The FUNGI bench was designed and fabricated for the Street Seats International Design Challenge organized by Design Museum Portland. The bench, which is made of recycled and renewable materials is currently exhibited in the city center of Portland, Orgeon. During the design process of FUNGI I found the inspiration to consider mushrooms, mosses and parasites. I observed their connections to tree trunks and their structural properties. I combined wood with recycled bike inner tubes to raise people's attention to the importance of environmentally friendly design and sustainability.

 

A solid, rustic walnut half-log acts as a foundation for FUNGI and strengthens the structure. The rubber tubes are pulled on and are stretched between steel rods, which are attached to the wood. The tubes are clamped on the rods with cable ties, which are hidden by another layer of rubber. At first glance the frames look like one solid material, but the sides are rigid and the seating surface is flexible. I used 2 layers of tubes at each frame to increase the bearing capacity and durability. Due to the unique structural solution and the twisting shape, several seating and lying positions can be comfortably experienced. By leaving the natural colors and surfaces of all these materials, the furniture exhibits an attractive rawness.

 

The FUNGI stool was born as a further development of the project into an interior furniture piece for myself. I used a geometrically formed walnut wood base instead of the half-log and designed a flat seating surface. The original parts of the inner tubes, such as tire repair patches, tube valves, and lables were used as visual elements on both pieces of furniture. These refer to the old function.