The Cooper-Hewitt Museum in New York currently has an exhibition running through January 2010 featuring ten leading designers that were commissioned to "develop new uses for sustainably grown and harvested materials in order to tell a unique story about the life-cycle of materials and the power of conservation and design." The featured designers hail from all over the world, including Costa Rica, Alaska, Micronesia, China and Maine. From cocoa to bamboo, chicle to organic wool, jump below for descriptions of a few of the standouts...
1. Cocoa: Designer Yves Behar created a tool for scraping bits of cocoa off the patty where it collects in a hollow tube. Turn it over, and the coca shavings fall into a cup ready for hot water or milk.
2. Bamboo: Designer Ezri Tarazi used bamboo as a vertical structure to support media, bookshelves, audio and lighting.
3. Organic wool: Designer Christien Meindertsma used knitting needles the size of yard sticks to hook together 11 hexagonal tiles for this beautiful handmade rug.
4. Jam Wood: Designer Stephen Burks created this therapeutic medicinal grinder wherein he plant products are gathered in the top portion, ground in the handle and then dispensed out the bottom for lotions and potions.
5. Chicle: Designer Hella Jongerius melted, molded and stretched the chicle latex onto cool, textured ceramic vases.
Read more about the exhibit here and view Cooper-Hewitt's website for more details.