DIY furniture from invasive plants
The wooden products made from invasive plants, including the line of furniture, were designed as simple and, most importantly, eco- and people-friendly quality products. It was the designer Enzo Mari’s project, Autoprogettazione, that served as the inspiration for our endeavours. The title literally translates to ‘auto-designing’ or ‘auto-making’, which is what Mari had in mind while designing a line of furniture for the DIY user setting up a chair, desk or wardrobe with only a hammer and a few nails and planks. Unlike standard planks used by Mari, the wood from invasive plants needs special treatment. While the material is otherwise perfectly comparable to the one harvested from native tree species, it nevertheless presents us with limitations that we rarely encounter with forest-harvested wood. Due to their ecosystemic advantages for the residents, not all invasive trees in cities are removed – only those that are diseased or dangerous to the people. When it came to the production plans, the products’ dimensions were thus dictated by different factors, such as the presence of nails in the trunks, the quality of the sawn wood, and nonstandard dimensions. Such properties of the material do not correspond to the canons of the ready-made supply on the market. The list of species whose wood is deemed appropriate for use in our environment includes the tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima), the honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos), the black locust (Robinia Pseudacacia), the box elder (Acer negundo), and the horse-chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum).
Unlike the furniture which can be bought in shopping centres or concept stores, DIY furniture is designed primarily to encourage the self-organisation, creativity, and self-provisioning of local communities. Such furniture can prompt a series of different activities. The practice can, for example, initiate public workshops in cities, help set up design production spaces, teach children how to make furniture in school classes, and help identify invasive trees in your local district. The project represents a tool for the formation of autonomous economic cultures by giving people the right to manage and care for urban ecosystems.
Chek out our catalog with plans: Online view & Desktop printer. For the version, printed on the invasive plants paper please drop us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org with a short description of your plans of use.
Idea: Trajna. Production plans: Matija Milkovič Biloslav, Trajna in Katarina Lampič. Photography: Klemen Ilovar. Graphic design of the catalogue: Renata Šifrar.
The exhibition and the catalogue were conceived in cooperation with the Centre for Creativity at the Museum of Architecture and Design. Some results of the APPLAUSE project are collected in this catalog. APPLAUSE is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) initiative. The information and standpoints reflect exclusively the views of the authors. The UIA initiative shall not be liable for them nor for their use. You can read more about the project at: https://www.ljubljana.si/en/applause/.