The opening of WantedDesign on November 14th during New York Design Week also gave LA-based furniture studio Loose Parts the opportunity to launch their debut modular furniture collection, Original Assembly Kit (OAK, for short). The furniture line is designed for the commercial market, so it's the perfect collection for store owners in constant need of switching up their retail space interiors with ease while also having creative agency in the process.
The mind behind Loose Parts is Jennifer June, a designer who has worked with the likes of Donna Karan and Arianna Huffington, and founded Hermitage Home Boutique as well as FLINT Collective NYC, a cross-disciplinary public arts lighting design collective. OAK was a response to the ways in which all of us are trying to re-navigate public life after months of lockdown. June says as she witnessed people beginning to reacquaint themselves with life outside their own homes, she "started to see the possibility for a new kind of interior. Unbound by walls, made up of loose furniture, expanding and contracting as needs changed."
Each OAK piece is designed to be ultra-customizable, a "Swiss-army-knife approach to a variety of design programs and interior layouts," as June puts it. The collection offers a kit-of-parts that allow for a variety of configurations, and the shelves offer reversible, dual-color functionality as either flat display shelves or shallow rectangular dishes. The flat-pack pieces are easy to build with the provided colored hex screws, and the peg system affords the user the ability to play around with display heights.
Another notable aspect of the OAK Collection is its dedication to sustainability. OAK is a registered Declare product and deemed Red List free by the International Living Future Institute, is made of verified sustainable American sourced solid hardwood, biodegradable and compostable. The modular aspect of the pieces also ensures their long-lasting value. Loose Parts writes on their site that "by rethinking furniture as a system rather than a stand alone object means you can stay inspired while limiting waste. In other words, you can update a part rather than throw out the whole thing."
"At Loose Parts we strive to do away with traditional, one-size-fits-all furniture by designing around an intuitive and flexible system," notes June. It's a commendable approach to product development in an already-wasteful existing furniture market. While the OAK Collection is aimed toward the commercial market, we can only hope to see more solutions like it in the realm of home furniture where customizability may be the key to lifetime consumer ownership, and the prevention of landfill pileup.