7 local designers vie to create the chicest eco-friendly seat

The Seed to Seat project challenges creatives to minimise the environmental impact of their designs

06 August 2017 - 00:00 By Roberta Thatcher
Playbench 2 by David Krynauw.
Playbench 2 by David Krynauw.
Image: Supplied

Ever wondered about the environmental impact of the chair you're sitting on? The American Hardwood Export Council is out to tell you. Seed to Seat is a project that tracks every aspect of a chair's design and manufacture, from concept to completion.

The council has run the project previously in the Middle East, Australia and Europe, where it has collaborated with design giants such as Zaha Hadid, David Adjaye, Norman Foster and Paul Smith.

This year, it has launched Seed to Seat locally.

Seven of our top designers will take part:

  • Andrew Dominic (Andrew Dominic Furniture)
  • James Mudge (James Mudge Furniture Studio)
  • Laurie Wiid van Heerden (Wiid Design)
  • Christoph Karl (Guideline Manufacturing)
  • Jacques Cronje (Jacques Cronje Timber Design)
  • David Krynauw and Adriaan Hugo (Dokter and Misses)
The Flow Stool by Jacques Cronje.
The Flow Stool by Jacques Cronje.
Image: Supplied

Each was given a very open brief, to create "something to sit on". There were two rules: the pieces had to be made from a US hardwood species - cherry, tulipwood, soft maple or red oak; and all materials, energy usage, transport and wastage had to be recorded to assess the full environmental impact of each design.

"Seed to Seat aims to introduce the designers to American hardwood species, while challenging them to design a seat using only solid lumber and as little non-wood materials as possible," says the council's regional director Roderick Wiles.

• The pieces will be unveiled, in collaboration with Sunday Times, at 100% Design South Africa 2017, which runs from Wednesday, August 9 to Sunday, August 12 at the Gallagher Convention Centre. Visit seedtoseat.info and 100percentdesign.co.za.