Monday, April 16, 2012

"Z" Chair

A recent side project at Studio Ecesis has been experimenting with connecting 2x framing lumber with large tongue and groove connections to sustain rigid folded joints.  The small piece featured here can work as an end table or a stool.

Douglas Fir is to the California building industry what rice is to Chinese cuisine.  Framing lumber, for example, can be used as a beam, a stud or a piece of blocking (see previous article for more on this).   If one is looking for a good wood window, one would be well served to dispense with the national norm of pine and go with a more local window company that uses our locally available Douglas Fir.  It is a stronger material and has a local chain of custody. Framing lumber is, of course, the main use for Doug Fir in California and, if you want an affordable building material, it is hard to beat.  This stool project was part of an ongoing attempt to come up with alternative uses for Douglas Fir as it is commonly provided us by the construction industry.

The pleasure of discovering these auxiliary applications to common building materials has a way of reverberating.  If you go to a residential job site these days and look at the scrap pile with a consciousness of reuse, your mouth will start to water.  In this way, the resource conservation problem, as it is popularly understood, is poorly framed.

The advertisements and articles in design magazines are interesting and the ferment in many ways is a positive thing but the complexity of the proposed solutions is often reminiscent of Heidegger's thoughts on windmills and hydro-electric power plants.  Simple is still good on many levels.

Certainly here in the far west we solve things with technology and there is no way technology will not be part of our solution.  Its just important to remember that obsolete technology is often ironically part of the problem.

To the side of this technological endeavor with all its plusses and minuses exists another way of looking at resource conservation.  Resource conservation can also be improved with simple imagination and a willingness to attempt beauty around the celebration of those resources we already possess.  This also needs to be part of any attempt to improve our environment.

No comments:

Post a Comment