Solve the Puzzle: Hackney Range by Ryan Frank

When I hear the words “free range,” I usually think of chickens, but think again! South African-born, London-based designer Ryan Frank creates none other than “free-range furniture.” I would like to believe that this means the furniture can get up and move about, but alas, even Frank’s fantastic creations are subject to the laws of nature. What the term means in regards to his work is that the furniture is sustainable and more often than not made of reclaimed materials.

Hackney Range. Designed and manufactured by Ryan Frank.

The result of this eco-friendly focus, coupled with Frank’s African roots, is a diverse and unique collection: “The alternative techniques and materials used are notably experimental, creating products of integrity and depth that comfortably explore the underbelly of the furniture design industry.”

I particularly like two things about Frank’s statement—the words experimental and underbelly, both of which signal an iconoclastic thinker. Not too long ago, 3rings wrote about his fabulous Inkuku, a chair made mostly of plastic trash bags, and now we’d like to bring your attention to Frank’s Hackney Range, a clean slate on wheels.

Solve the Puzzle: Hackney Group by Ryan Frank

Solve the Puzzle: Hackney Group by Ryan Frank

Solve the Puzzle: Hackney Group by Ryan Frank

What I mean by tabula rasa is that the Hackney shelves/storage system is a “clean canvas front and back,” which invites the owner to indulge in graffiti—at least, that’s Frank’s idea. He wants you to personalize the two pieces in the Hackney Range, Hackney Central and Hackney Wick.

The larger Hackney Central measures approximately 71 x 47 x 16 inches, while the smaller Hackney Wick weighs in at 30 x 47 x 16 inches—considerably stouter. Shaped like pieces of a maze, the Hackney Range revitalizes a standard, if somewhat dismissed, material—OSB. Intensely geometric, the Hackney shelves can be joined together to create larger labyrinths. The fact that they sit on polypropylene wheels makes them all the more versatile: use them as bookshelves in a library; as decorative shelving in a living room; even as modular components in a media room.

Whether you fill them with Pac Man paraphernalia or your collection of Converse sneakers, the Hackney Range gives you artistic license. Go ahead and make your mark on those white surfaces—it’s exactly what Frank wants you to do. The Hackney shelves are the design equivalent of highway underpasses, so get out the paint and let your imagination run wild.

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