The 'Mustafá' table. Photo: Sanserif Creatius.
The Valencia-based design studio Sanserif Creatius has graced TreeHugger's virtual pages before, with its "d"-shaped "Bold Chair" and an entire suite of classical furniture in styles dating back to the 18th century -- all made from 100 percent biodegradable corrugated cardboard. The studio's latest cardboard creation looks even further into history for inspiration: to Spain's Moorish past.The m-shaped "Mustafá" table is a multipurpose piece of furniture "drawing its inspiration from Arabic art." The cardboard layers forming the table's base and legs are cut in the shape of a multifoil, or scalloped, arch, an architectural detail found in the great Andalusian palaces the Alhambra and the Alcázar, and in mosques and tombs across the Islamic world. (A "foil," in architecture, is a leaf-shaped indented space.)
Furniture With 'Cultural, Social, And Environmental Values'
"We are keenly aware that users are looking for added values, furniture and products with soul, that transmit cultural, social, and environmental values," Sanserif Creatius wrote in announcing the Mustafá table:
Examples of scalloped arches in the Gur-e Amir mausoleum (left) in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, and the Alcázar (right) in Seville, Spain. Photos: Jennifer Hattam.
Spain keeps and maintains a legacy of Arabic culture and traditions. The arts and crafts held for generations. Relying on their standard of beauty and applying their knowledge, rescue and reproduce elements of this style, integrating and adapting to modern times. Arab architecture -- and furniture too -- has been one of the most beautiful in the world because of its lavish design and beauty. Summarizing and reflecting the best possible way, the wealth of other influences found. That's the real inspiration of the Mustafá table.
Cardboard furniture has been trendy, if a bit controversial, lately on the eco-scene, with proponents arguing that it can both be easily made out of recycled materials and recycled itself later on, while skeptics wonder how well it will hold up to heavy use and how long it will last. Sanserif, I think, makes a good argument for the medium with its well-thought-out and aesthetically pleasing designs.
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