Originally showcased at the Kunstgewerbemuseum Berlin as part of AHEC’s project SLOW, Leftover Synthesis was manufactured by German workshop, Holzfreude, alongside nine other furniture pieces and objects designed by the next generation of designers, in response to the movement of “slow design”. The result was an exercise in how young voices of design rethink their profession today, when factoring in the aspects of sustainability, longevity and a focus on quality, with four sustainable timbers, American cherry, maple and red oak, at the heart of the design process.
Comprised of three unique chairs, Leftover Synthesis makes use of leftover material that would otherwise be sorted out, burned or shredded. Embracing their organic forms and shapes, the wood scraps are minimally processed. An algorithmic tool responds and adapts to the unique shapes, rearranging them into the form of a furniture piece to become a valuable resource again. The leftover materials define the characteristics of the chairs - the varying sizes, quantities and constraints lead to a distinctive result.
Contrary to trends in the wood industry, where the demand is too often focused on single species, Leftover Synthesis is made using three sustainable, underused hardwoods: American cherry, maple and red oak. The timber choices we make have a long-term impact on the health of forests, with an over-reliance on a narrow selection of wood types causing serious stress on supply chains and the environment. In the case of the American hardwood forests, cherry, maple and red oak account for over 40% of all the standing timber, so it’s vital that they aren’t overlooked.
Leftover Synthesis was displayed at the Piet Hein Eek showroom in Eindhoven, 22-30 October 2022, as part of Dutch Design Week 2022.