Sustainability in practice

The PALAIUS design studio places great emphasis on environmental awareness in its designs. Its new chair “MAE” is half bananas.
by Anna Moldenhauer | 10/10/2019

Sustainability, modularity, individuality: three concepts that define the work by the PALAIUS studio. The design trio from Dresden recently teamed up with Bazar Noir to design a special edition of the “MAE” chair, for which the plant fiber Bananatex from the QWSTION label is being used for the first time in furniture production.

The world’s first textile made of abacá banana hemp is organically cultivated in the Philippine highlands. For their part, PALAIUS have designed a frame made of steel, as for their previous chairs “Ludwig” and “Carl”: “We decided to produce the frames for the chairs from steel, since steel production has a long history in Europe and there are still small workshops in the field that we can collaborate with. What’s more, a high percentage of the steel is recycled,” says Tilo Schaffrath from the PALAIUS studio. With his partners Paul Sürmann and Miguel Xander, he aims to pursue an approach to furniture design that places the emphasis on sustainability in practice. “Our products can easily be changed, like an item of clothing that you put on and take off,” says Schaffrath. The textile backrests and seat surfaces from the “Carl” and “Ludwig” designs can be changed and individualized flexibly, as is the case for the new arrival “MAE”.


The user of the chair should see it as a companion through various phases of life, which can be changed accordingly. Furthermore, the adaptability also gives interior designers the opportunity to adjust the products according to the relevant spatial and color concept and the needs of the customer. The three creative minds pursue a philosophy that is as clear as their linear designs: no flourishes and no hidden elements. Function and quality speak for themselves. All the chairs by the PALAIUS studio can be used both indoors and out: A powder coating makes the steel weather-resistant and the fabrics can be removed and washed easily as required. The natural Bananatex fabric as the seat element in the special edition “MAE” is water-repellent thanks to a natural beeswax coating. “With textiles, we place great emphasis on a high level of quality so that weather conditions are unable to harm them,” says Tilo Schaffrath. The young design studio has already acquired the necessary experience for its forthcoming projects: “We quickly realized how important it is to establish a focus and not to try and do too much at once,” are the wise words of Tilo Schaffrath.

Studio PALAIUS: Paul Sürmann, Miguel Xander, Tilo Schaffrath (f.l.t.r.)