Dutch-Brit designer duo Marjan van Aubel and James Shaw have created a new material that looks like polystyrene foam but is made from timber waste instead. Their wonderful Well Proven Chairs and Stools have a molded seat made from sawdust and bio-resin, and they stand on thin ash legs. The resulting designs are a bit weird but also surprisingly elegant.

Marjan van Aubel, James Shaw, Well Proven Chairs and Stools, recycled wood shavings, look like polystyrene foam, Art, green furniture, Recycled Materials, Milan Furniture Fair,

The design process started after the duo found out that the average manufacture of products from wood planks waste 50-80 percent of the timber. This drove them to experiment with waste sawdust, chippings and shavings until they discovered that combining them with bio-resin makes the material expand thanks to a curious chemical reaction.

Related: Marjan van Aubel’s Solar-Powered Current Table Uses Photosynthesis to Charge Your Gadgets

They used the discovered recycled material for the chairs seats, creating unique, lightweight furniture pieces reinforced by fibers in the hardwood shavings. They might look like something that belongs in the Adams Family mansion, but these chairs are surprisingly sturdy and – best of all – turn waste into a functional treasure.

+ Well Proven Chairs

+ Marjan van Aubel

+ James Shaw

+ Inhabitat Coverage of Milan Design Week

Photos by Well Proven Chairs and Irene Vermeulen for Inhabitat