by , 03/11/06


New York’s John Houshmand creates what he calls “urban organic furniture.” Large slabs of rough-cut timber (most of it reclaimed or salvaged) are married with simple, modern design. Bark, grain, and cracks are left in place. Sometimes the result can be a little backwoodsy, but when it works, it’s stunning. By the nature of the process, every piece is different, sometimes dramatically so.

There is a huge inventory of old-growth timber in this country- structural beams and floorboards bound up in disused factories and warehouses. When those buildings are demolished, some of that wood ends up being remilled and reused (most often as flooring), but a disheartening amount ends up in landfills. The vast stands of old-growth timber that were cut to fuel the industrial revolution are ideally suited to fuel a new design-driven green revolution. This resource can’t last forever, of course, but in the meantime it deserves the thoughtful treatment given to it by Houshmand and others like Moe Studio, RG Furniture, and Scrapile.

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1 Comment

  1. Scott Stewart Designs May 18, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    Cool furniture that is relevant to the world we live in today. My custom furniture designs also use reclaimed woods. My studio in Portland, Oregon is surrounded by old growth urban forest. When trees must go, or are naturally felled during storms, a growing number of sustainable furniture makers are harvesting these trees and creating fine art furniture, where in the past these trees would have been firewood or compost. Check out my work at

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