Curve and our clients are thinking more and more about ways in which we can work sustainably .. in a series of blog posts Laura explores new uses of materials and products which are paving the way for a more eco future!

Cork is a material we have been aware of all our lives but have you ever imagined it being used within interiors beyond the classic cork notice board? As we strive for more sustainable solutions within interior design, designers are experimenting with new and old materials to break the mould of the stereotypical eco-friendly design.

British designer Jasper Morrison exhibited a series of furniture items made from Cork at New York’s Kasmin gallery, pushing the boundaries from his usual industrial style designs. Morrison decided to experiment with cork due to its atmospheric and functional qualities – key design components for a furniture piece with a long-life cycle. He created furniture from book shelves to a fireplace surround.

Cork is harvested from the Cork Oak tree. The outer bark is stripped from the trees without cutting them down. This method allows the plant to continue capturing carbon and as a result makes the material effectively carbon negative. Cork is sound absorbent, fireproof, waterproof and amazingly light, making it the perfect material for furniture.

Another acclaimed designer Tom Dixon released a series of furniture made from cork that has been charred to give it a deep brown colour, somewhat disguising its natural appearance and steering away from a Scandinavian aesthetic. For Dixon’s furniture he bound Cork with a small amount of polyurethane resin to increase the durability of the material which was reduced during its charring process. The resin element does not reduce the products ability to be continually recycled and as a result there is no waste in the process.

References –

Jasper Morrison shows his first series of cork furniture in New York (dezeen.com)

JASPER MORRISON (kasmingallery.com)

Tom Dixon designs furniture collection from “dream material” cork (dezeen.com)

5 Reasons to Use Cork in Your Interior Design – Engaging Interiors

How is Cork Harvested? | Cork Space