Meet the Makers: Product Designers Uhuru Design
In this Meet the Makers blog series, we will feature an artist that, quite simply, makes something. Drawing inspiration from custom works handcrafted in various media, we travel beyond the pieces by diving into the minds of the creative makers themselves.
Today, we feature our interview with Uhuru Design Team out of New York, the creative designers of War Craft Line furniture and many other products. Uhuru utilizes different mediums to craft art forms while keeping sustainability as their core function.
GPI Design: What (3) words best describe your work?
Uhuru Design: Craft – Narrative – Materiality
GPI: What compels you to create with this particular medium?
Uhuru: We mostly work with wood, metal, leather and stone, often in combination. I particularly love the way these materials react and age over time in nature or in use. I think that juxtaposing two materials with different qualities and finish adds a complexity and visual dynamic to a piece of furniture.
Sustainability is at the core of what we do. We’re always on the lookout for something new, interesting, and sustainable to work with. We use everything from naturally felled trees sourced from all over the country, Old Growth Beams from buildings all over the North East, fencing materials that keep snow drifts from collecting on the highways and even Teak Decking material from World War II battleships.
GPI: What is your biggest constraint in the creative process?
Uhuru: I have always found that I am more creative when designing with constraints. I often start with a found or specific storied martial dig into the history and context and use that criteria to inform the design.
GPI: What would your 5 year old former self say about your work now? And what do you hope your future 90 year old self will say about your current work?
Uhuru: I just asked my 5 year old what he thinks about my work, he said “I like the wood and how it is designed and made by you” I think that my 5 year old self would mostly be impressed by the big machines and the way we are able to take raw materials and craft and joint the material together to make a finished functional piece. If I make it to 90, I hope I can look back and see that my furniture designs helped people to enjoy their home life more, make work more productive.
GPI: What other maker would you most like to collaborate with?
Uhuru: I have always really respected Martin Baas’ work. It would be really cool to do something with him.
GPI: What do you think the future of creation/creativity holds (for you, and the artistic world as a whole)?
Uhuru: I think we will become more and more aware of the impact of everything we make/buy/use and throw away and this will be a great push for creativity moving forward.
GPI: What does your work space look like right now? Send us a selfie of you in your creative arena!
Many thanks to Uhuru Design Team for the insight into their craft. Stay tuned to our next Meet the Makers interview coming up in two weeks! The interviews will publish every other Tuesday throughout the remainder of the year, focusing on a wide variety of makers, which has us truly redefining what it means to create.
View this maker’s work: Uhuru Design