Restaurant furniture company launches sustainable brand for residential kitchens

January 28, 2021 by  
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Grand Rapids Chair Co., a company based out of Michigan that has specialized in restaurant furniture for 20 years, has launched a new, sustainable brand for residential kitchens called Only Good Things. The brand will focus on consumers by offering high-quality furniture meant for kitchens and dining areas made using sustainably harvested wood from northeastern American forests and U.S.-sourced steel . The line of chairs, stools, tables and outdoor pieces is meant to be a solution to family kitchens that may have become strained during the pandemic lockdowns.  Each piece of furniture is made to order. In addition to a composition of responsibly harvested wood and American steel, the furnishings are also finished using an antimicrobial, commercial-grade topcoat, similar to what you would find inside a restaurant . The topcoat can withstand even the toughest stains, including things like mustard and wine, making pieces especially durable. Families who may have had to reevaluate their home spaces, turning kitchen tables into classrooms or home offices for example, will certainly serve to benefit from this added versatility and resilience. Related: Serif + Sero modular furniture is made of 100% upcycled cardboard “Twenty years ago with Grand Rapids Chair Co., we set out to create a brand centered around high quality, high design, and accessible pieces,” said Dean Jeffery, creative director at Only Good Things. “Today, we’re bringing that same passion to the residential market. These pieces aren’t just aesthetically pleasing, they are tested to strict durability standards that most other brands ignore, making them an investment people can be proud of.” Each piece will be tested to BIFMA standards, a certification program for contract furniture that ensures a stringent set of quality, performance and sustainability benchmarks created by the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer’s Association. Style-wise, Only Good Things furniture is light and contemporary with strong lines, modern shapes and soft seating. The long-term pieces are designed to play well with a wide range of home décor and compliment anything from classic to midcentury to minimalist aesthetics. All furniture is made in the United States with a two-week lead time. + Only Good Things Images via Only Good Things

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Restaurant furniture company launches sustainable brand for residential kitchens

UK plans to reduce grey squirrel population via contraceptives

January 28, 2021 by  
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There’s not much cuter than a baby squirrel — until they grow up to be invasive acorn hoarders that interfere with tree planting and, by extension, efforts to slow  climate change . So, U.K. environment minister Lord Goldsmith has announced it’s time to put these squirrels on the pill. And what a delicious oral contraceptive it will be. The plan is that grey squirrels will follow their noses into special squirrel-only feeding boxes containing contraceptive-spiked hazelnut spread. Even the most reckless breeders are likely to succumb to  family  planning when it tastes this good. Related: Could contraception for pigeons be a humane option for population control? “We hope advances in science can safely help our nature to thrive, including through the humane control of  invasive species ,” the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) told BBC News on Tuesday. An estimated three million grey squirrels, along with their fellow invasive species, damage U.K. woodlands to the tune of £1.8 billion a year. Grey squirrels came to the  U.K.  from North America in the late 1800s. Since then, they’ve gone on a bark-stripping rampage. Their favorite targets are younger trees between 10 and 50 years old, especially ecologically important broad-leafed types such as oak. Grey squirrels also displaced native red squirrels. Only about 140,000 red squirrels remain in the U.K., according to  The Wildlife Trusts . Simon Lloyd, chief executive of the Royal Forestry Society, has accused grey squirrels of undermining efforts to combat global warming. New  trees  must be protected in order to “deliver the carbon capture or biodiversity objectives if grey squirrels cannot be controlled,” Lloyd told the Daily Telegraph. The Royal Forestry Society is one of 37 conservation and land management organizations that make up the UK Squirrel Accord ( UKSA ), which proposed the contraceptive strategy. The plan has the royal okay. Prince Charles, a patron of the Red Squirrel Survival Trust, wrote of  Britain’s  few surviving red squirrels, “These charming and intelligent creatures never fail to delight.” But grey squirrels? Not so charming. UKSA has been investigating delivery methods for more than three years. In an East Yorkshire test last year,  researchers  added dye to the hazelnut bait that would cause squirrel hair to fluoresce in UV light. They were able to conclude that 90% of their test subjects visited the traps. UKSA is hoping to drastically reduce grey squirrel numbers without having to resort to shotguns or other lethal measures. Via BBC Lead image via Pexels

