The furniture industry is one of the main culprits of mass deforestation in the world. All the chairs, desks, tables, beds and other woodwork around your house cost the environment a lot of trees. But, we cannot just stop making wood furniture because of the comfort and beauty they bring about. This British designer named Gavin Munro had an impressive out-of-the-box idea for making furniture by allowing them to grow in molds that shape them into desks, chairs and tables! Even the molds used for this purpose are made of plastic and can be recycled, so it is an extremely sustainable zero energy project.
The only problem I can think of this process is the long lead time since the tree has to grow inside and become the furniture. It might take several months to make a piece of furniture, but its raw natural look and pro-environment outlook will make it worth it. He has named his project Full Grown, and he literally has fields of chairs and tables growing in his backyard from where he plans to manufacture more than four hundred items within two years time. The willow tree he is using right now can be made into furniture within three to four years while oak trees can be made within six to ten years.
It is more like a tree art than a manufacturing skill as you study and analyze the growth of trees over times including the formation of leaves, twigs, and young branches and shaping them according to the design of the furniture at hand. You need to to prune and shape them over time. Plants respond to stimulus and Munro things it is like a 3-D printing using an organic material with the help of nature itself.
Check out more pictures of his amazing work:
If the lead times are reduced using trees that grow fast, this could become an industry!