Innovation That Matters

Spent grain, leftover from the beer-brewing process, is recycled into furniture in Mater’s new process | Photo source MPMPix from Pixabay

Design firm develops chairs made from brewery waste 

Architecture & Design

The stools are made using plastic waste and spent grain from the Danish brewer Carlsberg

Spotted: Danish design firm Mater has launched a new product, a stool made using plastic waste and spent grain from the Danish brewer Carlsberg. The Mask Stool (mask is the Danish word for the spent grain leftover in the beer production process) was unveiled at the brand’s Circular Design Exhibition in Copenhagen, and was designed by Danish architect Eva Harlou.

The spent grain is dried and combined with granulated plastic waste to create a mixture that can then be moulded into furniture. Much of the plastic waste consisted of discarded insulin pens from the Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk. Harlou and Mater are currently working together under the Earth Studio label and have been collaborating on a number of products using similar materials and methods.

Mater is known as a conscious and ethical design brand and for its focus on craftsmanship and collaboration. The company’s aesthetic references Scandinavian minimalism, and its designs are all made with sustainably or ethically sourced materials. Mater founder and CEO Henrik Marstrand said: “This is the way our company is going. It’s looking at converting the waste stream into products without any compromise on aesthetics or material finishing.”

According to Harlou, the process can be used with a variety of wet fibres. “Now we can use not only the spent grain but also coffee beans and wood chips. This production method is unlimited. We can scale it up and do collaborations with all kinds of different industries to take their waste and turn it into great design,” she said.

Designers have been working to tackle waste by incorporating a growing number of materials into their designs. Some of the innovations we’ve spotted include the recycling of old toys into new outdoor furniture and a range of modular furniture made from trash.



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