Can Cutting Native Forests for Furniture be OK? Nativas del Sur Shows it Can


Photos: Courtesy Nativas del Sur.

Can you make super sleek furniture with wood from native ancient forests in a sustainable way? This project from Argentina that works with selective logging and super efficient use of wood suggests you can. More details inside.Nativas del sur is an initiative between design firm Ustatic (which you may know from their wall-grass project), the Argentine Industry Ministry, the National Design Plan and organisms that regulate forests.

The project is based in the selective logging of ancient trees and super efficient use of wood in Lenga forests near Corcovado, Chubut province. These trees have a regeneration cycle of their own that is assisted by selective cut of certain units: trees that are adequate age, that are in risk of falling, and that are accessible without cutting other units.

These cuts also create new areas for the light to pass in and accelerate the growth of smaller seedlings.


A table made with wood from Lenga forests.

According to Juan Maria Serrano, from Ustatic, the whole process is accompanied by a nursery that also helps seedlings to grow and transplant them to the forest when they're ready.

Once the campaign is finished, the forest is closed for animals not to hurt the new seedlings and machines that have cut the trees go back through the same route they came in.

"With all these practices, the forest regeneration is not artificial, but natural and assisted to improve the survival of seedlings," says Serrano.


A bench from the Nativas del sur line.

The obtained wood is then carried to a sawmill that's close to the area and used in a system that takes advantage of every little part. As you can see from the pictures, furniture is made with smaller pieces of wood that form the different surfaces, which can be adapted to different pieces with little waste.

All sawdust and shaving created is then compacted and turned into briquettes for burning in heating stoves.


A console table from the line.

Table from the Nativas del sur collection.

So yes, cutting takes place, but it's interesting how the whole system is planned to produce an incredibly sleek, high end product with minimal impact. It really makes you little to no guilty of wanting these pieces.

For more on the project, contact Ustatic through their website.


More cool furniture with sustainable use of wood and how to go green with furniture:
Reclaimed-Wood Furniture by Carlos Motta
Certified and Recovered Wood Design Furniture by Arqom
How To Go Green: Furniture

Tags: Argentina | Benches | Chairs | Conservation | Tables

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