experimental Cork Chair
Through a studio-based research process at RISD, I was able to create “black cork” by bonding cork granules using it’s natural resins (suberin) without the need of additional bonding agents and without using dangerous, expensive, and complex equipment.
The molded cork seat and back is captured in a stainless steel frame making it suitable for inside or outside use. The natural weather resistant, hypoallergenic, mold resistant and fire resistant materials make it suitable for year round use. The cork is soft and pleasing to the touch making it a comfortable seat.
Understanding materials, how they are used and how they can be transformed, is how we understand our world. As an artist and designer, materials are a vital part of the language we use to communicate and shape the world around us. Today’s material science has brought us nanoparticles, polymers, and alloys increasing our vocabulary. I believe that we have an opportunity to further broaden our material lexicon with a fully sustainable material – Black Cork. Cork is unique in that it is weather resistant, hypoallergenic, mold resistant and fire resistant, while also being pleasing to touch, easy to work with and environmentally responsible. Cork comes from the bark of a Cork Oak Tree and can be harvested every 8 years, making it a truly sustainable resource. Cork granules are often by-products of the wine bottle cork industry, as well as recycled wine corks.