BKLYN DESIGNS ‘09 Exclusive Video Preview: Daniel Moyer Design and Fabrication

After much time spent taping at the Daniel Moyer Design and Fabrication studio, 3rings was able to narrow down the video to approximately three minutes, a feat which Daniel Moyer himself found an impossibility. And it’s true that it’s not easy to condense Daniel Moyer, the person or the work. Originally a Long Island boy, Moyer made it to other parts of New York to attend college, where he presumably saw the world and simultaneously earned a Bachelors and a Masters—in Music Composition.

étagèreHenri. Designed by Daniel Moyer of Daniel Moyer Design and Fabrication.

A deviant child, he snuck into his father’s shop (which was forbidden, given the shop’s immaculate nature and Moyer’s typically non-immaculate nature, an understandable symptom of the usual state we term childhood) where he began learning to build things mostly by taking them apart. Years later, he perfected his craft by making mistakes. His journey to joinery sounds easy, but he’s not giving himself the credit he deserves. A quick inspection of Moyer’s furniture supports my point regarding his ridiculous humility.

Last year at BKLYN DESIGNS 2008, Moyer exhibited some of his famous longboards, which he makes out of wood scraps. Unfortunately, Moyer admits that the longboards “have taken over in terms of press”—hence, I cannot mention them from this point on, except to add that the nameless objects have become “a detriment to the furniture business.” In an attempt to call attention to the actual furniture of Daniel Moyer Design and Fabrication, Moyer’s booth for BKLYN DESIGNS 2009 is much more thematic, a sort of recreated living room that highlights the pieces—a plan that Moyer calls “so simple and so strong.” And the furniture deserves our focus. Forgiving Moyer’s interesting use of enjambment and capital letters (hard to do for a grammar freak like me but let’s move on), the featured gokartLoungechairs and their accompanying gokartOttomans will be set up with the étagèreHenri and a just-completed floorlampShacked. This mise en scene should make everyone forget about the aforementioned objects-with-no-name in lieu of the spectacular shapes, textures, and artistry of Moyer’s woodwork.


gokartLoungechair. Designed by Daniel Moyer of Daniel Moyer Design and Fabrication.


gokartLoungechair. Designed by Daniel Moyer of Daniel Moyer Design and Fabrication.


gokartLoungechair. Designed by Daniel Moyer of Daniel Moyer Design and Fabrication.


gokartOttoman. Designed by Daniel Moyer of Daniel Moyer Design and Fabrication.


Ottoman037. Designed by Daniel Moyer of Daniel Moyer Design and Fabrication.

The low, square gokartLoungechairs and gokartOttomans measure 30″ with a height of 18″ (including the cushions). Examine the edges for the true test of Moyer’s capabilities: clean, smooth, and perfectly straight. étagèreHenri, a curio shelf/book shelf made from red oak panels on an ash skeleton, can be oriented vertically (as in the show) or horizontally. To top off the room, Moyer is adding a big floor lamp made of black locust with a square veneer shade: shaped like a wave, this floorlampShacked is 4′ tall x 30″ wide x 7″ deep. Not only did Moyer intend to complete the feel of his room at BKLYN DESIGNS 2009, but also he meant to rival last year’s puzzle lamp (no further mention of that either). All the pieces use no chemicals or metals, just wood treated with wax and linseed oil. This environmentally friendly design only enhances Moyer’s gorgeous lines—a little bit American arts and crafts coupled with Asian influence and (dare I say it) retro longboard cool.

If given the chance, Daniel Moyer will wax philosophical about his cat, a big fellow who came from a Chinatown restaurant, or his two miniature poodles, Meteor and Fifi Gigi, who roam his workshop and studio. But he can also get right to the point. When asked about his design philosophy, Moyer spat out this gem: “Build what you see,” which might have been too simple if he hadn’t added “in your dreams, in your mind’s eye.” That explains his étagèreHenri, whose playfulness cannot be ignored: its tilting proportions are definitely something from a reverie—as well as its mutability (vertical or horizontal), which characterizes most dream objects. It’s nice to see a piece of furniture make of our dreams a physical reality. Admittedly “a horrible businessman,” Moyer is looking for representation, envisioning his furniture in a high-end showroom. Hopefully, Daniel Moyer Design and Fabrication can reach its own dream while its furniture fulfills ours.

Leave a Reply