For the sake of sustainability, we normally hope that our furniture will last a long time in an effort to conserve resources and energy. Ate Atema of Atema Architecture, however, ponders whether this philosophy is truly the correct path to eco-enlightenment. With his Auto-Cannibalistic Table, which is intended to be a temporary object, he embraces sustainability in a less conventional way. The table was constructed with paper egg cartons and wheatpaste glue, which is made from flour and water, and then planted with herbs. The herbs can be picked as they grow, creating a place where food can both be eaten as well as grown–over time, however, the plants are intended to “eat away” at the table.
Ate points out that in nature, resources are constantly recycling and in flux–decomposing and then forming again. Man-made objects of the past and present tend to counter this effect. Instead of static existence, the Auto-Cannibalistic Table embraces the fact that nature tends to re-use matter and energy in an ever-evolving process.
Part of the InDisposed exhibition at Studio-X in New York City, the table sat next to Takeshi Miyakawa’s “Furniture To Go,” in which food was contained by plastic modular pieces. The InDisposed show was curated by Jen Renzi and Dan Rubinstein.