We’ve always been told that money doesn’t grow on trees, but could furniture? One couple in the UK is testing this adage by doing just that. Alice and Gavin Munro, the proprietors behind Full Grown, have been training trees to grow into the shape of chairs, lamps, tables and sculptures since 2012. They refer to the process as “zen 3D printing”, which utilizes both ancient techniques and modern technology to coax and train the trees to grow into household furniture.
But how? Well, the process certainly isn’t quick. Growing one chair can take six to nine years… and a lot of patience. The trees are carefully tended to and nurtured from a young age to grow directly into the desired shapes - making the entire process less of a drain on resources than traditional methods of chopping down trees and cutting them into smaller and smaller pieces, only to put them back together again. Instead of glue to secure the joints, they use grafting. What is grafting? It’s a horticulture process where the tissues of plants are delicately joined so they grow together.
The Munro’s artistic endeavors are an example of how the future of furniture manufacturing could be more eco-friendly, although consumers would need to get used to a longer lead time to receive their wares - according to Full Grown’s website their current waitlist is filled until 2029, so place your orders now.
Photo by Steven Kamenar