Top 10 sustainable furniture designs that are the eco-friendly additions your home needs

2020 was a life-altering and drastic year, and 2023 is the year we get to redeem all our careless mistakes of the past and start living more consciously and sustainably. We cannot ignore the needs of our planet anymore, we need to take the environment into consideration, and what better way to start doing that than from our own homes? Sustainable furniture is taking the design industry by storm, they’re a step towards making our homes and our daily lives more eco-friendly and sustainable. They’re an attempt to cast aside toxic materials, and instead, add furniture designs to our home that won’t rot away on Earth for years once we’re done with them. We’ve curated a collection of furniture products created from cork, bamboo, and even a sea plant! The options are endless, and the end result is the same – a greener, healthier, and happier Mother Earth!

1. 3D-printed Chairs

Designed by Johannes Steinbauer Office For Design, these 3D-printed chairs are produced using additive manufacturing and are created without using fabrics, springs, and foam! And they still manage to be super functional and comfortable. These chairs utilize rigid parts, instead of the typical racks from chairs.

Why is it noteworthy?

The design is simple enough with four legs, a round seat, and a single bar at the back. But if you want to add other components like more racks or textiles, these can be added through 3D printing. The different parts are easy to assemble and disassemble and once it reaches the end of life, you can dispose of the different parts separately and recycle them accordingly.

What we like

  • Super easy to assemble and disassemble
  • Sustainable design

What we dislike

  • No instruction on having a space-saving version of this design

2. The Bündner Side Table

Designed by the Portuguese architecture and design studio Joana Vilaça Studio, the Bündner Side table is a solid wood table that is artfully inspired by the Swiss Alps lifestyle. It’s a rather interesting muse for a meager table, and not a very common one either.

Why is it noteworthy?

Joana drew inspiration from her own experience of living in Switzerland, where her studio is located. “Having lived for five years in the beautiful Graubünden canton of Switzerland, the collection is inspired by the art of living in the Swiss Alps,” she said.

What we like

  • The self-assembly design is ideal for residential or public interiors, where it can be utilized as a bedside, coffee, or side table

What we dislike

  • Would be great if there was a folding/space-saving version of it as well

3. The Chatpod 700

There are quite a few versatile options on the market when it comes to office booths, but have you come across the most sustainable one yet? Yup, called the Chatpod 700, this sleek and minimal office booth claims to be “the most sustainable office booth on the market”.

Why is it noteworthy?

Made entirely from recycled materials such as post-consumer cardboard, sawdust, rubber, and plastic bottle, the Chatpod 700 is quite proud of its sustainable composition, and with reason. Designed by Jeffrey Ibañez for Impact Acoustic, the office booth was ideally created for team meetings.

What we like

  • Built using recycled materials
  • Great space to hold casual informal meetings

What we dislike

  • Large space-consuming design

4. Oceanides

Designed by Alexia Mintsouli for UK studio Alexa Mint, Oceanides is a collection of tables made from sea plants and marble. The innovative collection includes a square coffee table and two round side tables. One of the side tables features four legs, while the other features a solid base.

Why is it noteworthy?

Peloponnesian Tortora marble was used to craft the base and legs of the table, while the brown-colored tabletops were built using a sea plant that imparts the table with a natural pattern variation.

What we like

  • The local Greek craftsmen were involved in the process, hence giving the local economy a boost as well
  • Designed to promote sustainability + earth preservation

What we dislike

  • No option for customization

5. The Drum Stool

The Drum stool is minimal, elegant, stackable, and not to mention sustainable! At first glance, the Drum stool looks like a cute little wine cork to me. But when you dig deeper, you realize it has much more to offer than its adorable good looks.

Why is it noteworthy?

Teixeira picked materials such as cork and wood to build the stool, instantly rating it high on sustainability. Cork was used to create the seat, while wood was the material of choice for the legs.

What we like

  • The cork seat is comfortable and inviting and provides a grip while handling, so the stool is quite easy to move around and place in different positions

What we dislike

  • The wave pattern of the trimmed cork seat seems uncomfortable to sit on for long durations

6. Stackabl

More than just a collection of designer furniture in the form of chairs, lounges, and benches, Stackabl is actually a new system that mixes machine precision with human creativity. In a nutshell, a specialized configurator software analyzes choices made by a user or a designer, like colors or dimensions, and selects high-quality felt offcuts that are then cut by robots for use in making furniture.

