Alessandro Isola and Supriya Mankad of I M Lab have designed the Eroded Stools, made from cork.

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Description from I M Lab

The stools were designed for a wine testing room in the north east of italy. starting with the form of a pure cube the seat is excavated from a block of cork. The excavated seat finds its way down the back almost like a liquid has been poured on to it and flows down finding and making its own path. Given the main purpose of the space, purred wine is a corollary. The excavated part of the cube are then clad in fabric.

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Cork was chosen specifically due to a triad of reasons.

• the first and foremost is the sustainable and environmentally friendly credentials of this natural material. sustainably sourced cork can be harvested without damaging or cutting the tree. through its life cycle it is biodegradable and renewable and is a far better alternative to other metals and plastics in terms of carbon footprint in the manufacturing process.
• the second aspect is its relationship to the wine industry.
• the third is the machinability of the material allowing us to achieve the form we required.

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The requirement was for 40-50 modules of the stool. That meant that the pieces needed to look identical. Also the complexity of the surface meant that the process needed to be computer aided to ensure a certain level of quality and minimise wastage. The process started with layering and gluing up sheets of cork to get a cube 450x450x450. This was then cut using a cnc milling machine. The resulting form was then hand finished to receive the felt.

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Designers: I M Lab