Living Walls? Sooo Over: The hottest new trend is living furniture. Unveiled last month at the Milan Furniture Fair, German designer Werner Aisslinger's Chair Farm is a "steel corset" that trains plants into chairs.
From Studio Aisslinger's website:
The chair is no longer produced in the classical sense of the word. Instead, it grows of its own volition in a greenhouse or on a field. When it has reached maturity, the steel corset is opened and removed, revealing a naturally grown chair.
A fast-growing vine is trained to grow around the steel frame, and once it is completed, the frame is removed. Since this is nature, each chair is unique -- and since it is a living eco system while it grows, so are the visitors it can attract, like butterflies and bunnies, as the photos suggest. No word on how long this process actually takes.
Aisslinger sees his chair as the first step towards a utopian future of "product plantations" -- where furniture is grown on a massive scale. In 2011, he designed a chair for stylish stoners out of hemp, and this year it was announced that the Hemp Chair will be produced by high-end Italian furniture manufacturer Moroso.
Aisslinger's idea is not so revolutionary -- above is banker and naturalist John Krubsack, who could be considered the grow-your-own-chair pioneer. He planted 32 box elder trees in 1903 -- and then harvested them for this chair in 1914.
Then there are Peter Cook and Becky Northey, who have coined their tree-shaping technique with the awkward word "Pooktre."