But in the workshops of Bangkok, Thailand, scrap teak is just junk. The furniture and sculpture workshops generate tons of teak trash every year, and most of it is simply burned.
Chairwalker, crafted from recycled teak. Designed by Singh Intrachooto. Manufactured by Ford Brady.
Singh Intrachooto thought that was a shame, so he started collecting the cast-offs and creating beautiful designs with it. Enter Willard Ford and John Brady, who had just decided to open their Ford Brady design center in Los Angeles and were scouting their old southeast-Asian stomping ground (actually cycling ground - they had met on the international bike-racing circuit) for product lines to represent.
"We met him, and he was impressive," says Ford. "But he had produced ten items and had no interest. Apparently we were the first to see the potential in his Osisu designs."
It was only later that they found out their special find was actually a design "Rock star," as Brady put it.
"MIT, University of Washington, PhD from MIT as well," Ford recites. "Published in about 50 different places, lecturing at Tokyo and in Hong Kong as well as in Thailand. He just hadn't ever done furniture before."
Intrachooto calls this piece "chairwalker". Made out of recycled teak with an invinsible iron skeleton inside, it is at once bold and whimsical and has won accolades from Bangkok to Paris.
Not only is the wood sustainable, but the glues and finishes are non-toxic and release no VOCs.
"There's an Arts and Crafts aesthetic which you don’t see in contemporary design," says Brady. "It was very poignant to see this modern-statement, iconic furniture being made out of recycled teak. It is very much beyond ordinary."