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Eero Saarinen Tulip chair replica shows potential of sustainable ‘wood-like’ material

Ekoa provides the look and feel of wood without trees

wood-like bio material used to make Saarinen chair Lingrove

Ekoa looks like wood—it has the warm, earthy hue, the swirling wood-like grains, the smooth, sanded finish. And yet, Ekoa is not wood.

Lingrove, the company behind Ekoa, developed the composite material from flax linen fiber that’s combined with bio-resin from industrial waste. Mold it, cure it under high heat and pressure, and the process produces a wood-like material that’s lighter than carbon fiber, stronger than steel, moldable like plastic, and carbon negative.

Lingrove
Lingrove

Lingrove originally developed Ekoa to build bodies for high-end guitars, but it’s keen to show off how the eco-friendly material can be used in furniture, too. This week, the company unveiled a replica of Eero Saarinen’s Tulip Chair made almost entirely from Ekoa.

To create its curvy dimensions, the Ekoa paste was set in a mold and cured, a process not so different from how Saarinen made the original chair. The end product looks like the 1957 classic—only, you know, slightly better for the environment.