These Symbio Benches, by Dutch design team Joris Laarman Lab, were made in collaboration with nature.

They have patterns cut into them that hold a special cement, which encourages plant growth. When placed outdoors, mosses and lichens – ‘organisms that exist in a radically different time scale than modern life’s hastiness,’ as Laarman puts it – slowly populate the pieces, completing a pattern that crosses over all three benches. 

The stone used for the project is from Chatsworth’s own quarry and was hand-carved by a local mason.

The lawn surrounding the pieces has been continuously hand-mown for centuries and consequently has an abundant and diverse ecosystem that has adapted to this treatment.

These benches give another, tiny, ecosystem the space to grow.

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