Japanese designer Jin Kuramoto has created a "100 per cent biological chair" using flax fibres – a completely biodegradable material that is most commonly used for banknotes, tea bags and linen.
Kuramoto designed the Jin chair for Swedish furniture brand Offecct. They are presenting it at the Stockholm Furniture Fair as part of the city's annual design week, and it was named best product in show by a jury including Dezeen's editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs.
After Offecct proposed the flax fibre material to Kuramoto, he got to work on figuring out how to construct a sturdy chair, as the material is more typically used for lightweight items, such as cigarette rolling papers and linen fabrics.
However, it has been previously used to make chair before – by Dutch designer Christien Meindertsma, who mixed the material mixed with a biodegradable polylactic acid made from sugarcane or cornstarch.
Kuramoto devised a method that involves building and shaping thin flax fibre layers on top of each other to form both the seat and frame. A resin is then used to solidify the structure.
"This is a 100 per cent biological chair made by using flax fibre," the designer told Dezeen. "The resin is bio-resin too, so it can be burned and will biodegrade."
Offecct frequently partners with high-profile designers to create products. Examples include Jasper Morrison, who designed a wooden chair for use in a Tanzanian orphanage, and Claesson Koivisto Rune, which created a table using thin sheets of metal.
Kuramoto's chair is the latest furniture launch to come out of Offecct Lab, which was set up to research and develop new materials in response to potential future trends.
It taps into the increasing awareness of sustainability, which can be seen in the work of many current designers. For instance, Sebastian Cox teamed up with researcher Ninela Ivanova to create a range of suede-like furniture from mushroom mycelium for last year's London Design Festival, while Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Billie van Katwijk recently developed a process for turning bovine guts into a material that can be used to make bags and accessories.
The Jin chair will be on show at the Stockholm Furniture Fair until 10 February 2018, alongside a carbon-fibre version also designed by Kuramoto.