Natural Material Studio
Ongoing research and design work
Initiated January 2019
Photos by Natural Material Studio
We are already well familiar with pine wood for energy and as building material, but the pine needles are often an overseen raw matter. Which is quite a shame since a pine tree consists of up to 30 % needles.
Using this research as a starting motivation I began to explore the potentials of pine needles. I found that the treated needles in combination with a natural binder and additives showed interesting results as a design material. I have since developed this into two types of composites – a hard and solid, and a soft, flexible kind.
For this experimental period I was working with discarded christmas trees after the festive season from my local area in Copenhagen. Which is not for no reason. The christmas tree industry has a loss of 30 % of the total harvest every year, as these trees do not live up to standards. With Denmark being one of the biggest producers and exporters of christmas trees in Europe with a yearly sale of 11 millions trees, we are still left with approx 4,7 millions trees mainly burned or discarded to give space for new seeds on the field.
Developing a new material from pine needles taps into the leftovers from the industry while introducing a novel material to the market. It turnes something, that was thought of as a temporary decoration, into a permenant installation.
We are aiming to further develop the materials functionality and aesthetics this spring to make them ready to be used in products and collaborations with architects and designers. We see that the solid composite could work well as a panel, tile, facade or something more structural in product designs. The flexible composite has fine associations with leather and could be used for furnitures, accessories and further.
Also, we are looking into establishing partnerships with christmas tree growers to make use of their early loss.
By Bonnie Hvillum
Exploring the future of overseen matter
Phone: +45 40 59 51 95
Østbanegade 41, basement
2100 Copenhagen Ø