Materials Projects Sustainability

The Rediscovered Beauty 

Woods with a Millenary History Tell of a Remote Past, Now More Contemporary Than Ever

Considered the utmost aesthetic expression of human creativity, art has evolved over time to include craftsmanship and design, tangible aspects of daily life that have garnered increasing value and dignity.

Design, in particular, emerges today as the most active artistic manifestation in the pursuit of new expressions, materials, and solutions. When design encounters a material capable of being extraordinarily current yet evoking the past, a magical alchemy ensues, captivating each of us with irresistible charm.

Among the many materials recently investigated and thoughtfully rescued from oblivion to become fundamental components of contemporary design is Abonos™, a submerged fossil wood carrying the memory of remote eras – possibly dating back to the time of the great glaciations. Its surfaces bear indelible marks, recording the actions of the natural elements that guarded it jealously through the centuries.

Abonos™ is a wood with a unique destiny. Primarily sourced from rivers in the Balkan region, it has often faced substantial floods that covered fallen tree trunks with soil, sand, and gravel – dragged and then submerged by the force of water. The elements have created ideal conditions for these trunks of various essences – oak, beech, poplar, ash, elm – to be preserved for millennia, reaching us without losing any of their properties.

For such a singular and precious wood, kindly preserved by the hand of nature, a similarly unique extraction process guided by a profound respect for the environment was developed. The task of bringing Abonos™ back to light and revealing its characteristic veins is entrusted to humans who immerse themselves in watercourses to free it from the weight of sediment. The trunks are secured with ropes tied to oxygen-inflated balloons, gently carrying them to the surface – a “technical” procedure imbued with a nuance of enchanted poetry.

Each trunk recovered in this way, patiently brought back to light, is a fragment of the territory’s history. Its many, diverse shades, ranging from cooler tones suggesting environments rich in gravel to warmer orange tones revealing a strong presence of clay, bear witness to its visual impact – colours no artificial industrial dye can ever replicate.

Extraordinary materials like Abonos™, capable of meeting the demands of refined and exclusive design while being modernly eco-sustainable – preventing the unnecessary felling of trees – and simultaneously “telling” an ancient story, remind us that nature, if we pause to listen, is always capable of surprising us. On their surfaces, time has left a deep imprint, revealing a rediscovered beauty, innate and irreplicable, a testimony to its uniqueness. Today, the responsibility lies with all of us to collect its legacy and keep its memory alive.

This narrative was made possible thanks to the collaboration of Carlo and Filippo Tuzzi, innovators in material research and advocates of sustainable manufacturing, ensuring a concrete commitment to scrupulously respecting the ecosystem.