5 Incredible Examples of Sustainable Furniture Design from BKLYN Designs 2013

This year marked the tenth anniversary of BKLYN DESIGNS, an exhibition of contemporary design and furnishings held in connection with New York Design Week. The show featured a wide range of heirloom-quality work, with reclaimed wood being the obvious material of choice for many of the impressive exhibitors. Here are some highlights:

1. Bien Hecho

Bien Hecho

Photo: Water Tower Table from Bien Hecho

The utilitarian yet undeniably suave furniture of John Randall truly embodies the spirit of sustainability in design. His work features salvaged wood procured from all around New York, be it a Brooklyn demolition site or a dumpster at Coney Island. The table top here is of a handsome light cedar, which Randall reclaimed from a water tower in the Fort Greene neighborhood.

2.  Aellon


Photo: Duke Oval Coffee Table from Aellon

Named for the 45-year-old shipwreck whose wood it repurposes, Aellon’s “Grace” line sets a new course for sustainability, with the company upholding high standards both in design and operation. While its furniture honors Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) requirements and supports Trees4Trees, the studio itself observes a number of pro-planet best practices—using low-flow toilets, for example, and seasonally balancing the HVAC system.

3. 4Korners


Photo: Credenza47 by 4Korners

Scott Raffaele’s Credenza47 is an amalgam of wood species: mahogany, ipe, walnut and wenge. All are scraps from previous projects, and the piece is coated with an earth-friendly finish. Naturally.

4. Mark Jupiter

Mark Jupiter

Photo: Storm Coffee Table by Mark Jupiter

Some know Mark Jupiter as a founding member of New World Home, a company that creates energy-efficient modular homes inspired by historical styles. Still others know him as a custom furniture maker, whose pieces are handcrafted from locally reclaimed materials. Though Jupiter’s reputation may precede him, this 500-year-old, storm-felled elm tree-cum-table speaks for itself, no?

5. Bower


Photo: Polaris Light from Bower

Despite being newcomers to the scene, Bower introduced its new Polaris Lamp to much excitement. Made from solid pieces of scrap wood, these geodesic fixtures are embedded with magnets that ingeniously allow for the lights to be moved around easily, depending on mood or the activity at hand. Only a couple of days ago, the Polaris beat out 33 competitors to win the Editor’s Choice Awards over at the sustainable design hub Inhabitat. Congratulations, Bower!

For more on furniture, consider:

Bob Vila Radio: Buying Furniture
Make a Statement with Your Mirror
5 Seating Picks from the International Contemporary Furniture Fair