Saturday, March 21, 2009

Chair #80

—Designed by Jasper Morrison

British industrial designer Jasper Morrison created this essential shaped stool for Vitra's At Home Collection.

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Quercus suber, the Cork Oak tree, is what supplies us with commercially used cork. Most of these Cork Oak trees live in Portugal and Spain, but the trees are also sprinkled in other parts of the world. When the trees reach about 25 years in age, the cork is stripped from the trunks every 9 years. The strips of cork are dried for 6 months, then boiled for 90 minutes, then dried again for 3 weeks. Finally, the cork is cut into the shapes we know. This sounds harsh for the tree but they are treated well, and they live for about 200 years. For the most part the the cork industry is considered as environmentally friendly and sustainable with one exception. Since cork oak forests now comprise the majority of habitat for the Iberian lynx (sometimes referred to as the Spanish lynx) which is one of the most endangered cat species in the world, the lynx’s survival is believed to depend upon the continued viability of cork trees. Who knew there was a cork & Iberian lynx connection? 

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