When Gavin Munro was playing in his garden as a young boy, he noticed that an overgrown bonsai tree had the distinct appearance of a chair. Soon after, he got a spinal graft, requiring him to wear a back brace to heal and align his bones. “There were long periods of staying still, plenty of time to observe everything going on and reflect," he recalls.
Today, Munro is creating a farm where planted trees can be grown around braces and harvested as fully formed chairs, sculptures, lamps, and tables.
While working on a series of tables and chairs made from driftwood, Munro began to wonder about the cycle of waste. What if instead of chopping down a 50 year old tree into small parts, expending more energy along each step of the way, he could grow the trees directly into their forms? Munro imagined a more efficient process: he'd plant trees, train and graft their shoots around frames, leave pieces to thicken for a few years, and then harvest, plane, and polish.
"It was only after doing this project for a few years a friend pointed out that I must know exactly what it’s like to be shaped and grafted on a similar time scale," the designer says.