Sustainability has taken the center stage, whether it is architecture design, furniture design, product design or machine design. Sustainable Designs have become the prime driver of innovation.
Sustainable Building Designs that includes Energy efficiency, carbon footprints, downsizing, design optimization etc are all the buzzwords that every client will ask about. Sustainability has become significant, so much that even hotels are being rated based on the energy efficiency quotient.
BIM and Sustainable Design are becoming popular as today people understand that, for the modern world, it is important to live closer and in sync with nature instead of harshly objectifying things. This is why several environment friendly designs have been introduced and absorbed by the architecture design, interior design and exterior design, fraternity.
However, architecture and design is all about innovation, and while the industry celebrates a new concept it is always open and makes scope for innovation. Designer Gavin Munro has made one such innovative effort by using the technique of cultivating trees to grow into desired shapes and create furniture pieces from them.
Gavin feels that there is no need to invest time and money in cutting down trees. Branches of trees like willow, oak, ash and sycamore can be cultivated to grow into fine pieces of furniture.
Designers can grow the shape they want, it can be scaled easily and each piece is exclusive. This technique of furniture design and development is also leaner than the existing conventional process.
Gavin carefully, cultivates grafts and prunes the trees as they grow into distinct shapes of chairs, tables and frames. What is interesting in this technique is that there are no joints; it is a single seamless shape.
Each piece of furniture takes 4 to 8 years to grow into its final form. In the current conventional furniture making process; we are cutting down trees that have probably taken around 50 years to grow.
The process of cultivating and grafting trees into furniture shapes is not an easy one, but definitely is a huge and an innovative way of sustainable design development.
Earlier also we have seen artists like Peter Cook and Becky Northey from Australia experiment with the willows and graft them into chairs.
Shaping trees into structures has been practiced in India since a several hundred years. A living root bridges in Nogriat village, Meghalaya is a classic example of this.
These suspension bridges, are made by grafting Ariel roots of banyan fig trees, this is an exclusive example of sustainable infrastructure development.
As the sustainability movement strengthens, clients will turn to designers to solve problems, to make manufacturing process lean and easy, to develop energy efficient buildings (net zero energy buildings), and here innovation will always remain at the core.
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