Eco-friendly furniture-making has come a long way in recent years, with aesthetics increasingly catching up to ethics. No longer, it seems, do pieces created via sustainable practices have to compromise on style. (So long, goofy bottle cap-topped coffee tables and armchairs made of wine corks.)
An example of such progress is the modern Zero Per Stool, which debuted in 2016 and features a one-of-a-kind seat created from a hybrid of wooden offcuts and resin. It’s the work of Hattern, a South Korean design studio that’s all about “upcycling,” or using discarded materials to produce higher-quality products. The designers, Jang Won, Min-a Kim and Kyungsun Hwang, take inspiration from the likes of British heavyweights Tom Dixon and Thomas Heatherwick. And while Hattern’s operation is much more modest than theirs are, its emphasis on sophistication and practicality is similar.
As the name suggests, the goal for the Zero Per Stool is to create almost no waste. To achieve this, the legs are cut from white oak, and then the offcuts — random wood pieces left over — are set in resin to harden. The resulting block of cured wood and translucent resin is then cut and sanded to form the stool. This yields an unexpectedly beautiful abstract pattern, elevating an otherwise ordinary piece of furniture to work-of-art status. Even better: Hattern takes any small wood scraps that remain and repeats the process to make similar-looking coasters.
It’s furniture and home decor ideas like these — gorgeous rather than gimmicky — that give us hope for the future of eco-conscious design.
A Hattern online store is forthcoming. To purchase a stool ($235.70, not including shipping), send a message on Hattern’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/hattern or Behance, www.behance.net/studiohattern