Natural material selection for products can provide a low environmental impact and carbon emission output. Architect and designer David Thulstrup incorporated this idea into his recent exhibit called the MOMENTUM collection.
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The collection is made up of four limited-edition pieces — low table, high table, podium and screen — exploring eelgrass. The sea plant was converted into legs for the furniture and screen material in the form of a product engineered by Søuld called Acoustic Mats.
Building up from the Acoustic Mats, MOMENTUM also integrates glass and steel into the pieces. With the basis of natural, plant-based material, the furniture naturally battles carbon emissions, while bringing a bespoke interior design element to the space.
Using eelgrass in building is not a new idea. It was formerly popular as a roofing material in traditional Læsø, located off the coast of the Danish mainland, seaweed houses. Surrounded by sea, eelgrass is prolific and is known to be used in construction dating back to the 1600s.
Søuld converted that traditional building process into a modern option through innovative technology and ten years of research and development. Its Acoustic Mats have offered a welcome alternative in the construction industry, but MOMENTUM is the first example of using the material in furniture.
“This collaboration has given us the opportunity to explore the material’s possibilities beyond the context of building construction,” explained Søuld’s Co-Founder Pi Fabrin. “[Thulstrup’s] purist material approach also highlights its natural beauty and tactility, and his designs respect the cultural heritage of eelgrass whilst meeting the design and environmental needs of today.”
While the designs promote a connection between home interior design and nature, the function of the Acoustic Mats improves acoustics and speaks to the cultural heritage of the region. It not only provides an alternative to less environmentally-friendly options, but it also creates healthier indoor air quality. Søuld’s eelgrass products offer thermal and moisture-absorption properties. Similar to the characteristics of cork, eelgrass is highly resistant to fire, mold and rot and contains no toxic additives.
“Working with eelgrass feels rewarding not only because of its truly unique characteristics, but also the fact that it’s natural, sustainable and revolutionary,” Thulstrup said. “I especially love the surface of the eelgrass, its warm hue and the smell of salt.”
Images via MOMENTUM by David Thulstrup for Søuld