Design Days 2024: Hono by Uhuru

Design Days 2024: Hono by Uhuru

The Brooklyn-based New American design firm Uhuru was one of four design brands at the Four-Ground Pop Up at 2024 Fulton Market Design Days during NeoCon. They were in good company with Fyrn, Bolon, and Neighbor.

Uhuru Hono stool viewed from above

Uhuru’s raven-black charred pine Hono Stool captured our attention. This upcycled stool had an earlier lifetime as a utility pole from a factory in Pennsylvania.

Utility pole reclaimed by Uhuru

Hono is a great example of Uhuru’s penchant for reclaiming specialized items and remaking them into bespoke residential and high-end commercial furniture pieces. As Uhuru puts it, “highlighting the creative reuse of storied and naturally weathered materials.”

They take the weatherization of Hono one (or two) steps further. Most of Hono’s appeal comes from the ancient Japanese method of wood preservation called Shou Sugi Ban that Uhuru uses in their process.

Shou Sugi Ban process of lighting the wood for Uhuru stool

Shou Sugi Ban is one of the earliest methods of wood preservation with roots of the technique dating back to the 18th century. Not only does charring the wood through Shou Sugi Ban weatherproof the wood, but the natural wood texture also remains beautifully intact.

More images of Hono stool process

Once the stool is set aflame, it’s left to cool.

Process, Hono Stool cooling

Uhuru then administers a non-toxic clear coat and affixes a brass authenticity tag.

Final product: Hono Stool by Uhuru with brass authenticity tag

You’ll notice each Hono Stool has a pie-shaped “check” cut into its shape. This may appear to be an artistic flourish, but it’s a necessary characteristic.

Cutting section out of stool to alleviate pressure

Uhuru explains this detail “helps alleviate the pressure of wood as it expands and contracts with changes in temperature and humidity.”

It appears wood still wants to be able to voice its preferences and opinions after a lifetime as a tree, a utility pole, and now as a stunning bespoke stool.

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