Why is it noteworthy?

The demand for clothing and furniture upholstery has probably gone up in the past few years, as more people become more attuned to well-designed products. That means more materials are used for production, which unfortunately also means more scraps are left on the cutting room floor, quite literally. While some of these materials are biodegradable or at least recyclable, one design firm is putting them to good use to create furniture that not only looks comfortable but artistically striking as well.

What we like

  • Reduces carbon footprint while also enriching and empowering local economies

What we dislike

  • May not suit modern contemporary homes

7. The Flying Saucer Coffee Table

This table is made up of three large UFO shapes in tasty candy colors holding aloft an even larger glass disc that serves as the tabletop, and it is called the Flying Saucer Coffee Table.

Why is it noteworthy?

The combination, especially if viewed from the top, is reminiscent of those glass jars holding innumerable gobstoppers that make our mouths water at the mere sight of them. Beneath the UFOs is a steel base plate that creates a perpetual shadow for the flying candies, regardless of the light source.

What we like

  • Thermoformed plastic used in the product is sourced from recycled materials, particularly from food packaging that makes up about 75% of London’s domestic plastic waste

What we dislike

  • The edges of the UFOs could easily cause us to stub our toes

8. in.water

This desk is striking in its minimalist beauty. The piece of furniture is flat-packed and easily assembled, composed of nothing more than two pairs of aluminum legs and a plexiglass tabletop.

Why is it noteworthy?

The table has a translucent gradient that goes from blue to frost white, creating an interesting visual even when it’s devoid of anything on top. The choice of color is, of course, intentional, and it is meant to convey the image of a clear body of water partially reflecting the blue sky.

What we like

  • It can be made from 100% recycled plexiglass and aluminum, and its flat-pack design produces less carbon footprint during transportation

What we dislike

  • Showcases no way to add drawers, cable management setup, or any accessories to the glass top

9. Vis-à-vis and Rendez-vous

I’ve realized that filling up your bathroom with thoughtful designs, only makes your time in it much more comfortable and smooth. And this collection of bathroom seating by Italian bathroom brand Agape strives to be exactly that! Designed by Marco Carini for Agape, the collection includes two seating designs created from recycled cork.

Why is it noteworthy?

The first design is called Vis-à-vis, and it is a light and sturdy stool that also doubles up as a tiny side table. The second design is Rendez-vous, and it’s a bench that serves as an extensive seating option for bathroom users. Both designs function as comfortable spots to sit and relax in the bathroom.

What we like

  • Crafted from recycled cork
  • The curving form resembles someone smiling

What we dislike

  • Not suited for bathrooms with a smaller footprint

10. The 4PM Chaise Longue Chair

Comprised of flat and curved features, the 4PM Chaise Longue Chair is designed to create comfort out of hard material. Constructed in either Douglas fir or cherry wood, the only upholstered component of the 4PM Chaise Longue Chair is the leather headrest. Balanced on top of the backrest, Massproductions held the headrest in place with a steel weight.

Why is it noteworthy?

Massproductions is a slow furniture company, don’t let the name fool you. Since the furniture company only develops a few pieces every year, the ones that go into production guarantee a top-quality build and durable life span. Boasting an efficient, sustainable, and high-quality industrial production process, the company’s designers ensure the integrity of Massproductions’s vision. The company’s founder, Chris Martin, developed the 4PM Chaise Longue Chair to reinforce the company’s commitment to quality and produce an ergonomic, long-lasting chair for much-needed R&R.

What we like

  • Sustainable production and design process
  • Ergonomically designed

What we dislike

  • It doesn’t seem very comfortable to sit on for long hours

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FLORA observatory suspends among a canopy of treetops to research the biodiversity of a natural park in Barcelona

Called the Forest Lab for Observational Research and Analysis (FLORA), this observatory is located at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC), suspended among the treetops of Barcelona‘s Collserola Natural Park. The innovative and unique scientific research facility is developed by students and researchers of Masters in Advanced Ecological Buildings and Biocities. Nicknamed FLORA the research facility is an advanced and ecological building that serves as a space for researchers to live and work in the forest canopy.

