Slovakian designer Šimon Kern has transformed fallen leaves into a comfortable seat in his Beleaf chair prototype.
The seat is made from a fully biodegradable mixture of recycled leaves and resin from leftover cooking oil, and sits atop a durable tubular steel skeleton.
“I wanted to use a strong structure to work as a ‘trunk and branches for leaves’,” Kern said in an interview with Dezeen. “There [are] also a lot of curves in the frame, so I decided that tubular steel had the best mechanical features for my purpose.”
When it comes to be replaced, the seat element of the chair can return from whence it came, in turn helping to replenish leaf stocks for the creation of future chairs.
“If it gets damaged we just put it under the tree, where it disappears into the soil and fertilises a tree,” he said. “Then we pick the fallen leaves once again, and make a new seat.”
Designed while Kern was studying at the Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem, Beleaf currently exists as a prototype. The designer plans to create more ergonomic versions of the seat, as well as investigate the possibility of using the leaf-based material for lighting.