Young London designer and architect Asif Khan recently unveiled his visually arresting Harvest Project, a small collection of chairs and a table created during his participation in the Designers in Residence program at the Design Museum London. Following a brief to develop “context-specific” projects, Khan sought to highlight the living potential around us by using local plant life (Baby’s Breath) as the raw material for furniture.
Still, Harvest goes beyond an eco-conscious material conceit. The project is better viewed as another example of the process driven approach that has been a key ingredient in some of this century’s most engaging designs—such as Tomas Libertiny’s Made by Bees, Nacho Carbonell’s Soft Concrete project, or Tokujin Yoshioka’s Venus Chair—works where the product is not so much designed as “processed.”
Khan’s project takes the Baby’s Breath merely as the starting point. Selecting the vegetation for its ability to “aggregate and interlock,” its characteristics informs the initial weaving phase of development.
The project then goes through a process of molding and freeze-drying in an industrial facility, which removes all water content from the material. Lastly, Khan uses a linseed oil-based resin to infuse the forms.