Plant fibers can be a durable yet still pliable material that can be transformed into stunning, artistic pieces.
Quite different than the look of the first basic natural fiber monobloc chair, there are many other designs that incorporate naturally produced resources and construct them into sturdy, eco friendly seating. Some designs stand out for their unique composition of organic materials.
For example, the Sushi Daybed from Pie studio is a handmade floor chair made from the dried stalks of the woven water hyacinth, which is a renewable, fast growing fiber. Water hyacinth can quickly take over an area and those that find it bothersome are relieved to see it harvested and put to creative use.
The Peanut Chair is produced from Zelfo, which is a fully biodegradable and strong, yet still flexible medium. It was created by Austrian design studio, Fuerst/Bartosch, without the use of glues and toxins present in traditional chair manufacturing. Using a process similar to how plant cell walls function, Zelfo mimics a natural, durable design. Made from recycled paper and other organic raw bases like flax, jute and sugar cane, the plant fibers and other natural compounds form a sleek look.
An experimental furniture concept that takes advantage of the properties of sugar cane, which can be formed into solid pieces, was a student design that also integrated a byproduct of the cane plant. Called bagasse, this derivative is not used and is normally burned. Inventively using this typically thrown out resource, a pulp is made and implementing a papier-mâché technique it is then molded into remarkably solid furniture pieces.
Using sustainable materials to create artistic, eco friendly fixtures is a model for responsible design. Thinking of ways to also use up typically thrown out resources takes it a step further, and artists who can formulate smart designs help to offer an original supply of inspiration.
Image Source: Monobloc chair from Werner Aisslinger and BASF – The Chemical Company
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