Cortiça -- A Cork Chaise Longue by Daniel Michalik

Designer Daniel Michalik has discovered the wonderful world of cork, which we've extolled before in posts about mosiac tiles and flooring, just to name a few. Michalik's work, focusing on using underutilized, unconventional materials, is simple and engaging, and maximizes the benefits of his medium. According to his website, "the natural flexibility of cork allows it to form fantastic, complex shapes no other material can match." Cortiça, the chaise longue pictured here, is equally functional indoors and out, thanks to cork's waterproof characteristics and stubborn resistance to mold growth. Skeptical? To again quote his site, "One client has hers sitting outside, and last I looked, they look the same as when I delivered them one year ago! Amazing." He has several other pieces displayed on his site, including a stool made completely from waste cork recovered from the bottle-stopper industry. ::Daniel Michalik