Trees don’t care about woodworkers. They want water and sunshine. To pursue it, they will twist, lean, and send out branches in ways that make their form beautiful, but not particularly furniture-shaped. This has alway made selection and use of wood as a building material a struggle between what one would like and what one can get. Humans have employed any number of strategies over the millennia to overcome this conflict, and have stiven to make wooden objects which showcase the beauty inherent in the natural variation of the material while constructing the most utile and durable forms.
Throughout the centuries, the pendulum has swung between the most rigid imposition of functionality on wood and the most artistic display of the material over its final purpose. Liveform Design attempts to balance the curatorial impulse of live edge furniture and the modern, utilitarian ideal of form following function. Here, the design of each piece is driven by both the needs to feature the natural beauty of wood and to construct functional, recognizable furniture forms, not by the conflict and compromise between those ideals.
To that end, our design process starts with the edges and ends of boards which contain the most interesting patterns and figuring. These edges and ends would normally be discarded in service of the practical aims of known furniture shapes. Instead, we consider what could be done to extend them into three dimensions. What could be mated with them to bring that wild edge into the functional realm? What can we do additively with the technology available to us now that previously we could only have done subtractively? Those questions are the starting point for any LiveForm piece.
LiveForm Design is at its heart a collaboration. Between nature and workmanship. Between organic beauty and strict purpose. Between members of a community possessing diverse tools and talents for transforming materials to forms. The project would not be possible without the environment in which it was conceived; Special thanks to Dock6 Collective, Mary Wanta, Seth Deysach, Matt Hunter, Horigan UFP, and others whose expertise and support we haven’t thought up uses for yet.