Zostera Stool: sitting on washed up seagrass

Eelgrass is a type of seagrass that often washes up on the North Sea beaches. Governments tend to clean up the beaches and throw the material away, because they form an unsightly brown carpets, which is bad for tourism. From German beaches alone, every year thousands of tons are removed and brought to landfills as special waste. German designer Carolin Pertsch does not regard eelgrass as waste, however. Instead, she uses the material to create seats for stools, called the Zostera Stool.

Pertsch decided to explore the potential of the material and started a series of material experimentations. Eventually, she created a new eco-material, which is a fibre reinforced eco-plastic, made with the aid of a bio-resin mainly produced from vegetable oil.

Pertsch used this eco-material to create a round seat for a simple stool, called the Zostera Stool, after the Latin name for eelgrass: Zostera marina. According to Pertsch, there is no better way to confront people with a new material than through furniture, as it always needs an interaction between human and object. With its minimalism, the stool highlights the material, its functionality and appearance.

The eco-material is lightweight and stable at the same time and brings out the natural aesthetics of the eelgrass. The texture of the finished product feels very much like cork and still shows the embedded strands of eelgrass.

Pertsch has designed three four-legged stools for the range, each of which features a subtly different shade of material. The different shading is possible by sorting the different shades of the seagrass. The material is very stable, which is proven by the only one centimetre thick seat.

The aim of the project, aside from creating an eco-material, is to show people new and innovative ways for future materials.

Photos: Carolin Pertsch