Locally Grown Furniture

Locally Grown Furniture

In Northern Holland, along a busy roadway known as N34, there is an art trail, populated with sculptures and outdoor artworks by major Dutch artists. To unify the site and help guide visitors through it, Dutch designer Ineke Hans created signposts and furniture with an unusual relationship to the immediate environment.  The bright yellow signs, the posts with animals pointing to different directions, and the picnic tales and benches are all made with bio-composites, utilizing several materials that are or traditionally were grown in the surrounding area.

Bio-composites are materials that are similar to glass fiber composites  (‘fiberglass’) or carbon fiber composites, except that the materials are plant-based and renewable.

The different animals are way-finding beasts, each a symbol for one of the four sections of the art trail. The first section is tagged with a goose, because there used to be a goose market at Coevorden, a city along the route. Another section is represented by the sheep found in this moorland

The bio-based composite is Nabasco, made by NPSP, a Dutch company. (It is the same bio-composite used in the BE.e electric scooter reported here last week.) The reinforcing fibers used in Ineke’s desgins are hemp and flax, are both grown locally near the N34.  The resin matrix may be a combination of bio-sourced and mineral-sourced plastics.

The furniture materials also include recycled plastic, steel, and concrete.

One of the interesting aspects of the project, from a composites point of view, is the fact that it is an exterior installation, in a rather damp environment, at that. For anyone who wondered whether bio-composites are durable enough to withstand exposure to the elements, the answer is to be found alongside the N34 in Provincie Drenthe, The Netherlands.

Images via dezeen.com