STACKLAB Design is a studio of architects, industrial designers and fabricators, in Toronto’s West End, tackling a variety of projects ranging in scale from cabinet pulls to entire homes.
In their Ash A356.0 series, their emphasis is on sustainability, achieved with a combination of recycled materials and an experimental production process.
Emerald Ash Borer infestation continues to wreak havoc on Toronto’s population of nearly 860 000 ash trees, leaving the Urban Forestry Department scrambling to remove dead or dying trees from both public and private properties. STACKLAB makes use of this lumber, to form the base of the pieces, milling logs from the diseased trees.
The sawdust generated in the milling process is then compacted into molds to shape the top of the piece. As the molten aluminum (sourced from recycled beer cans provided by local Steam Whistle brewery) comes into contact with the mold, some of the wood burns away, revealing an irregular and unique texture in the seats and tabletops. The tops are sanded and buffed to a highly polished finish before being fastened to the bases to create durable pieces of furniture that are equally well suited for indoor or outdoor use.
The pieces earned Stacklab its second consecutive award in the Evergreen Brickworks' Design by Nature competition, and stand as a great example of the role small-scale manufacturing can play in finding applications for repurposed materials.
Want to learn more? Visit STACKLAB’s online portfolio or follow the studio’s Instagram feed.
All photographs by Sean McBride of Module Media
This article was written and researched by Miranda Corcoran, a product designer based in Toronto.
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