INTERVIEW: Inhabitat Chats with Recycled Wood Designers Scrapile

by , 10/06/12
filed under: Architecture

scrapile, scrap pile, recycled materials, green design, eco design, recycled wood furniture, eco furniture, green furniture, Carlos Salgado, Bart Bettencourt

I have been enamored with environmentally conscious furniture company Scrapile ever since I came across their line of recycled wood furniture during New York Design week years ago. Brooklyn-based designers Carlos Salgado and Bart Bettencourt have created a beautiful, cutting-edge line of furniture by collecting wood scraps from various lumber mills and recycling those scraps (which would otherwise be headed for landfill) into their stunning minimalist pieces. At this point, the Scrapile line includes tables, benches, stool, shelving, crates and lamps, all made out of their signature striated material. I had a chance to sit down with the up-and-coming design duo at their shop in Williamsburg to learn how it all began.

scrapile, scrap pile, recycled materials, green design, eco design, recycled wood furniture, eco furniture, green furniture, Carlos Salgado, Bart Bettencourt

JILL: So what is the story of Scrapile? How did the project begin?

CARLOS SALGADO: Well, I was working on a chair, and Bart helped me build it, and so I just started hanging out at the shop with Bart more and more. And literally one day Bart just came up with the idea. You know Bart has all this scrap wood in his shop, and one day we just started playing around with different ideas of what to do with the scrap. I think before we knew it, we were sketching ideas in our books. We started trying to prepare for First Stop, which is an open-studio design weekend in Williamsburg. That was two years ago.

BART: We literally started Thursday night before a weekend show, came up with a bunch of different ideas and then just picked the best ones. Its funny, the best ideas we came up with then are the first pieces in the line we now call Scrapile: the rectangular boxes and the T-shaped bench.

CARLOS: We had a really good response that weekend, and it just took-off from there. From that weekend alone we got invited to participate in two different shows. We got invited to show in Brooklyn Heights the following weekend.

BART: From there we got picked up by a couple of different showrooms in New York and started getting some press.

CARLOS: Now two years later, here we are.

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  1. RamonSales January 13, 2014 at 9:58 am

    Nice post. I\’m also a carpenter and craftsman. Visit my blog to see some furnitures made in recycled wood.Thanks

  2. ScribeMedia » Rec... July 5, 2007 at 11:04 am

    […] design and insightful discussion from Dwell Editor-in-Chief Sam Grawe and designers Carlos Salgado of Scrapile, Tejo Remy of Droog fame, and Matt Gagnon. The conversation touched on a variety of issues […]

  3. pinnar July 4, 2007 at 4:40 am

    hi we love your crative design.our company is in turkey(istanbul) we wait for come for meet you.:) u can look our web site for work.

  4. Inhabitat » COPYC... May 14, 2007 at 1:57 pm

    […] design company creating furniture which bears much more than a passing resemblance to our friends Scrapile. While plenty of designers, including Uhuru and Brave Space, use scrap wood in their designs, […]

  5. Inhabitat » BKLYN... May 14, 2007 at 11:41 am

    […] Does this look at all familiar? We were a little shocked to see another Brooklyn based design company which seemed to be so blatantly trying to knock-off Scrapile. More on this to come…. […]

  6. lee January 10, 2006 at 6:30 pm

    i love them where did you get so maney diff. colors?
    i finished in ankara and i work same paten but with stones anyway geat job good luck

  7. Jennifer Farrington November 19, 2005 at 6:01 pm

    We would love to be considered for your site! piece lily products are one of a kind and handmade from recycled or reclaimed fabrics. Our offerings include unique handbags, scarves, and pillows. The materials are literally pieced together to utilize even the smallest scraps of fabric, making each item quirky and unexpected. Thanks for your consideration!

  8. Julie October 3, 2005 at 9:37 pm

    Beautiful stuff. I love seeing green and sustainable projects on here. I wonder if they go after construction waste, too. That’d probably be a different line entirely, but could make for some lovely stuff with a rougher look.

  9. Nicholas Reback September 29, 2005 at 1:40 pm

    I’m looking at your ‘Green’ Furniture designs made of assorted laminated woods. I notice you have chosen to laminated various plywood and chipboard with all kinds of hardwood. Having acquired this stuff by way of scrap piles, every piece of your wood will have a varying moisture content and therefore expand and contract differently from each peice adjacent to it. Especially in the case of plywood, which is extremely stable, and the hardwoods (while being only a section of a tree, are very much alive). How are you accounting for this material expansion in your designs? Do you let it aclimate? Are you kiln-drying each peice to the same moisture content?

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