Each of the side and coffee tables were constructed from offcuts of timber that weren’t considered to “conform to the standard shapes, sizes and finishes” desired by the construction industry, and would otherwise have been thrown away.
“This project questions the existing production cycle of commercial furniture and redefines what is essential to design, produce, consume and use at home,” the studio explained.
“These timber pieces vary enormously in size, shape and consistency, making them difficult to assemble into stable structures and useful items, resulting in wasted wood in timber yards.”
The studio selected a series of timber blocks and beams and paired them together according to their structural properties and shapes, which they kept as organic as possible.
The timber was air-dried to ensure it would remain stable during production, before being sandblasted to strip away any bark and ingrained dirt.
The designers would then check the material for any “weak points”, which were balanced out by the addition of extra surface layers.
“Rather than imposing a predetermined form onto the material, this process of form-giving results in a considered design that removes material that is unnecessary to perform the piece’s intended function,” said the designers.
Mortise and tenon joints were then CNC-milled into each piece of timber to create slot-like joineries – a process that minimised material waste. These joints, according to the studio, became a key trait of the collection’s character.
Once assembled, a layer of black, natural wood dye was then applied to the furniture pieces to create a unified aesthetic.
The studio’s main goal was to make significant reductions in the energy and resources needed to make the furniture, while still ensuring the pieces would be durable.
“We decided that it would be more beneficial to design a process and methodology rather than a simple finite collection and that the process should be as environmentally friendly as possible,” said the designers.
Each of the timber beams were sourced from within a 10 mile radius of the furniture’s place of production.
“Essential merges responsible material sourcing, critical design thinking and key manufacturing, to create beautiful furniture for daily use,” the studio added.
Other shortlisted projects in this category include the Exquisite Corpse collection by Australian industrial designer Adam Goodrum and French marquetry artisan Arthur Seigneur, who make up design duo Adam and Arthur.
The series, which includes three handmade furniture items, is a modern take on straw marquetry, animated with vibrant, custom-dyed colours.
Also in the shortlist is the “deceivingly sophisticated” Max Table by London designer Max Lamb, which comprises two main elements: legs with sliding dovetail joints and table-top panels that are held together with a hidden screw mechanism.
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