April 27, 2010
Media Contact: EK Boatright-Simon, (310) 439-0005
Sustainability is not a new idea but the imperative to live a sustainable life is. We are radically rewinding our approach to a time when value was placed on fine craftsmanship, long-lasting materials and sound design. Looking forward, we value the precious materials that our society wastes.
– from L.A. Box Collective mission statement
The 12-strong L.A. Box Collective (Boxco), a select group of Los Angeles-based professional furniture makers committed to environmentally-conscious design and production, will make its debut at the AltBuild Home Show event on Friday and Saturday, May 7-8, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.
While working in various modern styles, the individual furniture makers that make up Boxco are collectively devoted to fine craftsmanship, sound design, and the use of long-lasting, reclaimed, and other sustainable materials. The group has come together to showcase what Los Angeles has to offer in the way of beautiful design, crafted locally and sustainably, and ultimately to encourage buyers to look for the “Made in Southern California” stamp.
“Los Angeles gets a lot of attention for its vibrant history of design in furniture and architecture, for people like Sam Maloof and Charles and Ray Eames,” said Cliff Spencer, founder of Cliff Spencer Furniture Maker and a member of the collective. “But we want people to know that this level of design and talent is not a thing of the past, it’s alive and well in Marina del Rey, Downtown, Culver City, Frogtown, Pasadena, all the soft, industrial pockets of L.A – there are talented designers and artisans who are using all kinds of materials to reinvent Southern California design. We want to draw attention to this current generation of players.”
Sam Moyer, founder of Samuel Moyer Furniture and another member of the collective, adds, “It benefits our nation’s economy to buy locally, and it is the sustainable thing to do. We want people to know you don’t have to buy from Europe to get furniture that won’t emit toxins. We’re making responsible furniture right here in Los Angeles.”
Furniture makers in the collective have made a pact to: 1) use a comprehensive approach in their work that includes sustainable design, materials, fabrication and finishes; 2) make objects that use resources mindfully, having no toxic impact on the environment and lasting for generations; 3) buy recycled materials, supplies, and tools in the studio and office, and recycle; 4) source locally; 5) share resources to facilitate the growth and integrity of Los Angeles’ small businesses, rooted in sustainable products; 6) educate others about sustainable principals through community outreach, gallery shows and the media; 7) fabricate original designs, influencing the design community and promoting environmentally friendly practices.
Members of Boxco often use materials that would otherwise be disposed of including wood production by-products or off-cuts (scrap), trees from urban or suburban areas that are dead, fallen, fire kill, diseased or a nuisance (urban salvage), orchard trees that are unproductive and cut for replacement (orchard salvage), wood or other material recovered from landfills or dumpsters (“trash”), and logs recovered from the bottom of lakes or rivers.
If wood is not reclaimed, members purchase lumber from forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC-certified). These forests are managed according to guidelines which protect the forest environment, regulate the impact on local communities and ensure sustained yield and species diversity for long-term economic viability.
Boxco members also use products derived from fast-growing, non-wood sources such as FSC-certified bamboo and grains, recycled glass, metal and paper, as well as board with no-added urea formaldehyde (NAUF) or no-added formaldehyde (NAF), water-based or low toxic glue, and zero or low-VOC finishes. They design for high material yield, and energy efficient production, often using hand tools, natural light or air drying.
And why the box?
A box is one of the simplest things a woodworker can make, conceptually, but it still requires skill to execute properly. Members of the L.A. Box Collective use their skills as box makers to design and fabricate fine furniture. Tables, chairs and casework utilize the basic design elements, structural physics, and techniques of box making. They have sides, a top and a bottom.
For questions about the L.A. Box Collective or to set up an interview with members, please call EK Boatright-Simon at (310) 439-0005, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the website at www.laboxcollective.com.
L.A. Box Collective, Cliff Spencer Furniture Maker, Samuel Moyer Furniture, Sidecar Furniture, caseandgrain, whyrHymer, Robert Apodaca, Stranger Furniture, Edward Pine Stevens, Topher Paterno, Riiska Design