Nature-inspired furniture from New Zealand
One of my favorite countries to visit is New Zealand. It has spectacular landscapes and an incredible pool of sustainable designers. I was lucky enough to spend 10 days on a business trip last year on the North Island around Auckland but unfortunately never made it to the South Island. One of the companies I would love to check out is the sustainable furniture company Tréology based in Christchurch.
Tréology creates beautifully designed furniture made of sustainable timber found in New Zealand’s lakes, fiords and rivers. I love the company’s philosophy that nature designs their furniture for them since I agree that nature is the best designer. Their furniture uses sustainable materials like timber that’s naturally felled by landslides and earthquakes or rescued from demolished buildings after the Christchurch earthquakes. The name Tréology is a combination of the words “tree” and “genealogy”. It hints at the use of century-old trees in the furniture. Many pieces of sustainable timber are rescue trees that have fallen into the fiords on the South West Coast of the South Island and are about 400 years old. Submerged into the water no oxygen reaches them so that they are naturally preserved. Before a piece of timber can be retrieved it needs to be mapped, catalogued and approved as being authentic by the New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. During the milling and manufacturing process each piece is tagged so that its origin can always be traced. I have seen similar concepts for the tracing of merino wool in clothes or ingredients in restaurants. It’s cool to see this used for furniture too.
My favorite designs are the contemporary Umber Chair and Umber Credenza as part of the Umber Range collection. They look sculptural yet are functional and make nice heirloom pieces. Another eco-bonus is that Tréology reuses their timber leftover pieces and either turns them into smaller items or donates them to local pre-schools. Even woodchips and sawdust are recycled for landscaping to close the loop. Just like mother nature would do it.
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Tags: contemporary furniture, design, furniture, New Zealand, sustainable, sustainable materials