We've all heard of free-range eggs and free-range chicken. We may not know exactly what the title entails, but the catch phrase is out there on our grocery shelves in force. Free range furniture is a new one to me, referencing Ryan Frank's sustainably designed, eco-minded furniture that uses natural or salvaged materials to make some very unique designs. Covered by 3rings some time ago is the Inkuku chair, which uses recycled aluminum and plastic bags to create a fanciful, modern design.
Strata. Designed by Ryan Frank.
The new Strata line of furniture shows a more subtle side of Frank. You would never guess the pieces are made from waste wood salvaged from old battered office desks. The furniture has a carved appearance, which references his African roots and some traditional means of furniture making. Playing upon the natural beauty of plywood, each piece has a striated pattern that adds interest and elegance to a typically low end product. What I find unusual and special about the furniture are the fluid lines and lack of harsh angles. The designs embrace the warmth of subtle curves, leaving a sense of relaxation and ease.
I'm noticing a pattern in eco-design, especially when dealing with wood, which strives to use the chaos of recycled materials and make something interesting. The reinterpretation of a reclaimed material seems to work best when the original material is presented with some reference to its past life. Ryan Frank's furniture is successful because he isn't fighting the materials at hand. A previously covered green furniture company, Structured Green, is another like-minded manufacturer which has an end result that reminds me of the Strata line.