An Indian designer turned pine-needles into a bio-composite raw material

Pine trees litter a large part of our world, forming a bulk of our evergreen forest cover. They hold immense cultural and religious significance for a better part of the world, and aside from the odd Christmas Tree, Pine Wood, and Pine Nuts, the trees don’t offer much. Their thin, needle shaped leaves are designed and optimized to minimize transpiration, and don’t give off much oxygen, because of their low surface area. There’s nothing much you can do with the vast abundance of pine needles that gather on the forest floor when they fall from trees. In fact, they act as kindling, often accelerating forest fires, causing widespread, unstoppable damage to their ecosystems.

In order to combat this, Gaurav Wali gave Pine Needles a new purpose. He separated the fibers of the pine leaves and bound them together with natural binders and waxes, turning it into a completely natural, bio-degradable composite material. The material has the appearance of Low Density Fiber or reclaimed wood-ash, while also being recyclable, fire retardant, water repellent and causing no pollution or waste in the process. It can be formed into sheets, or pressed into molds to create objects one would create with either wood or terracotta, and aside from looking remarkably raw and unique (and possibly giving off a wonderful aroma of pine), it would rid the forest floor of potential fire-starting dried leaves!

Designer: Gaurav Wali

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