Designer Gavin Munro has pioneered a technique for making furniture that’s guaranteed to challenge the notions of traditional furniture design. His concept uses “organic 3D printing” to literally grow furniture from the ground up.
Munro’s company Full Grown strategically plants, grafts, and shapes trees into specific structures that are harvested as elegant furniture pieces. It took Munro and his team 10 years to perfect the technique.
Full Grown’s open-air factory is located in the UK on a four-acre piece of land with 3,000 trees. It currently has 500 furniture items in production, including tables, chairs, and lamps. Materials like glue and nails are not used on the finished product. Only grafts are used where necessary.
The process creates gorgeously sculptured pieces that look natural and demonstrate what subtle human intervention can produce.
Munro got the idea for the technique from a childhood memory of a bonsai tree in his garden that took the shape of a chair. He describes the process as “organic 3D printing” that uses oil, air, and sunshine as its source materials.
Full Grown’s first prototype, the Willow Chair, was a huge success that’s now part of the National Museum of Scotland’s permanent collection. To help fund the next harvest, Munro recently launched a Kickstarter campaign.
In addition to its unique aesthetic, the concept has low material costs and can be done literally anywhere a tree can grow. If it catches on, it could end up revolutionizing the way we think about furniture design.