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UK plans to reduce grey squirrel population via contraceptives

Artist unveils furniture collection for insects

October 16, 2019 by  
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As the world’s insect population plummets , it is becoming more and more important to create insect-friendly habitats. Now, you can have one right in your own backyard! French designer Marlène Huissoud has just unveiled “Please Stand By” — a series of sculptures designed to be safe shelters for insects living in urban areas. The collection comprises a series of “hotels” designed specifically for pollinators such as bees , wasps and butterflies. Made out of unfired clay in neutral tones to keep them as primitive as possible, the furnishings are covered in a natural binder to make them resistant to extreme weather. The insect accommodations are punctuated with multiple holes to let the insects move around freely. Related: MaliArts designs city-chic beehives to save solitary bees According to Huissoud, her inspiration for creating the insect homes comes from a recent scientific study that shows that more than 40 percent of insects are in decline, and the situation is getting worse every year. In order to bring attention to the plight of the world’s insect population , the artist created the insect-friendly habitats to offer a safe refuge for the critters to nest and hibernate within urban areas. “We have been selfish,” Huissoud said. “We all have used resources of our dear planet. But it is not a time to cry, it is a time to act. As a designer, it is important to design a chair at some point in your career, and I liked the idea of dedicating my first chair to insects and not humans, asking humans to ‘Please Stand By’ and look at nature and wildlife in general with a new eye.” The unique collection was first unveiled during London’s Design Week , but it can now be found in Huissoud’s studio in Paris. She hopes to install the pieces in various gardens in order to help support the insect population. + Marlène Huissoud Via Dezeen Photography by Valentin Russo and Chloe Bell via Marlène Huissoud

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Artist unveils furniture collection for insects

This furniture collection is made from repurposed military parachutes

October 11, 2019 by  
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Innovative design firms Layer and RÆBURN  are known for creating stunning items out of repurposed materials . Now, the two firms have teamed up again to create the Canopy Collection, a series of chairs and screens made out of former military parachutes. The Canopy Collection is a series of six low-slung rocking chairs. Welded steel frames create the base, which is then covered in repurposed old military parachutes and aircraft brake parachutes. The textiles are secured to and tautly stretched over the frame with a combination of concealed zips and different textile techniques. The armrests are wrapped with extra material for added comfort. Related: RÆBURN upcycles North Face tents into one-of-a-kind bags The parachute fabric, which is made from ultra-thin ripstop nylon material, is incredibly durable and makes perfect sense to be used in everyday furnishings . In addition to the chairs, the collection also includes a reconfigurable screen with three panels that would make for an eye-catching centerpiece in any home. According to the designers, “The Canopy Collection uses the strict geometry of the steel frames as a base on which to experiment with innovative and forward-thinking recycled parachute upholstery.” Both studios are well-known for their dedication in creating responsible, sustainable products, especially when it comes to using undervalued or discarded materials. Earlier this year, RÆBURN made headlines for its collaboration with North Face to reconfigure old tents into unique bags. The Canopy Collection, which was launched to coincide with the recent London Design Festival 2019, is an innovative way to show the world that modern furnishings can also be sustainable . This is not the first time that the design studios have worked together, and hopefully it will not be the last. + Raeburn Design + Layer Design Via Dezeen Images via Layer Design

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This furniture collection is made from repurposed military parachutes

