“Giving new life to the 42 million trees that fell during the shocking storm that hit the Dolomites in October 2018: this is the goal that gave birth to VAIA, the passive music amp made out of precious wood recovered from the uprooted trees that allows you to amplify what you are listening to, energy-free.
The project (WATCH THE VIDEO), conceived by 3 entrepreneurs under their 30s (Federico Stefani, Paolo Milan and Giuseppe Addamo, who have just been included in the prestigious “100 young leaders of the future” ranking, drafted by Forbes Italy in 2020, for the “social enterprise” section), takes its name from Vaia, the formidable storm that affected the region of Triveneto between 26th and 30th October 2018, causing the greatest Italian forest catastrophe of the last 50 years. Bad weather hit 494 Municipalities ( here a video of the low-pressure area), bringing about substantial damage and the complete destruction of 42,525 hectares of forest (3% of the local woodland area), leaving about 8.5 million m 3 of timber on the ground (drone VIDEO of affected areas).
“We wanted to find a concrete alternative for all these fallen trees, that could not be employed for large structures” – recounts Federico Stefani, Vaia co-founder – hence the idea of using that timber, now deemed as unusable, to create an object of design that could send a strong message while supporting the recovery of the territory”
Vaia Cube allows you to propagate any sound in a completely natural way by introducing your smartphone in it: “For us it is a strong and concrete metaphor, a cube through which we can further amplify Nature’s cry for help and keep drawing attention on climate change”; continues Federico Stefani “the while creating a sustainable project”. The amplifier is made by local craftsmen and carpenters and in the Dolomites the startup team is involving those who deal with public forests for the planting of new trees. In fact, the territory today has significant hydrogeological instabilities and is at risk of landslides due to the after-storm deforestation.
The startup stands as a spokesman for a further tangible message: with the purchase of a Vaia Cube you contribute to planting a new tree and thus reviving the forest. To mark the 2th anniversary from the catastrophe Vaia organised its 5th plantation event and it will plant 726 trees next 25 October, this is a symbolic number, one tree per each day from Vaia storm.
Vaia Cube is made with certified timber, fallen during the storm. For example, one of the employed kinds of wood is the Val di Fassa spruce, a valuable type of spruce that has always been used to build violins, thanks to its particular structure suitable for sound amplification. Such feature is a further symbol of how the Vaia Cube can spread a strong message and have a wide, sustainable reach through design.
Our wood is of solid type, with each item presenting a unique crack, made by a carpenter with an ax following the wood’s natural veins – a choice that aims at bringing a tangible sign of the wounded forest into every house. This entails that each piece is unique: no one is alike.
Part of the revenues go to the local community and its craftsmen: “We are fighting to make the project as economically sustainable and to return as much as possible to nature” – explain the founders. The idea of Vaia’s team is to apply such circular model to any environmental issue – to any waste or emergency brought about by climate change. The goal is to intervene by manufacturing objects of design that do not further compromise the ecosystem and that are functional to redevelop the affected territories.
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