Designer: IAAC

FLORA measures around 28 feet in height and was built using invasive pine trees which have been sourced from within the Catalan park using sustainability forest management and traceability procedures. The mass timber structure was constructed by cutting down and processing seventy trees which were used to create cross-laminated timber panels, laminated beams, and solid wood elements.

The IAAC team designed the observatory to serve as a dwelling for a researcher who will be studying the biodiversity of the park, and using FLORA’s new weather station for a certain period of time. The structure was inspired by the work of the American biologist Margaret D. Lowman and her hanging walkways. It is the first building to allow researchers to observe the forest canopy! Pretty cool, right? The project is a part of the ‘zero-kilometer’ philosophy since the timber used to build the structure was procured from the surrounding forest.

The observatory was designed to be immersed in nature and to function as an ecological interactive prototype. It features a bird radio, bird houses, working and projection space, as well as bird-watching spaces. The observatory is used to gain a better understanding of nature, the biodiversity of the park, and how climate change and its effects are influencing it. FLORA is an impeccable example of sustainable forest management, and how it can be utilized to build scientific facilities, without causing any kind of damage to the environment. It helps and aids researchers in observing and studying biodiversity and ecological systems of the park, and attempts to provide insights and solutions on how to preserve and manage natural spaces around the world in a better and holistic manner.

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Top 10 sustainable homes designed to be the ultimate eco-friendly dwellings

Living in a sustainable, conscious, and smart manner has become not only a necessity but our moral obligation and duty toward the planet. Our homes should seamlessly integrate with, and nourish the planet, not drain her resources and reduce her lifespan. Being at one with Planet Earth, while taking rigorous care of her has never been more of a priority. In an effort to encourage an eco-friendly way of life, sustainable architecture has been gaining immense popularity among architects. They have been designing sustainable homes. These homes aim to harmoniously merge with nature, co-existing with it in peace, and allowing us to live in equilibrium with the environment. They reduce their carbon footprint and encourage a sustainable and clean lifestyle. And, not to mention they’re aesthetically and visually pleasing as well! From a tiny sustainable home that only measures 3×3 meters to a hostel in Shanghai built using recycled red bricks, natural clay, and reed bundles – these amazing designs will convert you into a sustainable architecture advocate!

1. The Coodo

A couple of years ago, German entrepreneur Mark Dare Schmiedel got pretty fed up with the chaos of Berlin and decided to move to the countryside, building his own quaint loft along the banks of the River Spree. The peace, calm, and zen that followed, got him wondering whether it would be possible to create a similar, but a mobile form of home, that could provide the same sanctuary to others. In his quest for such a retreat, he came across a mobile home concept designed by a group of Slovenian architects called ‘Coodo’. Schmiedel went on to procure the design rights of the concept, through his company LTG (Lofts to Go) and kickstarted the production of the units. The modular homes aim to bring you closer to nature, to a space away from the crowds, where you can truly enjoy the beauty of a moment.

Why is it noteworthy?

It features a curved, minimal steel frame with rounded edges and stunning floor-to-ceiling glass walls. The beautiful glass walls allow a generous stream of sunlight to enter the home. Whether on rooftops in the city, on beaches, on mountains, or alongside a river, the Coodo can be easily installed almost anywhere.

What we like

  • Integrated utilization of smart home technology.
  • Adherence to Passive House standards.

What we dislike

  • With its focus on natural settings, we wish there was a way to enclose the open patio space to close up when away from the home

2. Haus Hoinka

Located in the district of Pfaffenhofen, Germany is a small house called Haus Hoinka. Designed by Atelier Kaiser Shen, the Haus Hoinka is nestled in a little village that is dominated by half-timbered 16th and 17th-century houses, a rustic church setting, and vineyards.

Why is it noteworthy?

A major initiative of this project is to utilize and encourage sustainable building construction using simple and clean materials that can be easily and efficiently recycled separately. The project aims to use natural and renewable materials that can be released into the natural cycle later. Bales of straw and a mixture of clay plaster were employed as the materials of choice for this initiative.