Designer Sophie Rowley creates marbled furniture from denim scraps

April 23, 2019 by  
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The clothing industry sucks up copious quantities of water and leaves behind environmental waste , like chemicals and dyes, in the process. So it’s not surprising that product designers continue to seek out useful and creative ways to repurpose waste from clothing production. One such designer, Sophie Rowley, has targeted denim and found a way to turn it into furniture. Not only is this furniture credited by taking denim scraps off the manufacturing room floor and out of the waste stream, but it’s also functional and visually interesting. Called Bahia Denim, the pieces weave the traditional blue denim color through a swirl of grays and whites, resulting in a marbled appearance. This end result resembles its namesake, the Brazilian blue marble known as Azul Bahia. Related: Mosevic makes fashionable eyewear using recycled denim Rowley, New-Zealand born and Central Saint Martins educated, is now based out of Berlin. The idea for the design stemmed from a desire to repurpose household materials. As with all of her designs, Rowley focused on sustainability and innovative material development. She experimented with standard materials like glass, plastic and foam before contemplating the possibilities of denim. She then played with the denim until she discovered a way to layer it, binding the layers together with resin. Once dry, the solid material is carved into shapes that are subsequently formed into furniture. There is no standard production when it comes to Bahia Denim. Each piece is a unique result of the materials and the process used to make them — sizes, shapes and thicknesses vary. The durable material can be used in a variety of applications in addition to tables and shelving, such as wall paneling and table or counter coverings. Car manufacturer Nissan has even suggested it as a future material for interior dashboards. Sophie’s Bahia Denim has earned the following accolades: Best New Surface Award 2015 / New Design Britain – Winner; AFRI cola award / Michalski 2009 – Finalist; and Createurope Award – Finalist. Bahia Denim is just one of Rowley’s innovative product designs, all created with an awareness of limited resources and the need to source non-virgin materials for the products we consume. + Sophie Rowley Via Dezeen Images via Sophie Rowley

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Designer Sophie Rowley creates marbled furniture from denim scraps

This couch made from recycled water bottles is built to last a lifetime

December 7, 2018 by  
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In recent years, companies have started to repurpose the massive amounts of used-once-then-trashed plastic in new and exciting ways. For example, REPREVE, a sustainable fiber created from 100 percent food-quality and BPA-free plastic, is being used in a variety of products from clothing to couches. Lovesac is a green furniture company using the recycled fabric to cover sofa cushions. While the eco-friendly material is a huge component of the design, it’s just a sample of an entire furniture line aimed at sustainability. In a world of disposables, the company’s goals push back with a focus on design for a lifetime. It’s a concept that not only includes durability in its couches, called sactionals, but also caters to the ever-changing needs of seating demands. Related: Repreve — sustainable multi-use fiber made from recycled water bottles The sactional is a versatile, modular design that you can easily customize to fit your space. Simply choose from the many ottoman, seat and side arrangements for the look and seating capacity that suits your needs. Then, arrange and rearrange any way you like. With a lifetime guarantee on the sactional, the company estimates that this grow-with-your-demands product will replace the purchase of four couches during its lifetime. With the introduction of the the Sactional, Lovesac has continued its theme of lifetime products with removable, washable and replaceable covers. Dirty covers can be washed. Torn covers can be replaced. When the now-trendy slate twill color becomes a throwback, you can update it without the cost or waste of replacing the entire couch. Even better, the upholstery fabric for the couches is made from hundreds of tossed single-use water bottles, which are given new life through REPREVE fabric. Depending on the components chosen, between 600-1200 water bottles are used in the production of each Sactional. For 2018 alone, Lovesac expects to repurpose around 11 million water bottles through its efforts. Related: How to recycle a sweater into a cuddly pillow for your couch True to the overarching goal of creating an environmentally-friendly couch, the Sactional is neatly packaged and shipped in bleach and dye-free  recyclable  kraft cardboard. Unlike the traditional sofa set that requires two heavy lifters for transport, when it’s time to relocate to a different level of the house or new home altogether, the entire sectional can be broken down into manageable pieces for the move. + Lovesac Images via Lovesac

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This couch made from recycled water bottles is built to last a lifetime

