“It’s no surprise to learn that hardwood furniture factories aren’t the most sustainable of operations. But it is a shock to hear just how wasteful. According to two students at London’s Royal College of Art, as much as 80% of the timber used in the average factory ends up in the trash, in the form of wood chips and shavings. So for every chair produced, nearly the same amount of wood ends up discarded.
Marjan van Aubel and Jamie Shaw see no reason for the waste. As part of a group of students invited by the American Hardwood Export Council to develop wood chairs for the Michigan woodworking studio Benchmark, the duo decided to pursue a design that would make use of the timber swept off the factory floor into the garbage. This July, they travelled to Benchmark to spend a week testing new ways of manufacturing wood furniture using the wasted shavings. At night, they camped on the lawn of Benchmark’s director (“amazing,” says van Aubel).”