Merel Karhof harnessed wind power for the entire production process of Windworks, a new collection of furniture.

Karhof sited the project in the historic Zaanse Schans region of the Netherlands, an industrial milling hub dating back almost 300 years.

She used the original, still-functioning mills in a three-fold process to make the furniture.

A sawmill cut the wood that provided the structure for each piece, a color mill ground the pigment used to dye the yarn, and Karhof’s own knitting machine transformed those colored fibers into mini pillows to upholster the stools, benches, and seats.

‘’Everyone is talking about green energy, but nobody knows what that means, how much wind energy do you need to make a scarf? In this project I have visualised the wind, and what it can produce," Karhof said in a release about the project.

The collection features chairs, stools, and benches with a geometric flair.

Karhof used natural dyes to achieve the variegated effects of each pillow.

A view from above. Beautiful!

A view of an early concept used for the initial presentation, alongside vibrant color and knitting samples.

A pic of the Zaanse Schans Wind Knitting Factory.

Component parts and materials organized neatly.

A breakdown of the production process.

A Furniture Collection Made Entirely By Wind Power

Merel Karhof has a knack for harnessing breezes and turning them into fun, sustainable goods we can use.

Merel Karhof has been using the breeze as muse for years, finding new ways to spin airflow into creative gold. Most notable, perhaps, is the London-based designer’s Wind Knitting Machine, which united a metal mill and loom to make one-of-a-kind scarves. Her ongoing Energy Harvesters series (I, II, III, and IV) underscores her continued fascination with the invisible force. And her latest project, a furniture collection, is not only ingenious but it’s the most ambitious yet.

Karhof sited the project in the historic Zaanse Schans region of the Netherlands, an industrial milling hub dating back almost 300 years. These days, it provides a stark glimpse back at the traditions that helped establish the region. On-site, Karhos harnessed whooshing gales and used original, still-functioning machinery in a three-fold process to make the furniture: a sawmill cut the wood that provided the structure for each piece, a color mill ground the pigment used to dye the yarn, and Karhof’s own knitting machine transformed those colored fibers into mini pillows to upholster the stools, benches, and seats. And much like she did with the scarves, whose length corresponded to time it took to make, each cushion is sized relative to how long it took to produce.

The concept alone is enough to make this one of the coolest design endeavors in a while, not to mention a thoughtful approach to sustainability. But the pieces are, frankly, quite fine looking. They have nicely minimalist forms and soft hues. We hope she’ll make more soon.

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