Liquid Wood Chairs: Classic Material Flows in New Furniture

For all its flawed variability, wood has long remained a leading go-to choice for creating furniture. Still, competitors like plastic (and issues of scarcity and sustainability) make its old uses less appealing with time. Thus, a new form of industrial production: liquid wood built from organic materials like bamboo, flex, hemp, jute and rattan, featured in chair form this year in Milan.

Like some sort of postmodern alchemy, a type of resin is created from discarded wood-pulp of the aforementioned plants, natural fibers and fish oils; the murky mixture is compressed, heated and ultimately fused together in a durable, strong and toxin-free alternative to petroleum-generated products.

Under heat and pressure, the resulting viscous substance can be used for injection-molding furniture pieces with all the flexibility-but-rigidity of traditional plastics. Best of all, the products are recyclable – no cancer-causing or otherwise toxic agents are fed into the mix. Like conventional wooden furniture pieces, the materiality is still present in the finished chairs (or tables or whatever you wish).

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