What we like

  • The late 19th-century construction practice used by the architects focuses heavily on straw as it is renewable and recyclable

What we dislike

  • The aesthetics and style of the home are pretty traditional, which won’t be appreciated by everyone

3. Octothorpe House

Called the Octothorpe House, this impressive home in the Oregon high desert area near Bend was commissioned by a couple Mike and Katherine to Mork-Ulnes Architects. They wanted a home that would harmoniously merge with the desert landscape, and be environmentally friendly as well.

Why is it noteworthy?

To meet the client’s desire for a sustainable home, Mork-Ulnes Architects decided to use ‘cross-laminated timber’ in the construction of the home. What makes this timber sustainable is the fact that it has a strength-to-weight ratio that’s similar to concrete, but it is five times lighter as compared to it. CLT is pre-cut off-site, which also reduces construction waste immensely.

What we like

  • The architects utilized CLT to build the interiors and the exterior of the Octothorpe House, this prevented them from releasing almost 15 metric tons of greenhouse gases into the air

What we dislike

  • The central courtyard has an open design, which we hope has a retractable roof

4. 3×3 Retreat

Tucked away in the rainforest landscape near Southern Chile’s La Unión city is a tiny cabin called the 3×3 retreat. Designed by Estudio Diagonal Architects, the tiny home was designed to create a sense of cohesion between the ‘radical geometry’ of the structure, and the natural and organic essence of the site.

Why is it noteworthy?

The cabin aims to function as a comfortable, cozy, and functional dwelling in the raw rainforest, without disturbing or causing harm to the forest in the least. It is placed on a slope, that subtly overlooks the Radimadi River. This was a genius move since it allows the cabin to provide its residents with stunning views of nature.

What we like

  • The entire cabin was constructed by using common and economical building materials, such as standard pre-dimensional pine wood
  • Local construction techniques were utilized

What we dislike

  • The small footprint may not be suitable for everyone. Some people may find it too tiny

5. The Nokken Cabins

Called the Nokken Cabin, these prefab cabins can be purchased by anyone, but the designer duo has bigger plans for them. They want clusters of them to be placed in beautiful and remote locations to create “landscape hotels”, that can provide a luxurious glamping experience. You would be able to connect with nature and unwind, but in a comfortable and cozy space – without having to roughen it out basically.

Why is it noteworthy?

The Nokken Cabin was created for the purpose of expansion and was meant to be a pretty flexible structure. It can be used as a travel accommodation, a workspace, a retail element, a spa, a restaurant, or even as a simple home.

What we like

  • A beautiful picture window in front of the bed provides surreal views of the landscape.

What we dislike

  • While we love the minimal black structure, would be great if there was an optional open space/terrace space to better appreciate the surroundings


Chinese design studio RooMoo transformed a pre-existing building into a hostel on the Chongming Island of Shanghai. Called the ‘SOM LAND’, the hostel is named after the traditional Chinese color of warm green, which makes a reference to the gaps found in between tree shadows and is a tribute to a slow-paced life.

Why is it noteworthy?

The construction of the hostel involved the utilization of local customs and handicrafts and caused minimum damage to the surrounding land. In fact, it incorporated the surrounding environment into the architectural scheme.

What we like

  • To incorporate sustainability into the structure, it was built using recycled old wood boards, wasted red bricks, tree branches, reed bundles found on the site, and bamboo and other locally sourced and discarded materials

What we dislike

  • Despite being renovated, the aesthetics of the hostel are old-school and can be considered out of style


Nestled away in the center of Piedmont, Italy, surrounded by vineyards and woodlands is LILELO (Little Leisure Lodges). It includes a group of four adorable wooden cabins.

Why is it noteworthy?

The cabins are inspired by traditional haystacks, creating a triangular silhouette, which is supported by a trunk-like base. The cabins have been elevated off the ground, ensuring they don’t touch it, in an attempt to adopt a sustainable approach. This approach lays an emphasis on energy efficiency and eco-compatibility materiality.

