Most of us by now should be making our own soil by composting our left over scraps and papers. We know that compost can be beneficial to our gardens, but did you know it can also play a part in making more sustainably-designed furniture? That is exactly what Israel-based designer Adital Ela of S-Sense Design found out when creating Terra, a line of furniture that’s made entirely out of compost, which she actually cultivates and gathers near her studio.
Ela calls herself a “designer-gatherer” becasue she creates stools, cups, lampshades and other pieces of furniture by blending organic matter like vegetation, dirt and various fibers in a proportional recipe, and molded using compression, provided by her feet. According to Ela’s research, the foot-mixing technique for earth-based construction is quite old, being used in ancient times in places like Iran, Iraq and Palestine.
On FastCo.Design, Ela describes how she first got the idea for making these biodegradable works when sipping a cup of chai tea in a clay cup:
I was absolutely fascinated by the way those sun-dried clay cups were tossed to the ground and blended back to become earth again within minutes. Seeing this, I started asking myself, ‘How can products, like people, come from dust, and to dust return?’
This strikes a chord with us at Dust Factory because things are very much the same in the textile industry.
There are interesting implications in Ela’s project because not only are these materials available everywhere, the time-honoured technique is something that anyone can use to create their own low-impact and easily recyclable furniture. In developing her methods, Ela realized that her own grandmother built ovens in the past using similar techniques.
Find Out More at S-Sense Design
Photo: Rocket Chair
Just like clothing the design of furniture can fall out of fashion for a while, then back into fashion as time rolls on. This classic chair by the Jen Risom’s collection is one piece that fell back into style. Jens Risom was at the peak of his success in the late 1950’s. His slogan back then for his work was: The Answer is Risom. The Danish-born American still has the designing spirit at the ripe ol age of 94, and has worked closely with a London gallery to re-issue 9 pieces of his simple, American-style Scandinavian Furniture.
This first collection of his nine chosen pieces has been a labor of love involving a London Gallery, Rocket, and a furniture company that does handmade pieces.
All of his pieces are very functional but still very much elegant. They still have a definite Scandinavian influence but it is intertwined with American Modernism. With the number of his original pieces declining, this is another opportunity to celebrate design and reputation of an old master craftsman.