Designer Gerard Minakawa doesn’t want to conjure up images of tiki torches on the lanai, so he calls his tables and chairs “grass furniture” instead of bamboo. His point is to establish bamboo as a truly modern material, and nobody who has seen Minakawa’s new Yolanda collection would argue.
Here bamboo is used as a sleek veneer: the grass’s trademark nodules appear only as a surface pattern, contrasting against a light core of molded poplar plywood. Although Minakawa manufactures his furniture at the same factory as Knoll and Herman Miller, he is the first designer to use bamboo veneer on molded-plywood furniture.
He’s proposing that a material known for its sustainability—a very modern concept itself—proves even more up-to-date when you test its versatility.