Earth Day, which occurs annually on April 22, is another reminder that individuals inside and outside the design community can look to nature for material inspiration. This collection of products is crafted from resources derived from the earth—think straw fibers, egg shells, and fungus—and use innovative design as the incentive for going “green” all year.
Artichair, Spyros Kizis
London-based, Athens-born designer Spyros Kizis crafted his series of Artichairs from the fibers of artichoke thistles reinforced with a bio-based epoxy resin derived from cooking oil. Wooden legs support the chair’s molded shells. Available in dining (shown) and lounge varieties.
Credit: Spyros Kizis
Mush-Lume, Danielle Trofe Design
Why fabricate a lampshade when you can grow it? Brooklyn-based designer Danielle Trofe is working with Ecovative Design to use the latter’s process of growing building materials from fungal mycelium and agricultural byproducts, such as corn stalks and seed husks. To make Mush-Lume, the materials are mixed, set in molds, and left to fuse. The mixture is then heated and dried to inhibit further growth. The bio-degradable shade is paired with a base made from FSC-certified wood and hand-cast concrete.
Credit: Danielle Trofe Design
Eggo!, Sebastian Aumer
Nearly two-thirds of the seat on this boxy stool from German designer Sebastian Aumer is made from recycled egg shells. Each Eggo! stool uses the shells of least 1,000 eggs, according toDesign Boom, which are bound with materials such as vinegar and starch before being set in molds and heated. The resulting material can be colored to complement or contrast the stool’s wood legs.
Credit: Sebastian Aumer
Straw Side Tables, David Derksen Design
Dutch designer David Derksen and British designer Phil Procter have collaborated to turn straw fibers into a pair of side tables. A natural wax topcoat adds sheen to the biodegradable boards used for the tables’ side panels and tops. The rims of their round tops and the edges of each one’s triangular base are painted in either gray or black to add dimension. Offered in 60cm-wide-by-30-cm-tall and 45cm-wide-by-50-cm-tall versions.
Credit: David Derksen Design
Impasto, Nikolaj Steenfatt
A series of chairs from Nikolaj Steenfatt, a design student at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts’ School of Design, is made of dough comprising sawdust and coffee grounds. The biodegradable material is pressed and vacuum-shaped into molds. Impasto, Steenfatt’s name for the mixture, can be pigmented and used to craft lampshades and side tables.
Credit: Nikolaj Steenfatt
Hollow Lamp, Daniel Byström and Kristján Kristjánsson
Swedish designer Daniel Bystrom and Icelandic designer Kristján Kristjánsson, part of the international Designers & Forests initiative, created a series of luminaires from discarded wood. The hand-crafted Hollow Lamp was inspired by the effects of climate change on the health of U.S. forests as well as by the frail global economy. The shade comprises sections of spruce logs that have been hollowed, stripped, and sanded to offer a geometric surface with a natural wood grain. h/t Inhabitat