This isn't the first time we've talked about Corque on Core77, and since the Portugese design brand keeps coming up with one good idea after another, it won't be the last either. Corque was born in 2009 after its founding partners finished a three-year research and development program that explored the sustainability of using cork as a material for more than just wine bottles. What they learned in a nutshell? Cork is a renewable resource; It grows on trees, or rather, it is trees. But because it regrows only every nine years, harvesting it is a delicate process, one that requires highly skilled workers. [Ed Note: For more on cork harvesting and manufacturing, check out Daniel Michalik's series on the material!] Most of the world's cork comes from Portugal, 52.5%, to be exact, making it an ideal material for a Portugese design team like Corque to utilize. And it doesn't hurt that it makes for furniture so beautiful furniture it crosses the line between art and object.
Lagarta is an interactive, modular seating system made with agglomerated expanded cork, which is the most sustainable kind of cork composite. Made directly from a block of agglomerated expanded cork, this is as natural to cork-off-the-tree as you can get. It's shaped into a ball and sealed with an invisible layer of water-based varnish.
My favorite is the puf string, a coiled seat made from rubber cork, a special cork composite made with natural rubber. Rolls of rubber cork are cut into continuous strips, "avoiding complex energy consumption of production processes or finishes." Each seat is hand woven, the loops fastened into place with joint screws and then wrapped up like a present with a rubber cork belt. Because they're not molded from a form like some of Corque's other pieces, each puf string is unique. Granted, I can't attest to its comfort, but its ingenuity and originality alone make it worthy of a seat at your table.