Wood is one of the most common materials used for manufacturing and construction. Despite it being a natural resource with potential for reuse and its biodegradable qualities, the wood used in the industry is far from circular. In fact, each year, millions of tons of this precious material are wasted. To prevent this, a group of designers from the firm Disrupt.Design Lab (D.DLAB) have been exploring the development of circular solutions for wood. By developing new techniques that combine advanced fabrication and traditional methods, the team aims to contribute to the development of zero-waste industries.

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Low, ergonomic chair made from wood waste components

To work towards their goal of zero-waste design, D.DLAB created the WoodenWood Project. The system uses a combination of raw wood components and a digitally fabricated “wood-textile” to utilize wood waste. Hence, through this combination of traditional wood components and the 3D-printed “wood-textile,” WoodenWood maximizes the possibilities of design and circular expression by giving multiple forms of material waste a new life.

Related: What is 3D-printed wood and will it cut down waste?

Person moving stools made from wood waste

Creating bespoke furniture

Using WoodenWood, D.DLAB developed seating elements that feature ergonomic chairs and stools. The 3D-printed components create a “wood-textile,” which serves as a mesh that creates a “woven” seat and back. This is extruded from a natural wood paste, which is made from Daika. Daika uses sawdust combined with cellulose-based binders to ensure biodegradability. The layers created by the robotic printing system create a “wood-textile” that resembles rattan. This is combined with scraps of raw wood that hold the 3D-printed elements together. The raw wood serves as the structural components of the seating elements, including the base and legs.

Low, ergonomic chair made from wood waste components

The seating elements that use the WoodenWood system take into consideration qualities like strength, aesthetics and ergonomics for optimal design. Thus combined with parametric design, it allows for bespoke seating elements which can be created within a mass production workflow.

Two stools made from wood waste in a forest

In light of its innovative approach and blend of traditional and advanced systems, WoodenWood was featured at Milan Design Week 2023. It even earned a mention as one of 12 projects in the Fuorisalone sustainability category. Furthermore, it was selected for a gold prize in universal design by the Design Educates Awards jury for 2023.

+ Disrupt.Design Lab

Images via Disrupt.Design Lab