Auto-Cannibalistic Table



For the sake of sustainability one wants furniture to last a long time in an effort to conserve resources and energy. Ate Atema of Atema Architecture, however, ponders whether this philosophy is truly the correct path to eco-enlightenment.

With his Auto-Cannibalistic Table, which is intended to be a temporary object, the former Frank Gehry employee, embraces sustainability in a less conventional way. The table was constructed with paper egg cartons and wheatpaste glue, which is made from flour and water, and then planted with herbs. The herbs can be picked as they grow, creating a place where food can both be eaten as well as grown–over time, however, the plants are intended to “eat away” at the table.

The Dutch born Ate points out that in nature, resources are constantly recycling and in flux–decomposing and then forming again. Man-made objects of the past and present tend to counter this effect. Instead of static existence, the Auto-Cannibalistic Table embraces the fact that nature tends to re-use matter and energy in an ever-evolving process.

The table is part of the InDisposed exhibition at Studio-X in New York City, curated by Jen Renzi and Dan Rubinstein.

Ate Atema ( )

Auto-Cannibalistic Table (2009)

Superused: paper egg cartons

Current at InDisposed exhibition, Studio-X, New-York


In the back of the picture these bags can be seen:

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Toon Verberg