Stackable chairs usually bring forth images of those old, clunky plastic and metal chairs from grade school. But designer Werner Aisslinger has modernized the concept using sustainable hemp to make a streamlined version with the same convenience. Using a production method borrowed from the automotive industry, the monobloc chair comes in natural or black and is supported by German chemical company BASF.
Each chair is pressed into shape from one continuous fiber sheet. Aisslinger, who is with BASF, created the material, which fuses 70% hemp and kenaf fibers with a water-based acrylic resin called Acrodur. The fusion process is environmentally safe and does not release any of the toxic phenols or formaldehyde from the resin — the only by-product is eco-safe water. Since the chair is made with compression molding — a common process in making automobile parts — the resin is not further activated.
Another benefit to using hemp fibers, instead of the reinforced plastic that is traditionally used in stackable chairs, is that each chair is incredibly lightweight and easy to move. The Acrodur ensures tactile durability, while still maintaining the fibrous softness of hemp.
Aisslinger designed the chair with the modern consumer in mind. The chair appropriately made its debut at an art exhibition called “Poetry Happens” in Venture Lambrate, where it was accompanied by a taxidermy sheep standing below a hemp “cloud.”