Someone Figured Out How to GROW a Chair in an Environmentally Friendly Way

By Noah Kaufman |

© Full Grown Ltd

Looking for a unique setup for your dining room? Might we recommend some homegrown chairs? British designer Gavin Munro heads up a company called Full Grown, and for the last four years he and his employees have tended willow trees and shaped them into chairs—no construction required. Munro calls what he does a sort of "organic 3-D printing." The process is a long one that involves planting seedlings and guiding them into the desired shapes. Munro shapes and grows his trees around plastic molds and clamps branches into different positions to encourage them to grow together. As the trees mature, they grow into a single piece with no need for screws, nails or supports. Because there are no joints to come loose he expects his chairs could last centuries.

While the process currently takes three to four years for a willow chair to complete (up to eight years for an oak), Munro hopes to grow at a faster pace in the future. He is reusing roots that he says will regrow faster the second or third time around.

The chairs are also much more ecologically friendly than other furniture designs. “Why would you grow trees, chop them down with all the [waste]?” Munro told the Guardian. “Why don’t you just grow the shape you want, and it is eminently scalable.”

As you might expect, the unique chairs are currently quite pricey—the first one will sell for about $3,700, but as Munro continues to scale up the business, hopefully to hundreds of thousands of units, he thinks they will become quite a bit cheaper.

To see more finished chairs, as well as his shaped mirrors and lamps, or to preorder a piece, which he expects to be ready in mid-2017, head over to the Full Grown website.

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