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Brief Published: 6 Dec 2013

Artichair by Spyros Kizis


Edinburgh School of Art graduate Spyros Kizis has developed a biological alternative to plastic – a substitute that addresses the need to end our unsustainable global reliance on oil-based materials. The biodegradable composite is a mixture of the Artichoke Thistle plant and a bio-based resin, mainly made from waste cooking oil.

Demonstrating the capabilities of the material, the designer has used it to create the seat of an Eames-style dining chair. The material could offer a viable alternative to conventional plastics ­– behaving in a similar way, yet formed from renewable sources and is completely biodegradable.

Kizis chose the Artichoke Thistle plant as it can be cultivated with little care and without the need for pesticides. Grown easily in a Mediterranean climate, he sees it as a way to encourage local production in his home country to boost a flailing economy.

As creatives seek sustainable alternatives to diminishing resources, we are seeing a growth of materials derived from unusual byproducts and natural materials – for more inspiration, see Biomaterials and Materials Focus A/W 15-16: Repurpose. For more on brands looking towards creating sustainable design solutions, see Closing the Loop: Future Proofing Design.