Sarah Rich

JULIAN LWIN BIODEGRADABLE BIOTUBE BENCH

by , 05/26/06

Anyone who reads Inhabitat regularly will know that we are suckers for furniture with foliage. Julian Lwin has caught our attention before with his fabulously green, wheatgrass-studded Galapagos Coffee Table. Now the Brooklyn based designer is raising the bar again with his new biodegradable BioTube Bench. Thats right – we said it: BIODEGRADABLE FURNITURE!


The recycled cardboard cylinders of the new “Ephemeral BioTube Bench” are embedded with seeds using a cellulose liquid, so that as they are exposed to moisture, rain and light, they biodegrade (to a rich mulch layer) and turn into an instant garden.

The BioTubes will be available for purchase individually or in bound groups for a space-specific custom garden. And it’s not just for grasses, but also herbs, wildflowers, and whatever other seedlings you care to sprout.

We love the idea of cheap ephemeral outdoor furniture that turns to soil over time. But this clever idea begs the question – what is this thing going to look like in 6 months, while it is in the process of bio-degrading? I’d probably want to see some photos of the in-between stage before I bite.

Lwin Design also does a fantastic line of lighting, and designs gorgeous interiors, all with a serious commitment to utilizing eco-friendly materials.

+ Lwin Design

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7 Comments

  1. Grow Your Own Furniture... May 30, 2007 at 5:45 pm

    [...] plant your own chair.  The one pictured above is the Terra Grass Armchair Kit.  There is also a Grass Bench Kit that is pretty easy to [...]

  2. Alex August 12, 2006 at 3:50 am

    OK, firstly i would like to say that this piece of ahem ‘furniture’ isn’t exactly what i would call furniture. i mean, how can someone think that by throwing a few rubes of cardboard together with 2 straps and some plants coming out of it will actually appeal to the public- NO WAY! im sorry to say this but i think this is a ridiculous idea, a total misconception that the creator thinks will actually help our environment? sorry bro, but think again coz noone would wanna buy that thing. Cheers.

  3. James July 28, 2006 at 7:33 pm

    1. sitting on wet, soggy cardboard tubes after they begin to degrade–no.
    2. if it turns into a lump in the grass i can sit on–why don’t i just make a mound of dirt, plant it with what i want, and sit on it now?
    3. it’s plain unimaginative.
    4. the straps are surely *not* biodegradable. once the tubes get soggy, the structure will start to collapse.

  4. Josh June 3, 2006 at 12:21 am

    It needs pictures of the end result.

  5. Jared June 2, 2006 at 11:20 pm

    I think the idea got lost somewhere. Imagine taking this bench, packing the tubes tightly with soil, and sitting it in a garden somewhere. The tubes sprout grass, degrade into fertilizer, and you’re left with a grass-covered soil mound that vaguely resembles a bench. You’re not sitting around on wet mailing tubes, they’re just an initial, self-removing support structure.

  6. Jaggae May 29, 2006 at 2:27 am

    Looks like a bunny’s paradise! But for us to sit on as it degenerates…these cardboards look really filmsy…

  7. Elizabeth May 26, 2006 at 9:52 pm

    I don’t get it. It’s cardboard tubes with grass, but no wait! It’s a biodegradable bench! For outdoors. So that you can spend money on something that will fall apart on purpose! And it’s really ugly too! Because the designers eschewed the fact that cardboard can be made into practically any shape or design so that we can all look awkward sitting on a pile of wet mailing tubes. With grass in them! Even though you are already in a garden!
    (I really dont mean to hurt anyones feelings, but this thing has haunted me all day, until I was forced be a bitch about it).

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