This Brooklyn Designer is Trying to Create a Zero-Waste Studio

Coming from an art background, Nathaniel Wojtalik had no interest in creating furniture that was purely functional and offered no meaning behind it. But through Cultivation Objects, the Brooklyn studio he founded during the pandemic, Wojtalik has been able to find a way to craft intentional narratives by virtue of concept and technique to end up with designs that are beautiful and intriguing, yet still maintain a utilitarian quality.
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Europe’s Newest Design Fair Is In a Small City With a Big Focus on Locality and Sustainability

We were meant to attend and cover the second edition of Southern Sweden Design Days in Malmö last month, but since COVID had other plans for us, we had to catch up with the fair's program from afar instead, which included projects by studios like Malmö Upcycling Service, Lab La Bla, and Andréason & Leibel. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, many of them featured a focus on local manufacturing, local crafts, and/or locally sourced recycled materials, which not every design fair can claim.
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Nick Pourfard furniture

Nick Pourfard, the Guitar-Maker Turned Furniture Designer On the Rise

Skateboarding gave Nick Pourfard his foundation in design. Building ramps and obstacles for his friends provided an early education in how to put materials together effectively, and old skateboard decks are what he’s used to construct the body of the guitars he’s been producing since 2014. Recently, this San Diego–based luthier (maker of stringed instruments) has moved into furnishings, bringing his meticulous skills and try-it-and-see approach with him.
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Candle Wax Tables and Mattress Foam Chairs: Tour One of the Best Waste-Material Reclamations We’ve Seen

Carsten in der Elst's recent graduate project, Heavy Duty, is every design student ever's wet dream — traveling around to different regional factories, asking them to identify their primary waste materials, then collaborating with them to use their existing production processes to turn those byproducts into something new. Unlike every other design student ever, though, in der Elst's results actually transcend his original thesis, amounting to a vast collection of objects that, if a gallery like Kreo or Friedman Benda released them from a mid-career designer, we wouldn't bat an eyelash.
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All Hail Block Shop’s Affordable, Art Deco–Inspired Woodblock Prints

Did you, like us, visit Block Shop's reading room at Sight Unseen OFFSITE and wish you could walk away with just a fraction of the sisters' sunny decor (including that bonkers amazing banana flower plant?) If so, consider your wish granted: This week the L.A.–based studio released its first edition of woodblock prints on colored paper, and they're a perfect, low-risk way to incorporate some of the sisters' graphic sensibility into your own home.
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Kim Markel's Glossier furniture

Candy-Colored Furniture Made From Recycled Glossier Packaging

Kim Markel's new series of translucent, candy-colored colored furniture pieces in reclaimed plastic is composed partly of Glossier’s pink-hued packaging empties, which the brand asked its employees to collect for months. The collection includes a cabinet, chairs, side tables, and mirrors, as well as a vanity table made from spun stone dust, a new material Markel developed using a by-product of the quarrying process.
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London’s Coolest Designers Are Creating Recycled Furniture for the Ace Hotel

Ready Made Go, a London Design Fair exhibition now in its third year, has always walked a fine line between the conceptual and the commercial. Curated by Laura Houseley of Modern Design Review, the brief has always been for designers to devise an object, sculpture, or piece of furniture that might actually be used by the exhibition's host — the Ace Hotel in London. This year, the focus is on sustainability, and the new pieces are some of our favorites yet.
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Kasthall sustainable Swedish rugs

This 128-Year-Old Swedish Rug Company Has Made Some of the Coolest Rugs of 2017

Much has changed in the 128 years since Kasthall debuted as the fist industrial rug factory in Sweden — but then again, some things have remained the same. The company’s woven and hand-tufted rugs are still produced in Kasthall’s original factory. Craftsmanship and high-quality materials remain hallmarks of the brand. And sustainable production has been a point of pride all along. It’s this consistency that has kept customers coming back since 1889, and it’s what’s made Kasthall a fixture in so many homes, retail spaces, hotels, and restaurants. But over the years, the company’s interest in innovation — and its just-minimalist-enough aesthetic — has attracted new generations of design enthusiasts as well.
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Dee Clements of Chicago’s Herron Studio

For Dee Clements, who makes beautiful hand-woven goods out of her Chicago design studio, Herron, sustainability is key. “I know it’s an overused buzzword, but it’s really important,” she says. Though she’s talking about the environmental impact of large-scale textile production and why she mainly uses small-farm fibers that aren’t chemically or unethically produced, sustainability, in a creative sense, is also on her mind.
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Uhuru, Furniture Designers

If you were familiar only with Uhuru’s work, it would be enough to surmise that the Brooklyn-based furniture designers are experts at creating something beautiful from practically nothing. (The formal term for this, we’re told, is up-cycling.) In the half-decade since RISD grads Jason Horvath and Bill Hilgendorf have been designing their own line, they’ve produced chairs from Kentucky bourbon barrels, loungers from the Ipe wood planks of a demolished Coney Island boardwalk, and scrapwood stools so stylish they were recently picked to decorate the café at New York’s SANAA-designed New Museum. But while it's true Uhuru are a resourceful bunch, step into their sprawling Red Hook studio and any assumptions you might have about their bootstraps process all but disappear.
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