What we like

  • The elevated cabins ensure that there is minimal impact on the ground, while also beautifully complementing the sloping topography
  • The eco-cabins artfully merge with their surrounding, creating the impression that is it at one with nature around it

What we dislike

  • There’s only one door in the entire cabin, which can lead to a lack of privacy

8. Casa ZGZ

Montevideo-based architecture firm iHouse constructs prefabricated homes using the latest dry construction methods currently trending on the international stage. With only 70 days to build a home for Conrado, an Uruguayan living in London, on his family’s property in Colonia, iHouse was well-equipped to take on the project. Formed by the merging of two modules, Casa ZGZ was constructed offsite and then installed on the family’s property in just five days.

Why is it noteworthy?

As Colonia is one of Uruguay’s oldest towns, the team behind Casa ZGZ hoped to maintain the spirit of the region’s historical architecture while contemporizing the cabin to accommodate modern needs. The single-level residence is clad in black in an effort to present hide the home in plain sight amongst the many elements of nature that surround it. The black exterior also warms up the home’s wooden interior, which is paneled with wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

What we like

  • Minimizing the home’s impact on the region’s environment and land, Casa ZGZ was constructed offsite in two modules
  • Coexists in harmony with a space alien to its language

What we dislike

  • It could have been equipped with another level/story

9. Koto Design x Adobu’s Prefab Home

Based in the English seaside village of Westward Ho!, the architecture studio Koto Design captures the mellow vibe of a day spent at the seashore and translates it into a home space. Inspired by Scandinavian simplicity and Japanese minimalism, the result comes through breezy, open floor layouts and organic building materials.

Why is it noteworthy?

The architecture studio is known for its extensive catalog of sustainable, prefabricated tiny homes that can be transported to locations across the globe. In a recent collaboration with the USA-based, backyard home-building company Adobu, the two studios worked together to construct a tiny, prefabricated home that marries Scandinavian design with a Californian twist.

What we like

  • Provides a semi-outdoor lifestyle
  • Is carbon-neutral, and provides off-grid capabilities

What we dislike

  • With its sloped roof, it will be difficult to grow the space vertically

10. The Folding Dream House

Michael Jantzen, a multidisciplinary artist based in New Mexico, is one artist who seems endlessly inspired by geometry. Merging sustainability, architecture, and technology, Jantzen developed an adaptable modern home called The Folding Dream House that expands from an enclosed, cubic structure into a multi-layered, dream home.

Why is it noteworthy?

From its initial conception, the Folding Dream House was designed as a place to sleep. Amounting to the size of a conventional hotel room, the Folding Dream House consists of two prefabricated, portable modules. Each rectangular module is envisioned mounted atop an elevated, triangular foundation that connects the home’s expandable support beams to its frame. On each facade of the Folding Dream House, Jantzen envisioned triangular overhangs and partitions as foldable panels that expand from the home’s frame.

What we like

  • The panels can be folded open or closed in many different ways around the modules in order to accommodate various functional and/or aesthetic requirements

What we dislike

  • It’s still in the conceptual phase, which means that there could be fundamental changes as the material restrictions come in the production phase

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Domes created from banana boats protect endangered sea turtles while balancing their population

You really do learn something new every day if you just read a lot of things in books or on the Internet. If you’re not yet familiar with sea turtles or you were absent when they discussed them in high school, maybe this is something new for you. The sex of these animals are determined by the warmth of the sand where they are hatched in. If it’s under 27.7°C, they will be born male but if they’re above 31°C, they will be females. Due to global warming, there has been a huge dip in the population of sea turtles and they are now classified as endangered.

Designer: Banana Boat and Wunderman Thompson Colombia

The sunscreen brand is trying to provide a solution to this issue by coming up with a cooler shelter for turtles that will not only protect them from the heat but also cause more male of the species to be born. Nest Domes are inspired by the organic shape of turtle shells themselves and the main purpose is to regulate the temperature on the beach, allowing an equal ration of sea turtles that are born within that space. By providing cooler shelter for turtles and maybe even other species, the domes can ensure that the eco-system is balanced.

