Saturday, May 8, 2010

Bookshelf Design for the Eco-Savvy

"Block Shelf by Amy Hunting"
freshome (undated, probably May 5, 2010)

"Norwegian furniture designer Amy Hunting (currently living in London) has come up with this fantastic bookshelf! To create this innovative and exciting design, Amy has used blocks of over 20 types of wood, found in a London timber importers waste bin and cotton rope. Using off-cuts of wood, Amy makes the most of what others might ignore or throw out, demonstrating an eco-conscience without losing her savvy. Because Amy won the the 2nd award at Green Furniture Award 2010, her prototype has been taken on by Green Furniture Sweden and has been put into production using wood leftovers from a wood flooring factory in Sweden...."

What impressed The Lemming about this bookshelf is not that the designer is "demonstrating an eco-conscience" - it's that the thing would actually work, and efficiently uses materials that might otherwise get discarded. Maybe that's what the writer had in mind with the words, "without losing her savvy."

Seriously, folks: This is the way to approach design. Start with materials that don't cost an arm and a leg, aren't particularly exotic, and might get tossed out if you don't salvage them.

Put them together in a simple, functional way. Then, if you must, use words with "eco" in them, to show that you care.

This design philosophy isn't as new as you might think. For decades, my father used a sturdy bookshelf made from bricks and planks. I've been using essentially the same design, with empty coffee cans instead of bricks. They take up more space, but the assembly has a trifle more lateral stability.

Kudos to Amy Hunting: a designer with savvy.

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