacturing process. As the grooves ascend up each of the vases and bowls they bifurcate, shift, and change density in a visual dance that delights. Further deformation of each form creates an optical illusion for an idiosyncratic twist that inspires the collection’s moniker.

A bowl with fruit.

Comprising two iterations of a utilitarian yet quirky form, the U and Double U bowls derive their name from their physical quality. Seemingly simple, the warped surfaces are a nod to the designer’s imagination as if to be bending the fabric of space and time. They provide a playful solution to an otherwise dry, technical problem for those in need of a trinket tray or deep vessel. Unlike the wheel, you can reinvent the fruit bowl.

Several textures vases with flowers and a bowl with fruit on a table scape.

Perhaps one of the more robust collections, Wicker is exemplary of 3D printing’s prowess for exploration in pattern and surface through algorithm. Comprising two planters and two vases – all of which are incredibly durable – every nook and cranny is calculated to achieve intricate designs and romantic like basket weaving with the utility of a single sealed surface. The slouching silhouette adds another distinctly Cyrc solution.

A contemporary, textured vase with flowers in it.

What’s in a name? Everything. Akin to metal, 3D-printed plastic is forged through heat and physical manipulation. When objects are hot off the press, so to speak, surfaces can be carefully manipulated, even adjusted further with the additional application of heat before it cools and takes shape. While the threshold is small, there’s immense potential for sculpting. The result of this exploration is the Lukus vase, which takes on an anticipatory form ready to accept a fresh bouquet.

To learn more about how Cryc is pioneering the beauty of circular design, visit CyrcDesign.com.

Photography by Arseni Khamzin.

With professional degrees in architecture and journalism, Joseph has a desire to make living beautifully accessible. His work seeks to enrich the lives of others with visual communication and storytelling through design. Previously a regular contributor to titles under the SANDOW Design Group, including Luxe and Metropolis, Joseph now serves the Design Milk team as their Managing Editor. When not practicing, he teaches visual communication, theory, and design. The New York-based writer has also contributed to exhibitions hosted by the AIA New York’s Center for Architecture and Architectural Digest, and recently published essays and collage illustrations with Proseterity, a literary publication.

Related Posts