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Design
Apr
27
Case Study 01 by ODAMI
Alexander Zaxarov
Apr 27, 2020

Canadian studio Odami has used wood from a 130-year-old red oak tree to design furniture and lighting.

This armchair, table, and lamp are the results of a lengthy collaborative process carried out over 8 months with Patrick Murphy of One Wood. Deep in the woods on a relative’s property, a soaring 130 year-old red oak tree was ready to come down; two years prior, one of its major limbs rotted through and fell, leaving it awkwardly imbalanced and under great stress.

The felling process was one of careful planning and preparation, not only to ensure everyone’s safety, but to preserve as much of the main trunk as possible. In many ways, this could only be done by first learning to know the tree and its surroundings with care and respect. Each piece is constructed entirely out of thick slabs of solid wood milled exclusively from this tree. As the wood dried and was worked into new forms, it stretched, warped, and cracked.

These pieces don’t simply make use of its material, but attempt to harness this vitality, and embody the stability and weight of its lost presence. As simple compositions of heavy masses, each piece is an expression of strength and power. Solid rectilinear volumes give way to gentle curves and softened edges, creating deep shadows and comfortable forms. With timeless simplicity, each piece is a humble celebration of material richness and craft, and a study of the comfort of mass.

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Alexander Zaxarov
April 27, 2020

Canadian studio Odami has used wood from a 130-year-old red oak tree to design furniture and lighting.

This armchair, table, and lamp are the results of a lengthy collaborative process carried out over 8 months with Patrick Murphy of One Wood. Deep in the woods on a relative’s property, a soaring 130 year-old red oak tree was ready to come down; two years prior, one of its major limbs rotted through and fell, leaving it awkwardly imbalanced and under great stress.

The felling process was one of careful planning and preparation, not only to ensure everyone’s safety, but to preserve as much of the main trunk as possible. In many ways, this could only be done by first learning to know the tree and its surroundings with care and respect. Each piece is constructed entirely out of thick slabs of solid wood milled exclusively from this tree. As the wood dried and was worked into new forms, it stretched, warped, and cracked.

These pieces don’t simply make use of its material, but attempt to harness this vitality, and embody the stability and weight of its lost presence. As simple compositions of heavy masses, each piece is an expression of strength and power. Solid rectilinear volumes give way to gentle curves and softened edges, creating deep shadows and comfortable forms. With timeless simplicity, each piece is a humble celebration of material richness and craft, and a study of the comfort of mass.

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