11 inspiring designs we loved at Milan Design Week 2018

April 26, 2018 by  
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Designers awed and inspired attendees at this year’s Milan Design Week with fresh takes on contemporary design. From unexpected uses for wood and recycled materials to advanced lighting technology , we spotted countless incredible projects throughout the event — read on for 11 of our favorite designs from Milan Design Week 2018. Sila lamp by Zsuzsanna Horvath Helsinki-based Hungarian architect Zsuzsanna Horvath developed the Sila lamp – an elegant lamp that emerges from a two-dimensional plane of laser-cut birch plywood. The lamp’s structure is made with thin, delicate slivers of plywood connected by a flexible OLED panel. With its soft light and delicate shape, this lamp is a perfect addition for quiet and cozy interiors. Bread chair by Mika Tsutai This Bread Chair by Japanese designer Mika Tsutai is definitely an object of good taste… and good humor. Inspired by the unpredictable shape of bread, Tsutai kneaded dough — real dough, made from flour — shaped it into a chair, and baked it. The baked piece was scanned, and a digital model was created. The designer used this model to carve the same shape from wood. The unique shape reflects the random swelling of bread after baking. Macaron seat by Kalo Kalo created the Macaron Seat by using locally-recycled bits of rubber. Each seat is crafted by pressing a mold onto a wooden frame. This seat catches the eye using juxtapositions: smooth wooden legs contrast with a textured seat and a shining brass element along the edges of the dark rubber. Halo lamp by Mandalaki Designed by the Milan-based Mandalaki office, the Halo lamp is a bold combination of art and technology. Unlike most lamps, Halo does not provide neutral white illumination. Instead, it dyes space with vivid, unexpected colors. The vivid colors are produced by analog optical decomposition instead of an RGB LED. Mandalaki developed a dichroic filter to divide the pure luminous flux, or the measure of perceived light, into a vast spectrum of colors. Sundial clock by YOY You don’t need sunlight to use this Sundial wall clock by Tokyo-based design studio YOY. Although at first sight it seems to be a real sundial, it is only an illusion. Part of the “Fictionality” collection, this clock has a regular bar as the minute hand and a “shadow” as the hour hand, which is imprinted on the clock’s face. Surprisingly, the entire clock rotates to show the correct time. Plug It by Studio Oberhauser Instead of discarding thousands of small wood scraps from the industrial production of furniture, Studio Oberhauser created Plug It to exemplify the beauty of recycling. The studio suggests that stacking the comb-shaped wood chips to craft pieces of furniture can be a fun and functional game for everyone. Sea of Plastic by EcoBirdy EcoBirdy’s main goal is to reduce the sea of plastic . To do this, the company crafted children’s furniture entirely from recycled plastic. Plus, each item can be easily recycled again. The Antwerp-based designers have also involved children in this socially- and environmentally-responsible act by designing a storybook and a school program that teaches children about sustainable living. D.01 bench by Davide Montanaro Wood appears to be a stiff and rigid material, but it can be made to bend with just the right touch. Dukta is a unique incision process that can make wood into a flexible, manageable material. Davide Montanaro used this process to design the plywood D.01 bench and ensured the piece had character with its smooth shape and distinct pattern. S-Lab clock by 4R 4R made the S-Lab clock using recycled plastic. The entire production process, from collection to melting and molding was completed in-house. The designers were able to control the color, pattern and texture of the clock. With this project, the team hopes to continue working and exploring with plastic in their designs. Woodencap by Rootpecker Rootpecker has made design history by creating the first wooden cap in the world. The hat is handmade in Germany and features a smooth, flexible wood surface and intricate stitching. The company aims to source only eco-friendly materials for their unique products. Paper and Light by Denis Guidone and Tomoko Fuse Designer Denis Guidone and origami artist Tomoko Fuse created Paper and Light to blend classic and contemporary techniques. This project includes a series of lamps made from folded washi, a traditional Japanese paper. The folded light installments illuminate the area and create playful shadows. + Milan Design Week Images via Maria Novozhilova for Inhabitat

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11 inspiring designs we loved at Milan Design Week 2018

