Brooklyn Built Furniture From Sandy’s Scraps

Hurricane Sandy destroyed hundreds of homes, offices, and schools. It also hit the creative community hard, damaging dozens of artists’ studios and tons of work along the waterfront in Red Hook and Greenpoint. Now, creatives are leading a charge to turn their talents towards the relief efforts.

Francois Chambard, furniture designer behind UM Project, used storm-ravaged refuse from around Red Hook to create a collection of lamps whose proceeds will benefit Sandy Relief efforts.

Local artists and designers are invited by Reclaim NYC to create furniture using material reclaimed from storm cleanup sites, then the work will be auctioned off to benefit Sandy relief efforts. “We hope our fallen trees and storm-damaged building materials can be reborn as objects that represent the city’s recovery,” write the group’s founders. On December 19, Reclaim NYC will host its first auction, with work made by 24 artists and designers.

What a timely model of sustainability and contribution. The story says a lot about the about the New York Design Community.


Let’s Rock: Health Benefits of Rocking Chairs

Relaxation, maturity, nostalgia, parenting… are some things that may come to mind when you see rocking chairs. On top of being fun & looking nice, rocking chairs possess a number of proven therapeutic benefits that make them far more than just a chair.

Here are a few insights into the health benefits:

1) Non-weight Bearing Exercise. Motion can help those with sedentary lifestyles to achieve muscle tone. Energy is exerted by the shifting body-weight back & forth, slowing respiration and lowering blood pressure. You can rock away depression, stress, & lose some weight all at once. (An average 150lb person burns 68 calories/hour sitting still and 150 calories/hour rocking in a chair.)

2) Rocking Helps Students with ADD & ADHD Focus Better in learning environments. According the Rocking Chair Therapy Research, the motion of rocking can satisfy the needs of kinesthetic learners by allowing them to stay alert and process information.

3) Pregnancy. Rocking a couple of minutes during pregnancy helps in the development of the nervous system of the fetus. Back pain and varicose veins can be prevented during pregnancy by rocking for a few minutes every day.

4) Social, Emotional, & Motor Development. Rocking in chairs & cradles help calm babies by simulating the experience of being cradled in the womb. The design of a rocking chair may provide armrests high enough to make breastfeeding or bottle feeding easy & comfortable. The rocking chair is a place where strong mother-child or father-child attachment is fostered.

5) For the Elderly. Reducing stress & anxiety, studies show those who rock regularly need less or no medication to deal with depression related issues. Rocking improves balancing skills, preventing accidents due to falling. Also, easy form of exercise for those who are inactive.

6) Post Surgery Recovery. Rocking has been found to help patients recover after an operation. After most surgeries, patients suffer from bowel dysfunction, in hospitals rocking has been known to help patients resume bowel activity sooner. Rocking helps reduce pain after an abdominal hysterectomy. In addition, it also helps patients to recover from a knee surgery with light exercise.

7) Arthritis. Rocking for about an hour everyday speeds recovery in patients, by improving the flexibility of the knees & strengthening muscles around the knees.

8) Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia. Rocking is known to release endorphins, which help reduce anxiety. It is particularly helpful in mid-stage dementia patients, as they are very difficult to calm; rocking helps reduce their pain and soothes them. These diseases that are found in the elderly can be very arduous; rocking helps improve the overall health and well-being of such patients.


With these benefits, rocking chairs should be available in every home, hospital, & school. They are even becoming available in several airports throughout the country- from Boston to Sacramento.

For more info on the benefits of rocking chairs, check out the links below.
Let’s Rock!

Information for this post were sourced from these links.

Why I’m a Member of Furniture New York

As a New Yorker I have the thought from time to time that I’m sure all of you occasionally have, “Why do I live here considering all that we have to put up with.” You can list some very real compromises we make to live here but in the end for an equally long list of reasons we’re not leaving.
The main reason is financial. I cannot do the kind of work that I do in another city. I need to be close to my clients, my suppliers, talented employees. The second reason is community, I like having people around (mostly). I get inspired and more creative, I see what not to do, and when I need help or feel like complaining I am glad I live here.
This is why I am a member of Furniture New York. Yes part of it is financial, discounts on shows and great contacts and exposure, but the community of designers is what is most important to me. I need to see the work friends and to have them see my efforts. I need to keep inspired and creative, and for that I need both New York and my community of New Yorkers.


Did you look?

What is it about form that attracts your attention? Just from a glance. Is it the material, structure, scale, or the gesture?

Now what is it that catches your eye and holds your attention- provoking memories, feelings, thoughts…? Beyond performing primary functions, can a piece of furniture propel you into a new state of mind the way art would?

If you’re on the hunt for furnishings with unique spirit or bold presence, here are a few select works from the FNY Community that can sustain anyone’s attention and are sure to be conversational pieces:

Tribeca Single Bulb Pendant, by Michael Mchale Designs

Zig Zag Redux, by Peter Harrison

VJBG Custom Locker, by Boca Grande Furnishings

Glass Hall Table, by Nico Yektai

Snaka Wakas, by Tucker Robbins

Corner Piece, by Nico Yektai

Doors To My Past, by Nico Yektai

Cloisonne Autumn Scene Folding Screen, by Chandeysson
Explore more.