Wood has a smaller ecological impact than many other materials, therefore we believe in the usage of wood in the daily life. To build a wooden house is still a better solution than pouring a concrete house, if you consider the ecological impact. But we must be more careful with what we take from nature and how and for how long we use the resources.
To focus on “sustainable wood cultures” seems a beautiful story at first sight. But we need to count in the knowledge that tree fields are man-made monocultures, and that thriving ecosystems probably were removed to have these monocultures planted. Science has proven that from a CO2 point of view, real, diverse forests are many times more efficient in absorbing CO2 than timber plantations.
– We are fully aware that the climate crisis is not only a CO2 problem, that it is much bigger and much wider. But we find that storing carbon and protecting ecosystems is a good way for us to have a positive impact. Therefore, we prolong the life of wood and protect ecosystems.
Pieter Van Tulder, 2050 furniture designer
We focus on making repairable furniture. The more repair instead of wasting, the better.
For obvious reasons we treat our wood as little as possible. We use a non-toxic one-component lacquer made from the safflower thistle only where it is necessary, like on the seat of a chair and the top of a table. By using a minimum of chemical products, we keep the wood as pure as possible, so it is cleaner and easier to decompose at the end of its life span.
We are slowly stepping away from wood treatment. Adding a lacquer or a chemical component to wood, gives the impression that furniture will live longer, but it also makes extending the life of the wood into a next cycle more complicated. Although we aim to have our furniture outlive its owners, we still think it’s wise not to add chemicals to a perfectly organic, biodegradable material and turn it into a piece of toxic waste.
We also don’t use paint. Our furniture has color from time to time, but that is because we find a lot of wood with paint leftovers in the waste stream. All these different colors give an eclectic look to our pieces and accentuate our focus on the diverse use of reclaimed material.
We still use glue, mainly a formaldehyde free polyvinyl acetate glue, as is enables a more efficient recycling. As you have read above about our recycling process, and the materials we want to use, it is very complicated to start applying mechanical joinery on these small pieces of wood. We use it where we can, but in a competitive market it is extremely difficult to set up a larger production based on only mechanical joinery. It is too labor intensive, and demands quite skilled and specialized labor, which is not so commonly available. We want to focus on local and social labor, which means the job needs to have a low threshold and be easily accessible.
All this is a very complex, nuanced matter. We are writing this to be transparent, and there is of course more to it. Feel free to get in touch if you have questions about this!
Our aim for the future is, as mentioned above, to develop a universal building block that can be used in all kinds of furniture in different life cycles. This comes with many challenges. We envision using glue to avoid using a lot of for example metal components to connect the building blocks. A reversible glue would be ideal. To our knowledge this doesn’t exist today.
We started working towards the idea of a building block and a reversible glue in the beginning of the design process of the Sondre stool in 2021.