The stunning Alder tables by Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola for Danish design studio Mater are grabbing attention at the Salone Del Mobile Milan 2024, exhibiting the company’s newly formed environmentally friendly material, dubbed Matek. This patented material is the result of the company’s years of research and experimentation with waste materials. The best collaborations happen when two ingenious minds walk the same road of creativity and share the same values and knowledge of design. The Alder is the progeny of this mind-blowing fusion, ideating on a sustainable design that’s future-ready.

We truly admire a product crafted with such thoughtful precision that is not just home-friendly but nature-friendly too. Such are the Alder tables, made from natural biodegradable materials that come from nature and return to nature at the end of life. Matek as aforementioned is the material used to form the collection, created entirely from waste products including coffee bean shells or sawdust from wood production that are bound with bioplastic, resulting in a compounded material to produce furniture.  

For the Alder collection, the designer has come up with a new formation, where the Matek is combined using natural fibers and biodegradable plastic, around a steel frame with 94% recycled steel to ensure its strength and durability. The collection uses environmentally responsible material and two versions of Alder are formed. One is created by using coffee waste and sawdust wood production, both are biodegradable.

Second is the sugarcane used as a binder material that is a naturally obtained resource, decomposable, and absorbs carbon dioxide, while leaving no waste behind. To keep the product’s originality, the designer has kept subtle variations in colors on the surfaces, the same as we find in the colors of natural rock formations. Thanks to the materials that dominate the colors and bring about the collection’s most unfiltered quality.

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Seamlessly tangible soft edges, circular top, and cylindrical base, with earthy color tones define the Alder collection. Since the designer has been nature-oriented with the product, the soothing color of the collection is inspired by nature. The terracotta, light green, sand and earth grey give a visually pleasing appeal and an impressive distinctive quality to the furniture.

There are four designs that comprise two lounge tables with oval and square tops, a side table, and a stool. Each design is produced using mono-material that can be disintegrated for each part to be upcycled and used multiple times. We see the Alder Tables are unique not just in their configuration or the sense of their origin, but in all the ways they use naturally produced materials and serve their purpose as renewable furniture that pushes the boundaries of a traditional one.

Image: Patricia Urquiola/ mater design
Image: mater design
Image: Nicklas Hemming
Image: Nicklas Hemming
Image: Nicklas Hemming

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Writing her way through life, Pragati is a budding writer, art enthusiast, and devotee of everything creative. She loves reading and penning down moments into immortal words. Literature, reflecting, and music nourishes her life. When not writing, she is sitting under the blue sky, wrapped around in solitude, admiring nature, or most probably talking to a tree.

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