Artist, designer, engineer and sculptor Hongtao Zhou didn't quite plan on becoming a furniture designer: he started out studying chemistry in Harbin, China, but he's been working in furniture sustainability, climate and culture at the University of Wisconsin–Madison since completing a Ph.D. in furniture design at Purdue in 2008. These days, most of the pieces in his excellent portfolio could be described as both sculpture and furniture—i.e. "Frozeniture"—and his latest work, the "Two Stumps and an Axe" lounge chair is no exception.Humans cut down about 30 millions trees every day and leaves tree stumps everywhere from rainforests to urban areas. The wood industry has not found it valuable to use these stumps, while residents a have hard time digging them out from their yards.
According to the designer, the parts—i.e., the axe—are made from scraps from the sculpture shop. So not only is "Two Stumps and an Axe" playful and functional, it's conscientious to boot.
Still, I can't tell if those stumps were discovered like that in situ, or if those are reclaimed as well; this piece was reportedly installed at the Vermont Studio Center in July 2001, though I'm inclined to believe that Zhou means July 2011, since he had yet to emigrate by 2001...
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