While attending BKLYN Designs this weekend, we were surprised to come across a Brooklyn-based 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, Scrapile’s striated bands of different colored wood laminated together is their signature look – and a design process that they originated.
While I personally don’t have a problem with people knocking off famous high-end designers to create more affordable pieces (as long as the copycatters are honest about who they are copying), I definitely do have a problem with a fellow small-scale Brooklyn designer copying another small-scale Brooklyn designer who is has genuinely been producing good, sustainable work for years.
Although they say ‘Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’, and its great to see more designers turning to recycling – this still makes me uncomfortable. Since Scrapile is not yet a household name (even though they should be), these 4Korners copycats could potentially convince a lot of people who aren’t aware of Scrapile that they came up with this brilliant idea – potentially taking Scrapile’s business. Luckily for Scrapile, however, I think these 4Korners guys are going to have a really hard time in Brooklyn where everyone already knows and loves Scrapile.