The Nest Domes are made from Caribbean wood as their shell but the inside is lined with 100% biodegradable cork that serves as a natural cooling source. The outside uses a light finish so it will be able to reflect the sun’s rays while the windows built in within the domes lets the wind circulate and the hot air to be blown outside. They also use flaxseed oil to coat the dome so it will not be so humid when it’s raining. The fact that most of the material used are locally-sourced contributes to the balance.

Another great thing about this project is that they were able to make the blueprints of the Nest Domes open-sourced. This means that whoever wants to build these domes on their beaches can do so without having to purchase the idea or the actual huts. The goal is to ensure that sea turtles will not become extinct because of extreme heat and global warming.

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This eco-friendly footwear material is sourced from a bacteria

It’s a great time to be alive right now, in terms of product development. We’re seeing a lot of designers and manufacturers experiment with various materials, especially those that are more earth-friendly than the usual things like plastics, polyester, nylon, and others that may not be so great for the environment in the long run. The shoe industry has seen some great innovations over the past years and now we might see a pair of shoes made from bacteria.

Designer: Modern Synthesis

It might not look so great if your headline is that the pair of shoes you’re wearing uses bacteria as its main material. But this biotechnology company is now looking at growing or cultivating “microbial textiles” in its laboratory and use this to create a more sustainable material for shoes and other kinds of footwear. They are using the sugar you can derive from plant waste and microbes and then turn it into nanocellulose.

Form there, it produces a synthetic textile that actually looks like nylon but has more of a paper feel. But they do say that this is actually stronger than Kevlar so don’t think that your shoes will dissolve in water when it rains. Manufacturers will be able to add some more coatings and dye to transform it into other materials, including synthetic leather or at least something leather-like. Bacteria cellulose is actually used in food like kombucha and nata de coco but apparently, it can be turned into footwear as well.

This experiment is still in its early stages probably as we’re not seeing yet actual footwear from the company. There are some prototypes reportedly being created with some brands to test out the materials. Hopefully, we can see some actual shoes soon to see if the eco-friendly material can be transformed into fashionable and durable shoes.

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How marble waste is reused to become mesmerizing eclipse-inspired wall lamps

When people hear the word “waste,” they most probably think of trash or rubbish that no longer has use, like leftover food, paper cups, and plastic bags. In reality, a lot of waste material also comes from production, whether it’s food, wooden furniture, textile, or even rock pieces. Marble, for example, is a much sought-after material for making luxurious-looking products, from furniture to decorations. Not all parts of a chunk of marble end up in the final product, though, and plenty is thrown away without much consideration of how they affect the environment in the long run. It might not be easy to work with unused marble waste, but this rather creative design reuses those pieces to turn them into parts of a wall lamp cluster that gives your space an unearthly glow.

Designer: Hadiye Ozdemir

Beautiful as it may be, marble isn’t exactly an easy material to work with, and its sustainability value is a bit all over the place. It’s a naturally occurring rock, yes, but extracting it and processing it requires a lot of energy and water. It isn’t an easily renewable resource either, but it is at least recyclable and reusable when ground and added to a concrete mixture or other hard materials. Reusing bits and pieces of polished marble as they are, however, is harder to pull off, and that’s exactly the feat that the Sole Lamp concept design accomplishes.

Pieces of thin marble, such as those used in tiles, are combined with resin in square or circular molds, depending on the shape of the discarded marble. This combination of marble and translucent resin serve has a cover layer for a circular LED lamp underneath, creating a visual effect that’s similar to a corona during a solar eclipse. On its own, this lamp design is already striking, it becomes even more impactful when combined with other pieces of the puzzle.

Horizontal and vertical wall fixing bars bridge the lamps together, either directly or with an intermediary piece in between. These can also be made from reused marble pieces, often in the shape of discs, that only have small or no parts broken off. Unlike the lamp parts, these are mixed with opaque resin and are used to create unlit segments that break apart would be a visually monotonous sequence of lights.

With an almost random series of lights and opaque discs arranged in a maze-like structure, the Sole Lamp provides not only illumination but also an artistic decoration for your wall. The light from the circular LEDs gets diffused not only through the resin but also on the wall itself, creating a softer glow that contrasts with the sharp light of the lamps. More importantly, the design concept also introduces a novel way to utilize marble waste and even potentially recoup economic losses from these beautiful but underutilized pieces.