Elon Musk says he is building a cyborg dragon

April 26, 2018 by  
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If you’re running three companies and selling hats and flamethrowers in your spare time, why wouldn’t you then build a cyborg dragon? This sentence could only apply to Elon Musk — and that’s what he said he’s doing on Twitter . His statement naturally sparked a flurry of questions about whether or not he’ll actually construct the fanciful creature. Oh btw I’m building a cyborg dragon — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 25, 2018 Yesterday afternoon, Musk said some music sounded great riding his cyborg, capping off his tweet with a dragon emoji. About ten minutes later he followed up on that tweet with, “Oh btw I’m building a cyborg dragon.” Sounds great riding my cyborg ? — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 25, 2018 Related: Elon Musk warns AI could become an ‘immortal’ digital dictator Naturally, the Internet had a blast with that one. Twitter user @illbzo1 told Musk it was about time, and Musk agreed , saying the market was underserved. The Game of Thrones Twitter account commanded Musk to “ bend the knee to House Targaryen ,” signing off with the hashtag #Dracarys, and Musk was quick to fire back, saying, “Don’t make me use my space lasers.” Don’t make me use my space lasers … — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 26, 2018 So Musk is definitely kidding, right? Of course, he’s known to have a great sense of humor . And The Independent said perhaps he’s obliquely referring to SpaceX’s Dragon capsule. But they also pointed out Musk has a habit of making ridiculous concepts aired on Twitter into reality. A tweet about Los Angeles traffic morphed into a company that’s finished a segment of tunnel in LA and has verbal approval to build a Hyperloop between Washington, D.C. and New York City. After selling thousands of Boring Company hats, Musk said on Twitter they’d turn to flamethrowers and made good on that idea too . But a cyborg dragon? We can’t wait to see if Musk follows through on this one. + Elon Musk Twitter Via The Independent Image via arbitragery on Flickr

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Elon Musk says he is building a cyborg dragon

Would you ride in these bizarre standing airplane seats?

April 17, 2018 by  
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If your last plane flight left you feeling like a sardine in a can, this news is going to make your day. Italian seat manufacturer Aviointeriors has designed a seat that gives you plenty of room to stretch your legs out, even if you are taller than average. There’s just one little catch – you have to fly basically standing up. The SkyRider 2.0 solves two problems for airlines: it lets them pack in more passengers and it gives those passengers more leg room. The seats are connected to the ceiling and floor by a bar and they have a vaguely saddle-like seat that holds the rider in an upright position. The previous SkyRider had a very saddle-like seat, which Aviointeriors claimed was comfortable because cowboys could ride in the saddle for hours without discomfort (a notion that any novice horse rider would find laughable) but the FAA didn’t approve the design. The new and improved version has more padding and a more comfortable seat design. Related: Airbus is putting spacious sleeping pods in airplane cargo holds The seats are being billed as an option for short-haul flights to allow airlines to reach an “ultra-high density” (ugh) of passengers on each flight. No word yet on what actual human beings think about being strapped into one of the SkyRider 2.0 seats for several hours – or if any airline will buy them. + Aviointeriors Via CNN

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Pentatonic launches new brand of modern furniture made with nothing but trash

September 8, 2017 by  
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Trash never looked so good. Pentatonic has launched a new brand of modern, modular furniture made with nothing but repurposed waste materials . But – unlike similar brands – their commitment goes beyond simply recycling . Hit the jump for a closer look. Pentatonic is launching their brand with AirTool Chair and AirTool Foil Table , as well as glassware made from smartphone glass. Their website lists the trash that went in to each piece; for example, 96 plastic bottles and 28.4 aluminum cans went into an AirTool Chair with a plyfix felt seat, along with some old food containers and industrial waste. 1,436 aluminum cans and 190 CDs or DVDs were used for an AirTool Foil table. Pentatonic says they do not use additives, toxins, glues, or resins. Related: Eco-friendly DIY modular furniture can be reassembled over and over into different pieces Pentatonic, which has offices in London and Berlin, sourced 90 percent of their trash locally; the remaining 10 percent came from places like Taiwan, which is home to the world’s largest concentration of wasted smartphone glass, according to the company. Users don’t need any tools to put together the modular Pentatonic products. The company also sells the individual components online in case a consumer loses a piece or wants to design their own furniture with Pentatonic pieces. Consumers also become part of the supply chain when they return old, used pieces to the company: Pentatonic lists a buy-back value on their website which they describe as a guaranteed sum customers will receive if they want to get rid of a product. Pentatonic will transform those used goods into new pieces of furniture. Pentatonic’s products are available to buy on their website . If you’re in London , you can check out their products in person at a popup store in Shoreditch East London at 2 Chance Street from September 15 to October 12. They’ll also be present at the London Design Festival , September 18 to 24, in the Design Frontiers exhibition at Somerset House. + Pentatonic Images courtesy of Pentatonic

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