Danish Design Duo Invent New Material from Sustainable Seaweed
02 February 2015

Danish Design Duo Invent New Material from Sustainable Seaweed

Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts graduates Jonas Edvard and Nikolaj Steenfatt have developed a brand new sustainable material for their new Terroir Project collection.

[Terroir Project collection]

The full Terroir Project collection.

The design duo began with a surprising source for their product – seaweed. The algae is first sourced from the Danish coastline, before it is dried, ground and cooked into a glue.

This process reveals the natural adhesive found in the seaweed, which is then combined with paper to create the innovative material.


Seaweed collected from the coast is dried, ground and cooked into glue.

At this stage, the material is moulded into a wide range of products that make up the Terroir Project collection.

Similar to cork, the material challenges the public’s preconceived notions of seaweed.

"The first thing people do is to smell the object,” noted Jonas. "They just stick their nose into the material, like having a breath of fresh air."

The new material raises questions of functionality, but it is surprisingly strong enough to be durable and hold the weight of a person.

[Terroir Project chair]

Terroir Project chair.

"As most people don't know the actual strength of the alginate, they often think we put some extra glue inside, but it is only seaweed and paper," said Jonas.

In addition, seaweed’s naturally high levels of salt acts as a preservative and a flame-retardant. 

Colours in the collection vary as they are determined by which species of seaweed is used, and can fall anywhere from dark brown to light green.

At this stage, the project is comprised of a series of chairs and lamps made from the innovative material.

[Terroir Project lamps]

Terroir Project lamps.

"For the design of the Terroir lamps and the Terroir chair we wanted to create a fundamental shape and silhouette, which gave focus to the new material showing the surface and colour available,” Jonas said.

"We wanted to express the moulding abilities that the material had, by making soft curved shapes allowing for maximum strength and minimum weight.”

There is life beyond these forward-thinking designs, as the material can easily be recycled or reused, and can even make a natural fertiliser.

Speaking of the potential of the new material, Jonas noted that "people are very excited that something considered useless and smelly can be used to create sustainable furniture.”

To read more, you can see the full article over at Dezeen.
Images also via Dezeen.

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