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Tiny wooden cabin in Cape Town was assembled on-site in three weeks

Nestled at the bottom of a rocky hillside is a tiny wooden cabin surrounded by cypress trees and buchus. The little home overlooks Muizenberg, one of Cape Town’s best-known surfing spots, and occupies 390-square-foot of space. The stunning view can be enjoyed owing to the windows seat that has been added to the space. It was designed by architect Alexander McGee and is located next to his South African home.

Designer: Alexander McGee

“We’re spoiled in South Africa with some of the most naturally beautiful sites found anywhere in the world. As an architect, I view it as my responsibility to demonstrate an alternate solution to settling in these environments,” said McGee. And, this is the reason why the roof of the home has been topped with solar panels – to provide the cabin and the main home with power. No gutters have been added to the roof, and this allows McGee and his family to watch the rainwater run off the roof from different angles.

At first, the home was an interesting experiment for McGee. How well and how fast could he craft a house in a remote location? To do so, McGee and his team built the entire home off-site in a warehouse, where they could play around and experiment with the details and make different modifications and customizations, before finally assembling the cabin on-site. McGee abandoned the traditional brick-and-mortar and instead opted for lightweight cross-laminated timber (CLT) to construct the home. The home provides excellent thermal and sound insulation and creates almost zero waste during the construction process. “Some view it (CLT) as the building industry’s only savior in achieving a near carbon-neutral footprint,” said McGee. The home took less than three weeks to assemble on-site!

The home features a 45-degree pitched roof with huge eaves which creates sufficient space for a standing mezzanine level, that can be accessed via a retractable ladder. “Even though the bed does not have a base, the elevated nature of it makes you feel incredibly safe. It is almost nestlike,” added McGee. The home has been outfitted with plenty of storage space. It features a Wawa wood surfboard, handcrafted in Muizenberg, as well as loads of hanging space for clothes. Salvaged materials were introduced wherever possible in the home – for example, the cedar shelving in the bathroom comes from a scrapyard, whereas the reclaimed travertine sink in the kitchen was taken from a stonemason friend of McGee’s.

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Colorful flat-packed chairs aim to achieve full sustainability – from material choices to supply chain

We often underestimate the importance of a great chair. When in reality we really shouldn’t. We spend the majority of our day sitting on chairs, whether we’re working in our home office, enjoying a meal, or simply sitting and reading a book for leisure! Hence, this piece of furniture needs to be not only comfortable but ergonomic, and aesthetic as well. And a super sustainable chair design that recently impressed me is the OTO chair by Alessandro Stabile and Martinelli Venezia.

Designer: Alessandro Stabile and Martinelli Venezia for One to One

Designed by Alessandro Stabile and Martinelli Venezia for the Italian furniture brand One to One, the OTO chair is intended to be a “manifesto for circular design”. One to One is a brand that heavily focuses on sustainability, and the OTO chair is a recycled plastic chair that aims to achieve a goal of full sustainability, in both material choices, and the supply chain as a whole.

“From the beginning, we realized that using recycled materials was not enough. We had to think about something that would systematize the entire sustainable supply chain, from production to logistics, distribution, and assembly, to stimulate the public with a product capable of activating a new awareness,” said Stabile and Venezia. As a result of this, the OTO chair is built using a single mold, sold online, and delivered in a flat-packed form.

The OTO chair has a clean, minimal, and simple form, and is available in a variety of fun colors – onyx, fog, mustard, eucalyptus, coral, and forest. You can pick a color that best matches your personality and interior decor style! While creating and making OTO, One to One partnered up with Ogyre which runs the Fishing for Litter Platform. This platform allows fishermen to contribute to collecting marine waste for reuse. The production of each OTO chair removes almost 500 grams of plastic from the sea, according to the brand. It truly has sustainability incorporated in its core, and approaches sustainability as a whole, trying to integrate it into every step of the process – whether it’s designing, manufacturing, or even selling.

