Student Makes Stools From A Butcher’s Discarded Cow Bones

Ergonomics, Flintstones style.

Ama Darko Williams is taking furniture design back to caveman times. A 24-year-old masters student in Innovation Design Engineering at the Royal College of Art in London, Williams rooted around the garbage of a butcher shop in London recently, found a bunch of big, juicy cow bones, then arranged them into what are perhaps the world’s most sustainably designed stools. What’s greener than sitting down to dinner on bones stripped from the very meat you’re eating?


“The abundant supply and sustainable source of bone make it an ideal material” for furniture, Williams tells Co.Design in an email. Three cow bones form the stool’s central leg and seat, and industrial metal pieces create the other two legs, plus joints.

3rd Leg, as she calls it, might look awfully fragile–like the fossil of some extinct tripedal bird–but each stool can carry up to 220 pounds, she says: “Certain parts of bone remain very strong after death. Test were carried out as to where best to place steel supports, but the bone alignment still holds a lot of weight.”

As for everything that went into making the stools: Like sausage, the less you know, the better. Says Williams: “3rd leg emerged out of a lot of boiling, burning, blood, rotting, and fat.”

About the author

Suzanne LaBarre is the editor of Co.Design. Previously, she was the online content director of Popular Science and has written for the New York Times, the New York Observer, Newsday, I.D.