Inner Values

by Tobias Trübenbacher

#materialStudy #productDesign

Due to livestock farming and industrial slaughter methods the prices for animal products have decreased significantly. As a result only those parts of an animal that are the tastiest and easiest to prepare are actually used. Today less then half of an animal is really further processed after slaughter, while all the rest goes to rendering plants and thus more or less directly into the garbage can.

This is the starting point of the “Inner Values” project – a search for ways to overcome stereotypical aesthetics, to appreciate supposedly repellent materials. Is it possible to change our habitual perception?

The results of this journey are two seating furnitures out of tanned and further processed cattle intestines and pigs’ bladders, transformed to soft seating leather. Thereby, the former poor reputation of the supposed „waste products“ is being replaced and infused with opposite values.

The materials advance to become something beautiful, inviting and supple, which people like to explore and to rest on. The chairs uncover the true value and unique beauty of these inner skins.

Because of working with materials that has never been used in this form before, the project started with various material studies to explore the skins, to understand their characteristics and qualities and to try out different possibilities to conserve them with both traditional and new tanning processes.

The findings of these first trials led to the use of tanned pigs’ bladders and cattle intestines which are both waste materials, usually thrown away after slaughter.

These skins can have equal qualities as conventional leather after they where cleaned, pickled, refattened and tanned with chromium sulphate or potassium aluminium sulfate for several weeks.

The outcomes demonstrate that it is not just very reasonable but also highly aesthetic to use and further process this materials.


  • Natural Beauty (exhibition of the University of Applied Sciences Munich) (Munich, Germany)
  • Gdynia Design Week (Gdynia, Poland)
  • Future Convention (Wiesloch, Germany)


Publications Print

  • DAMN Magazine issue#70 [2018]: USING THE WHOLE ANIMAL

Publications Web