Friday, May 8, 2009

Sustainable Designs At BKLYN DESIGNS

The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce is presenting its seventh annual BKLYN DESIGNS show this weekend, with tours and exhibits spread out over three days. Among the exhibits was one at St. Ann’s Warehouse, where designers presented their new creations, many of them sustainable.
Here are some highlights:
Jason Horvath and Bill Hilgendorf of Uhuru Design (pictured above with event organizer Karen Auster) launched their new furniture designs: a stitched table, standard chairs and metal stoolens (actual name). Their creations are made using sustainable materials. “For these particular chairs, we got the backs from old chair factories,” Horvath said.
Representatives from sustainable design firm Ecosystems showcased two of their new items: a table that can convert to a chair and a line of hardware that can be used to put many different types of furniture together. “We’re excited about our new table and hardware systems,” said Innovation Director Matt Tyson. “We love it here [at Bklyn Designs].”
Marc Vecchiarelli, of VEXELL, displayed the company’s GREEN ON GREEN line of outdoor furniture, made of eco-friendly materials. The top of the table, for instance, is made with “water permeable design” materials, he said. “Instead of metal grates, you put this down and it filters all the water and debris. It’s an all natural type product.”
Design firm From the Source has locations in Indonesia and the United States, creating furniture from reclaimed, vintage, salvaged or plantation-grown hardwoods. “We work with about 50 different villages [on the island of Java],” said Design Director Penny Emmet. “There’s so much beauty in the grain and color of the wood that we’re working with.”
Hugh Hayden designed a chair made completely of tennis balls that would have been thrown out had he not reclaimed them. “It’s made from tennis balls from Columbia University tennis center. A lot of these private tennis clubs or universities prefer to use very fresh or bouncy tennis balls.” he explained. “It’s giving them a second life.”
Design students from Pratt were also at St. Ann’s Warehouse, some showing their kitchen creations. Dana de Vega created a set of salt and pepper mills with boiler drain valves used as handles. “Thinking of boiler drain valves, they’re just things that exist,” she said. “It’s to create a new look; they’re very industrial looking.” Joe Kent, another Pratt student designed a cutting board. “When you’re carving a piece of meat, it actually controls the runoff,” he said.
Bruce Marsh, of DUMBO-based brucemarsh designs, showed a bed made by strips of rope connected to a wood frame. “It conforms to your body,” he said. “I had seen a piece of rope like this in a marina, I thought it was so beautiful and soft.”
Photo by Don Evans

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