Poetry in Wicker

Summer is coming (not fast enough), and it’s time to start thinking about lounging around in the backyard. The problem is plastic furniture is mostly awful, and wicker furniture is so beyond last year – it’s barely even last century.

But not this wicker. Coming from the manic minds of PIE (Project Import Export), with names like Spoon Lounge, Sushi Daybed and Tonecoon, these organic objects look like they sprung up out of the earth like giant wickery mushrooms.

Tonecoon lounger. Designed by Bannavis Andrew Sribyatta. Manufactured by PIE.

Bannavis Andrew Sribyatta, the architect-turned-furniture-designer who conceived the line, says he wanted to explore the ultimate concept of living space in relation to the complexity of nature. Take one look at the manic weaves he hand-crafts and you’ll have to agree he reaches that goal. Lots of others are noticing too, from The Cooper-Hewett National Design Museum to the Sundance Channel, whose eco-show, Big Ideas for Small Planet, has a segment on PIE coming up in April.

And they’re comfy, too. The Tonecoon in particular envelops you in an oddly cozy, womblike, space-pod sort of way.


Some new products from PIE: Spaghetti PE (top-left) and Spoon Lounge PE (bottom-right).

As a bonus, the materials are sustainable as well. Not only does PIE work with the usual rattan, liana, and bamboo, but they’re also weaving the invasive water hyacinth, a notorious waterway-fouling weed. You’ll be pleased to know that its toughness and flexibility make it a strong, long-wearing material for furniture.

“This ain’t yo mamma’s wicker,” says Sribyatta, and we’d have to agree.

Look out for PIE at CA BOOM V this weekend in Santa Monica, California. I’ll be there myself so look out for me as well.

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