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American red oak project with Polish designer

The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) has been promoting American hardwood for more than 20 years and regularly supports international projects with renowned designers and architects. The effects of their work can be seen, among others at the London Design Festival, the Interzum furniture fair in Cologne, or the Salone del Mobile in Milan. Source: Timberbiz

Now Poland is the next important stop on the route of promoting sustainable material, because the country has been a European leader in furniture production for several years. Collections of Polish companies and individual designers are more and more visible not only on the domestic market, but also abroad.

American red oak is not only the most abundant wood species on the American continent, it is also the most sustainable but it is rarely used in Europe.

In Poland, the project with designer Tomek Rygalik has given AHEC the opportunity to cooperate with highly qualified workshops that are ready to focus on the material.

“I think that this is an extraordinary opportunity to work with unusual material, get to know a different quality and approach to design,” David Venables, AHEC director for Europe said.

American red oak grows in the mixed hardwood forests across the Eastern part of the United States. Its wood is characterized by a distinctive grain pattern and not necessarily red in colour – the name of the species came from the intense colour of autumn leaves.

The shade of the wood itself is very much, from the natural colour of the oak, to the intense, warm colours. It is a widely-used material for the production of furniture, doors, floors as well as carpentry elements. It is durable, sustainable and allows for many design applications – reacts well to various finishes, has excellent steam bending capabilities and can be thermally modified for external use.

“I decided to collaborate with AHEC primarily because of the values that stand behind this project. They take into account the idea of a conscious, responsible and sustainable processing of raw materials, guaranteeing the smallest possible carbon footprint. At a time when our planet requires decisive action on the human side, ecological design, especially wood, a material very close to me, becomes extremely important,” Mr Rygalik said.

The collaboration between AHEC and Mr Rygalik will take place in September 2019, and it is the first joint project with a Polish designer.

Mr Rygalik is responsible for the concept and design of a chair and the prototype is made by the Swallow’s Tail Furniture brand. The collaboration is part of the global AHEC activity, which for over 25 years has been promoting American hardwood.

The core of various initiatives is to highlight the efficiency and design potential of hardwood and to pay attention to proper management of the raw material and sustainable cultivation of forests.

The Polish project will bring to light the potential of American red oak and will present a personal view of the material of the designer.