In their new Terroir Project collection, designers Jonas Edvard and Nikolaj Steenfatt have created a line of sustainable furniture inspired by the ocean that’s made from seaweed and paper. The pair, who graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, have developed a process that transforms soft seaweed into a durable building material, and used it to create furniture that has a gritty, organic finish akin to sustainable cork.
Seaweed has proven itself to be a versatile commodity. Its vitamin-packed nutritional content makes seaweed a super food, while its absorbing properties help soak up toxins in waterways. Edvard and Steenfatt decided to put seaweed to the design test by collecting bales of fucus seaweed from the Danish coastline for the project.
The algae is hung to dry and then ground into a powder. Edvard and Steenfatt then add water to the seaweed powder and cook it down, which enhances the natural adhesive properties of brown algae—thanks to a naturally occuring polymer called alginate. The seaweed paste is mixed with paper pulp, which can be poured and molded into any shape because it remains durable after air drying.
The resulting line is beautifully organic and imperfect, with slight bumps and imperfections along the surface that reveal their seaweed origin. Edvard and Steenfatt put an extra highlight on the material by leaving their finished lamps and chairs in their natural color, which ranges from greens to browns depending on the seaweed content.
The complete, durable line of sustainable furniture is totally recyclable and leaves no waste.