Using what we already have, Keeping it Green!

In earlier posts, I have focussed on design solutions that involved recycling and reusing building materials and other products of day-to-day use. These solutions involve the use of materials and products with a limited life cycle and a lot of them would sooner or later end up in landfills and the problem of sustainability would resurface. Reusing or upcycling products primarily ensures an extension of the shelf life, in other words, we would just postpone the inevitable!

In striking contrast, using natural materials already available in abundance in their basic form presents itself as a more intelligent solution to our environment-related woes. Since time immemorial, we’ve used nature in its purest form for most of our needs. Curved branches formed bows, two stones made a fire, vines formed rope to build huts with thatch roofs.


Even if I take references from closer home and from not so distant a past, in India, till about a little more than a decade back, our milk didn’t reach us in packets or ‘recycled/recyclable’ paper boxes, cola wasn’t available in pet bottles, power hogging machines did not dry clothes and more importantly we never needed to get anywhere fast enough to use fancy looking gas guzzling transport.


And then the world got smaller, we became citizens of the world. We forgot about how solutions that work in Arizona wouldn’t necessarily work in Bangalore or that homes built in Delhi had to look different from the ones in Budapest. We have now flattened the many dimensions that formed our beautiful planet.


But we’re not…
In my opinion, the only way to go and saving ourselves from catastrophe would be to get smart and maybe unlearn a bit. Lessons are there to be learnt from the world around us. Lessons from the mistakes that we’ve made and continue making. This post features five creations that involve making use of the resources nature provides and using them in their unprocessed forms. These are intelligent solutions, solutions we can’t ignore any more…

Straw Stool’

Designers: Gina Hsu and Nagaaki Shaw from DHH Studio, Taiwan
Materials: Rice, Grain, Straw, Coir, Epoxy Resin

‘Bent Reed’

Designer: Taylor Mckenzie-Veal
Materials: Reed


Designers: PPAG & Simon Oberhammer + Stefanie Mayer
Materials: Willow saplings, Raffia of wood, Humus

‘Loofah Products’

Designer: Fernando Laposse
Materials: Loofah, Wood, Clay, Steel

‘Urushi Lacquer Bench + Stool’

Designer: Max Lamb
Materials: Cleft Chestnut, Urushi Lacquer

It’s time we became INTELLIGENT!

Credits: The solutions listed here were sourced from 



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