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American Hardwood Export Council -

Another Creative AHEC Competition

Ten furniture design students from Rycotewood College Oxford “were given two cubic feet of U.S. red oak and were presented with the challenge of creating a piece of furniture featuring a storage aspect.” Here’s a look at three of the creative and functional designs.

Daisy Brunsdon “focused on the social side of furniture. Her cabinet was motivated by how her family has been brought together by a vintage record player that her mother found in a charity shop. She also took inspiration from the traditional architecture of Oxford, particularly the old arches of the cathedrals which are reflected in the form of the piece. She finished the cabinet with soap to bring out the red and pink undertones of the red oak which she felt lent itself to the design.”

Darren Scott’s “concept was to approach the design as an architect, rather than a furniture maker, by letting the lighting and shadow of the piece inform the design, combining contrasting materials such as slate with timber, and applying different finishes to the various elements included. The final cabinet is a contrasting combination of slate, red oak and Japanese washi paper.”

David Howson “created a minimal desk with a set of drawers and in-built plant holders. He drew inspiration from looking at the research into biophilic design and how incorporating natural materials into the built environment can boost productivity. He ultimately wanted to create a natural space to work in, which was free from clutter, giving the mind clarity and space to think creatively. The plants are embedded into the table top with intention of bringing positive energy to the space.”

All of the projects showed “creativity and inventiveness, while demonstrating the beauty and versatility of red oak.” Visit for a look at them all.

Photos courtesy of the American Hardwood Export Council