Full Grown make unique pieces of furniture by growing trees and shaping them into one-piece chairs, lamps or mirror frames.
British designer Gavin Munro uses ancient techniques combined with modern technology to grow, graft, nurture and harvest living trees into chairs, tables and sculptures.
Trees are strategically planted, grafted, and shaped into specific structures. Gavin Munro’s designs use trees grown around plastic frames with the resulting chairs, tables and lamps made from a single piece of wood. When harvested, they are pieces of furniture in their own right.
Full Grown started planting trees to grow furniture in 2006. Around 3,000 trees have been planted on a 2.5 acre farm in Derbyshire.
Furniture is grown from trees including ash, sycamore, hazel, crabapple, sessile oak and royal oak and takes years to be ready for harvest. The first prototype chair, which was completed in 2015, took five years to grow, while a series of pendant lamps took three years to grow.
Gavin Munro and his team have been developing the technique of growing trees into furniture for more than 10 years. However, the idea of growing furniture is no new feat. In Ancient Egypt and Greece, methods for growing small stools were developed.
No glue or joints are used in the finished pieces, just grafts. The result is sculptural pieces that aims to honour nature and the connection between wood and craftsmanship.
Gavin Munro says the process is “a seriously viable, scalable and eco-friendly manufacturing system which challenges and adds to the traditional manufacturing process”.
Full Grown’s first prototype willow chair is now on display at National Museum of Scotland, as part of the museum’s permanent collection.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea