British designer Gavin Munro belongs to a generation of young thinkers exploring for ways to allow and assist nature to create objects. Tokujin Yoshioka, the Japanese designer has created chairs growing in salting water and formed into salt crystal; Studio Libertiny has presented wax vases made entirely by bees; Neri Oxman has gathered silkworms and robots to weave a silk pavilion. Mr Munro, an environmentalist, has been exploring ways of training and pruning young tree to have their branches grown over forms of furniture. Allowing objects to grown in nature, he describes this technique as ‘organic 3D printing that uses air, soil and sunshine as its source material.’ Once the tree grows to form the desirable shape, he keeps nurturing the trees as their branches thicken and mature to the final state of furniture forms. Munro, who believes the technique, which has been dubbed botanical manufacturing, could one day be used to create sustainable and ecologically-sound furniture. Now, he collaborated with Dutch designer Maarten Baas in his Tree Trunk Chair, which has a production time of 200 years as by pressing a mold into a tree for two centuries, the trunk will slowly grow over the form, after which the mold is removed and a chair can be harvested (below).
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