The Heracleum Mantegazzianum Re-Valued
Atelier Schaft tells a new narrative about the infamous giant hogweed plant and transforms this invasive plant into a series of new material applications.
Heracleum Mantegazzianum is better known as the giant hogweed or in Dutch the reuzen berenklauw. The plant is introduced in Europe during the Victorian era due to its architectural quality.
The material options offer a replacement for various traditional materials, this way the designer changes the weeds into a potential new crop.
The plant spreads quickly on unused sites, requires no maintenance and is extremely light. Invasive plants like this form the material source of the future.
The three material options (foam, veneer, and cardboard) are all made of 100% giant hogweed.
The stalk of the giant hogweed is hollow but the inside is covered with a dense white foamy substance. The ‘’bark’’ of the plant is deeply textured when dried and is divided by hard knots.
When processing the veneer strokes the white foam is left over. These strokes of foam are pressed and bound with a starch-based recipe.
The hard knots of the plant are ground and boiled in a mixture of H2o and Na2CO3. After processing, this ‘’paste’’ becomes strong and as light as cardboard.
The fine giant hogweed veneer is made out of the most flat parts of the plant. Every stalk is cut by hand in several strokes, creating a surface covering texture.
Information submitted by the maker and edited by the Future Materials Bank.