There's a growing market for sustainable design in this day and age, and it's one that's getting richer and more exciting each day
We're living in a time of heightened environmental awareness. While the world casts an uncertain eye on the Paris Agreement and looks eagerly towards green initiatives closer to home, we're drawn towards reflecting on what we could personally do to play our role in ensuring that we're caring for the planet.
Of course, the problem of using bio-friendly materials in interior design projects is one of practicality and cost. Why risk operating on a higher budget than necessary to buy a recycled chair when a mass-produced plastic alternative is significantly cheaper?
Well, there's a growing market for sustainable design in this day and age, and it's one that's getting richer and more exciting each day. Here I look at some examples of beautiful furniture that's challenging designers to go green.
1. Pentatonic & Snarkitecture: Fractured
Creating beautiful sustainable furniture is an art in itself, so when Berlin-based Pentatonic united with New York studio, Snarkitecture to use recycled materials to build breathtaking furniture, it was a match made in heaven.
The collection gets its name from the form that the modular furniture takes. The 'Fractured' visage is completed by giving the table and chair centrepieces what appears to be a jagged split.
Fractured is constructed out of mass everyday waste, like drink cans, old computer parts, and coffee cups. Each item is made entirely out of recycled material, with chairs requiring 240 plastic bottles, 45 aluminium cans, 120 pieces of food packaging and four car bumpers.
The striking theme of the collection delighted Snarkitecture's co-founder Alex Mustonen. "Fractured for us, is a new take on the relationship between looseness and precision. On the one hand, you have the precision engineering and circular technology of Pentatonic, but it's been disturbed by this dramatic separation," he explained in an interview with Dezeen.
2. Bel & Bel: Scooter Chair
Unmissable for any upcycle oriented list. Bel & Bel is a Catalan-based studio founded in 2005. Their recycled works were no doubt inspired their surroundings. Barcelona is a city in love with two-wheeled modes of transport, and on any given day out on La Rambla you'll likely see hundreds of Vespas parked up on street corners.
However, transportation is changing, and with so many new and efficient electric vehicles on the horizon, one of the city's favourite modes of transport is slowly beginning to realise its days of petrol-guzzling are numbered.
Bel & Bel's solution? Re-use these vehicles and make some of the most exciting seats imaginable. For their swivel chair, Bel & Bel take the Vespa's chassis and use it as the furniture's base. Adding a comfy leather cushioning on the inside that's a certainty to bring a bucketload of character to a living space - amazingly the Vespa even retains its working lights.
The Scooter Chair isn't the only piece of upcycling that Bel & Bel specialise in. Customers are also able to buy sofas made from the front of a SEAT 600, as well as bar stools and refrigerators built from famous old vehicle parts.
With pricing for the Scooter Chair starting at €1,470 it fits perfectly into the role of an attention-grabbing luxury item that's capable of single-handedly bringing character to a room.
3. Guillaume Credoz: The Power of The Nap Addicts
Guillaume Credoz's collection of seating and loungers have risen from the mire of Beirut's waste crisis. Mounds of rubbish known locally as 'garbage mountains' have littered Lebanon's landscape, and the problem is showing little signs of dissipating.
But Credoz's work focuses on reusing some of the waste in Beirut to turn it into something both appealing and beautiful.
The Power of The Nap Addicts is exciting and adaptable. It's made of reclaimed wood, and its frame is built from recycled cooking pans.
The seats are weather resistant, and their immaculately neat and sharp design gives customers the chance to own a contemporary masterpiece that comes equipped with a conscience as standard.