2011 / road sign, pecan wood, fabric, foam, velcro, hardware
With the locavore movement taking off in food, designers around the world have been taking a hard look at what their products are made of and where those materials come from. Reducing the number of transport miles involved in sourcing wood, fabric, and metal keeps carbon emissions down and costs low. Each object then becomes a story about a time and a place, instead of an anonymous collection of industrial products.
I put together this sleek chair out of a recycled road sign and some salvaged pecan wood, materials that were all sourced within a mile of my Alabama home. The signs came from the local county engineer's yard, where they sat in a stack after twenty-plus years of faithful service on Alabama's rural roads. Pecan wood is a species of hickory, native to the American south. It is dense, tight-grained, and strong, perfect for furniture construction.
The resulting chairs are low-slung, laid-back loungers; some were left un-cushioned for use on the back deck, and others were upholstered with either smooth or ribbed cushions for use inside.