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Seaweed As Decor

This article from Financial Post is one of my favorites since it covers innovative design, with seaweed as material, from table lamps to a whole house. The Danish architect Søren Nielsen led the ‘Modern Seaweed House’ project, and you know what, they discovered seaweed has not only very good insulating properties, it’s also very good for acoustics!  The idea of using the planets resources in a new manner is encouraging. Now I would like to see algae used for PET, tires, clothes etc etc, and I’m pretty sure it’s in the making…

The marine algae is versatile, sustainable and can look great in the home

“With its rubbery texture and distinctive salty scent, seaweed seems an unlikely ingredient to use in upmarket products, but as the search for unusual materials intensifies and sustainability issues move up the design and architectural agenda, manufacturers are reappraising its potential.

From a drinks cabinet sporting a glossy green veneer aboard a super yacht to table lamps featuring translucent seaweed shades resembling fine pale leather, the marine algae is emerging as a substance of interest in interior design.

Seaweed is now farmed commercially in many parts of the world, particularly in Asia, where it has a history of being used for architectural and design purposes. During the Yuan Dynasty in the 13th and 14th centuries, seaweed was often used as thatch for rooftops in mainland China.

Not only is it mineral-rich, but according to data published by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation in 2011, seaweed is one of the world’s most valuable aquaculture crops, with global production worth $7.35bn annually.

This growing commercial availability has prompted both architects and designers to consider using the marine algae in their work. Israeli designer Nir Meiri is one such example. He has created a range of marine lights using seaweed. “I wanted to use an unconventional material in a domestic environment,” he says. “Now that seaweed is cultivated and harvested on a commercial scale I see it as one of the materials that will be used in design in the future.”

Seaweed-House

The Modern Seaweed House: A traditional and modern northern retreat, http://trends.archiexpo.com/projects/the-modern-seaweed-house-by-tegnestuen-vandkunsten/ 

 

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Laminarium Bench, made with seaweed veneer, from £200 per metre, http://www.julialohmann.co.uk/work/gallery

For more photos & info:

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/2728fb1a-81d9-11e3-87d5-00144feab7de.html#axzz2sBbK6iR7

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