Most of us don't give a second thought to our chairs and what happens to them after their useful life. But many of these chairs are filled with non-recyclable materials: foam if they're padded, or perhaps plastic that can't be recycled fully. Looking to address the full life-cycle of these iconic pieces in our homes, French designer Jean Louis Iratzoki created this 100 percent biodegradable chair made out of bioplastics for Alki, a boutique chair manufacturer located in Basque country.
Dubbed the Kuskoa Bi, the curvaceous form seems like an updated and refined version of the classic Eames chair, one of the first chairs designed to be industrially mass produced (though its fiberglass material eventually led to its discontinuation by maker Herman Miller, due to its environmental unfriendliness).
Aiming for comfort and style, Iratzoki and Alki chose to use bioplastic for the base, so that its curves are molded to envelop the sitter. Bioplastics are an alternative to polluting, petroleum-based plastics, and could change the way things are made and built, even on larger scales. Since bioplastic can be injected, extruded and thermoformed, but is made from plant-based renewable resources like beets, corn and sugarcane, it is can be recycled or biodegrade. Its production too emits comparatively less greenhouse gas emissions.
A lovely touch is the wooden base, which is made using oak that is sourced from sustainably managed forests.
We are not sure if it is correct, but the makers are calling this the world's first commercially available bioplastic chair, and there is an upholstered version available; in any case, it's a elegant combination of traditional wood craftsmanship with new plastic materials and technology. More over at Alki and Jean Louis Iratzoki.