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Is wood strong enough to make a bicycle frame? This award-winning 2-wheeler says yes

If wood is strong enough for buildings and furniture, why not use it for bicycles too? That’s pretty much the thought process that led Masateru Yasuda to design the Moccle, a bicycle that relies on the flexible yet sturdy properties of bent plywood sheets. Traditional Japanese buildings have taken advantage of wood’s flexibility and vibration-absorption properties to build structures that have survived earthquakes, Yasuda points out. “I wondered if I could make a bicycle that takes advantage of the characteristics of this wood,” he adds.

The Moccle is a fun bicycle with a unique aesthetic that puts the enjoyment of riding front and center. It doesn’t come with gears, a dashboard, or even shock absorbers (funnily enough, there’s no bell on it too), but rather, uses a bent-wood frame to achieve shock absorption. Held in place using metal fixtures, the bent plywood frame flexes in response to pressure, helping absorb any sort of stress by undulating surfaces or bad terrain… just the way traditional buildings in Japan would weather earthquakes by absorbing tectonic stress.

Designer: Masateru Yasuda

Yasuda makes a rather interesting point about how wood is basically carbon-fiber, but occurs naturally. Trees, like all living organisms, are carbon-based… which makes wood more similar to carbon fiber than you’d think. To make the frame, Yasuda first created his plywood, sandwiching thin sheets of carbon fiber between sheets of wood just to make the frame age-proof and resistant to shrinkage or cracking. The final ply was then cut into its desired profiles, before being bent into shape using steam. Finally, the wooden frame was plugged into its metal holders, giving you a bicycle that’s sturdy yet flexible, and designed to last long.

“Moccle is a bicycle that you can easily ride in casual clothes. A simple design that anyone can ride without a complicated transmission,” Yasuda says. “Just pedaling with your usual sneakers, you can spend a relaxing time at your favorite cafe. The bike’s simple design highlights its use case perfectly. It isn’t made for performance, or for terrain. The Moccle is a purely recreational two-wheeler designed to just enjoy life. The project started in 1999 and the 1st wooden bicycle was made in Osaka, Japan. The 2nd model was made in Nagano and named Moccle in 2012. The 3rd model wooden bicycle started production in 2019 and was exhibited at the Wood Collection Show in Tokyo in January 2023.

The Moccle is a Gold Winner of the A’ Design Award for the year 2023.

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These clay-like vases and lamps are actually made from eggshells and tapioca starch

Plastics aren’t the only sources of pollution on our planet. It might come as a surprise, but even biodegradable material can become problems if left unchecked. Food waste, for example, can easily pile up, and not all of them are easily recycled or reused. Considering how many kinds of food use eggs for one reason or another, eggshells are prime examples of materials that become not only literal waste but also wasted potential to turn into something more useful. Fortunately, that are always ways to upcycle some of the most common food waste, and this collection of oddly-shaped accessories and vessels demonstrates one such method that takes advantage of the materials’ own properties to create interesting organic forms to decorate your tables or your shelves.

Designers: Zumra Yagmur Cetinler, Damla Ertem

Technically, egg shells aren’t exactly recyclable. Yes, they are biodegradable and serve as excellent compost for gardens. Other than that, however, there are a few other uses for the remnants of widely-used eggs. Unfortunately, most people, kitchens, and food production processes don’t exactly pay special attention to food waste like eggshells, creating problems down the line, even for recycling plants.

Just like the eggs they contain, eggshells can, fortunately, become ingredients for something greater than themselves. Burn’tShell, for example, is more than just a collection of vases and lamps with weird yet interesting shapes. This family of biodegradable and biomaterial products actually uses that often ignored food waste material, giving eggshells a new purpose and helping alleviate their harmful effects on the planet even by a little bit.

Burn’tShell actually uses two kinds of sustainable materials. The egg shells serve as the ingredient for the bottom pieces, while tapioca starch is used for the shell. What makes the design even more special is that processes use the materials’ innate properties, potential, and performance, leading to self-forming pieces that really capture the eye with their odd curves. That’s the same cause for the blight-like color-changing design that the material naturally produces, adding to the clay-like appearance of these vessels.

The vases and lamps are definitely conversation starters. Light brown hues mixed with patches of white create an earthy tone, while their unconventional curvy shapes convey a unique, organic character. They would definitely be fitting centerpieces for restaurant tables, especially ones where eggs are used for the main course.

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