During the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) held earlier this year in New York, Metaplace Industries unveiled Ascendance – a fireplace made from petrified wood. Choosing to forgo reliance on modern technology in his pursuit to discover the next revolutionary material, founder Nick Wray instead decided to turn back the clock to create an object from a material that has been formed over millions of years, fusing something naturally occurring with a man-made design. Formed underground through a process called permineralisation, ‘petrified’ wood refers to the fossilised remains of terrestrial vegetation. Over the course of millions of years, wood transformed into stone as the tree’s original organic matter was replaced with minerals. The ‘wood’, however, retains its cellular structure, preserving the tree’s appearance. With Ascendance, Metaplace combines an ancient artefact – a fossil – with a modern concrete base. It is functional but aesthetic. It is old but new. And it captures that transitory moment of a tree being struck by lightning and burning from inside.
Slowly but surely, we can now say that recycling is simply not enough of a contribution to restore the effects of climate change. Greek designer George Bosnas believes that the traditional waste management process uses a lot of energy and becomes expensive and time-consuming. So, in response, he created the playful yet sustainable approach to
a traditional egg crate – the Biopack. The chubby, little box is ecological on every level. Bosnas’ innovative packaging is made out of cleared paper pulp, flour, starch and biological seeds. It comes with four eggs inside its densely packed material, protecting them from breaking. After using the eggs, instead of discarding or even recycling the box,
users are encouraged to plant it and water it so the legume seeds that are part of the box itself can grow into green plants, and research shows that legume vegetables actually increase soil fertility. The legume seeds in Biopack take about 30 days to sprout after being planted, enabling the users to literally reap the benefits of the sustainable packaging way faster than the traditional recycling methods.