Forests around the world are being destroyed on a daily basis to satisfy consumer demand for commodities like beef, palm oil, and wood. This deforestation is a massive driver of climate change and biodiversity loss and endangers the livelihoods of up to 1.6 billion people.

It needs to be stopped.
At Symmetry, we're fighting back by creating wood without cutting down trees.
The high demand for beautiful exotic woods, including mahogany, Brazilian walnut, and ebony, encourages loggers to drive certain trees towards extinction and destroy anything else — and anyone — that gets in the way. But it doesn't have to be this way.
How do we do it?
By embracing a balance between nature and design, we are using bacteria to produce cellulose — the main component of wood and the most abundant organic substance on Earth.
Gather Food Waste
The bacteria feed well off of any substance that has glucose (or sugar) in it. Coincidentally, the most wasted food groups — fruits, breads, and vegetables — have a lot of this.
Grow the bacterial cellulose
A sheet of cellulose grows over several days at the top of a tank. Once that sheet is removed, a new one starts to grow as new food waste is added in.
Form the wood
Absolutely no petroleum, toxins, or other non-biodegradable additives are combined with the cellulose. With this commitment, we are able to produce 'alternative wood' in various colors and textures.
Our material
'Alternative wood' works readily with standard woodshop tools and captures the feel and beautiful look of natural tree-based wood. It also comes with some added benefits:
No splintering, lower risk of kickback
Just like a lot of dense exotic woods, our material resists splintering that can injure carpenters and anyone else who interacts with wood products. This strength also helps when cutting on, say, table saws that create a lot of kickback tension.
No irritating additives
Let's face it: sawdust in the woodshop is super annoying and dangerous if it is not controlled. Exotic wood dust, in particular, tends to be especially irritating to the nose and lungs over prolonged exposure because of the extra 'extractives' in it. These don't exist in alternative wood.
Easier to Acquire than Exotic Woods
Colorful exotic woods often come from increasingly endangered trees, and their rarity makes them super expensive. While Symmetry is not in full production mode yet, our manufacturing process is repeatable and promises to supply designers and hobbyists alike with a steadier supply of material.
Experience the Future of Wood
Symmetry is in its early stages, so we would love to get feedback from as many designers, hobbyists, and makers as possible. That way, we can offer the best possible quality of materials for this community and reduce the commercial pressure on trees.
Alternative Wood Samples
There are six 1" by 1" samples of alternative wood in here and each one represents a different type of wood. By buying this postcard of samples, you will get to see and feel what they are like for yourself. The list of wood includes:

- Pink ivory
- Bois de Rose (red-colored)
- Ipe, or Brazilian walnut
- Mahogany
- Ebony, or African Blackwood
- Purpleheart
Let's find the balance between design and nature together.
Based out of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
E-mail: symmetry@illinoisenactus.com
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