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Briket: Eco Stool from Sawdust & Potatoes

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In an innovative move towards sustainable design, Swiss designer Renaud Defrancesco has introduced Briket, a recyclable stool crafted entirely from potato and sawdust scraps. Unveiled at Salone del Mobile 2024, this unique piece highlights the potential of repurposing industrial waste into functional and environmentally friendly furniture. Defrancesco’s inspiration came from the production of pellets, resulting in a stool that can also be recycled as firewood, providing warmth during colder seasons.

The Briket stool emerged from Defrancesco’s extensive research on waste materials in local industries. By combining sawdust scraps and potatoes—byproducts often produced in excess—he successfully created a robust and recyclable stool. This project was not a solo endeavor; Defrancesco collaborated with designer Anne Bertoncini, conducting around 30 tests to ensure the feasibility of the material combination. Their efforts paid off, resulting in a sturdy nine-leg stool that Defrancesco demonstrated by sitting and even standing on during its debut.

What sets Briket apart from other stools is its raw, unadorned aesthetic. Rather than applying paint or other design features, Defrancesco chose to leave the stool bare, showcasing the natural materiality of the sawdust and potato mixture. This approach not only emphasizes the sustainability of the design but also adds a unique, organic charm to the piece, aligning with current Furniture Trends that favor eco-friendly and minimalist designs.

For those interested in owning a Briket stool, Defrancesco notes that it can be produced directly where wood waste is abundant, such as in sawmills, carpentry shops, and workshops handling large quantities of wood. “All it takes is a press to manufacture the stools on-site, giving wood waste a second life before its third and final use as fuel,” he explains. This localized production model further enhances the stool’s sustainability, reducing transportation emissions and supporting circular economies.

Briket’s debut at Salone del Mobile 2024 was part of the OUT OF THE WOODWORKS exhibition, showcased by the Swiss design gallery NOV. The exhibition, held at the House of Switzerland and organized by Pro Helvetia Design, aimed to highlight the value and current role of wood in the material world. Briket stood out, not only for its innovative use of waste materials but also for its embodiment of sustainable principles, reflecting the latest Furniture Trends.

In essence, the Briket stool is a testament to the potential of repurposing industrial byproducts into functional, beautiful, and eco-friendly furniture. As we continue to seek sustainable solutions in design, innovations like Briket pave the way for a greener future.

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