It's great to be around when manufacturing technology finally catches up to an idea that was ahead of its time. In the early 2000s, Italian industrial designers Piergiorgio Robino and Andrea Sanna created TERRA, a "chair" that's made out of dirt and grass. It's completely integrated into your lawn and you grow it yourself; it's essentially just a cardboard buck that you fill in with dirt and shower with grass seeds.
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But the cardboard forms were tedious to cut out by hand, and laser cutters of the time were too expensive. So Robino and Sanna sold the last one in 2005, then called it quits.
Now that laser cutters are more affordable, they're Kickstarting another production run:
At press time there was less than 24 hours left to pledge, so by the time you read this, it may be finito. Then again, that may not matter, as you may not have pledged anyway: The asking price was €195 (USD $218) for the all-gone early-bird specials for the TERRA seat, going up to €250 (USD $279). The three-seater TERRA SOFA was €590 (USD $659). For a whopping €5,000 (USD $5,588) plus travel and lodging expenses, the duo will fly out to your site and design a large-scale TERRA lounge:
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While the idea behind TERRA is undeniably great, the attendant prices might be too much for some to fork over.
Under the Kickstarter arrangement, Robino and Sanna will ship physical cardboard kits to the pledgers. But it might be cool if Robino and Sanna were to contact laser-cutter-equipped makerspaces around the world, and set up some kind of licensing agreement, whereby customers can purchase them directly from the makerspace, with a kickback going to Robino and Sanna. I have no idea how you'd audit such a thing, and how many units they could move given the current prices, but it seems that that's how things might be in future. Manufacturing technology has caught up to the great idea; now we have to wait for business to catch up, too.