What if your chair was compostable? That's the question posed by this series of experiments with biologically-produced benches which are not so much manufactured as they are grown. Together, Terreform ONE and Genspace have developed two bioplastic chairs through similar processes: one, a chaise longue, is formed from a series of parametrically-shaped white ribs with a cushioned top; the second, a low-level seat for use by young children, comprises interlocking segments that can be used to twist the chair into different shapes.
The chairs are made from Mycoform, a material consisting of mycelia substrate - a combination of discarded wood chips, gypsum and oat bran together with Ganoderma lucidum, a fungus that is able to digest these waste products and turn them into a tough structural material - surrounded by an external skin of bacterial cellulose. These two elements combine to create a durable plastic composite suitable for use not just in furniture, but also potentially in architecture.
Terreform ONE describes the process as low-tech, low-energy and pollution-free, as once the furniture has come to the end of its lifespan it can be disposed of in any biological environment - such as a garden - and will decompose. In addition, they describe the technology as "easily transferable to the developing world," making these benches an interesting alternative to traditional manufacturing that asks why our homes possessions can't be a part of nature's order.
Designers: Terreform ONE + Genspace
Principal Investigator: Mitchell Joachim, Oliver Medvedik, Melanie Fessel
Team Credits: Maria Aiolova, Ellen Jorgenson, Shruti Grover, James Schwartz, Josue Ledema, Tania Doles, Philip Weller, Greg Pucillo, Shivina Harjani, Jesse Hull, Peter Zhang, Matthew Tarpley, Amanda O’Keefe, Bahar Avanoglu, Ipek Avanoglu, Brent Solomon, Pedro Galindo-Landeira, Yinan Li, Sophie Fabbri