The Fly-Ash Chair is constructed of a geopolymer concrete primarily comprised of waste from coal-based power plants. The volume of ash byproduct in each chair is the energy equivalent of a 100W lightbulb powered for 24 hours a day for 115 days.

The Fly-Ash Chair is a remedial response to our global energy dependence on coal and the fossil fuel industry. Transferring LEED® certified building methods of construction to product design, this chair offers a functional, elegant solution through recycled coal waste. The honesty of material results in color and texture variations dependent on the diversity of chemical compounds in each ash sample, giving each chair distinct, industrial character. Environmentally responsible in methodology and designed with longevity in mind, the sustainable nature of the material application is further amplified in its embodiment of our global waste accumulation.

The toxic nature of the coal energy production process extends beyond greenhouse gases and CO2 levels; it creates a lesser-known derivative called fly ash. One of the most abundant industrial byproducts on Earth, fly ash is typically “stored” in ash ponds where it is mixed with water frequently leading to groundwater contamination and environmental damage. The sheer abundance of fly ash and its chemical compounds have made it a suitable candidate for concrete mixtures in construction. In establishing geopolymer composition, fly ash induces a chemical reaction within the concrete mixture, resulting in not only neutralized toxicity but also exceptionally high tensile strength. In addition to surpassing the structural abilities of cement, fly ash concrete is cheaper, uses less water, cures faster, is less permeable, is corrosion resistant and alleviates the environmental consequences and greenhouse gas emissions of cement production.

 Fly ash concrete is an increasingly prevalent material in construction and has many more potential applications. Developing new functionality for fly ash in the product design industry and beyond allows designers to indirectly recycle the energy byproduct of the objects we manufacture, creating physical objects out of the fossil fuels that power our livelihood. The ash volume in each Fly-Ash Chair contains the coal energy equivalent of a 100W lightbulb powered for 24 hours a day for 115 days. Each chair is an extension of the coal life cycle, creating a sustainable, adaptive and optimistic solution within the furniture design industry.


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