The Forest & Soul collections capture the charming individuality of wood

Hsiang Han Design’s two-part collection highlights wood manufacturing techniques in Chiayi and the value of waste materials.

Forest & Soul was created on the occasion of the 2021 Taiwan Design Expo in Chiayi as a way of celebrating the city’s wood craftsmanship and to show the possibilities of transferring wood waste into new uses and objects.

The two-part collection features a series of wooden tables and decorative glass plates produced by Hsiang Han Design as part of a commission for the Chiayi Municipal Museum and Concentric Design & Film company. Hand-crafted using sustainably sourced ash-wood from North America, Forest presents a collection of tables formed of several canopy-shaped pieces.

Each element is CNC-milled to achieve its shape before being assembled, polished and painted by hand. Created in collaboration with wood specialists Fure Jang Wood & Ching Kun Wood Industry, the collection strikes a fine balance between organic aesthetics, functionality and production. 

Meanwhile, Soul presents a series of decorative glass objects made by imprinting pieces of scrap wood into recycled molten glass. “With the high temperature, the glass burns, consumes and changes the wood scrap surface continuously, creating in this way the unique objects with wood-textured surface which shows the purest nature of wood,” explains the studio.

It was created in collaboration with Spring Pool Glass, Taiwan’s largest glass recycler, which processes approximately 100,000 metric tons of glass per year across the country.

Forest & Soul showcases the value of local production and waste

There’s a lot to deconstruct here, starting with Forest highlighting the strength of local production in Chiayi, a city which is often referred to as “Wood City” on account of its flourishing forestry industry. It’s thanks to its work with major players within the industry that Hsiang Han Design has been able to realise both collections. 

From a design perspective, both the Forest & Soul collections are visually striking. The tree-like organic forms of Forest make for strong storytelling design that underlines the material’s sustainable origins.

Meanwhile, Soul demonstrates how scrap wood can be used in an unconventional way. We particularly like how the series of decorative glass plates captures their texture as a way of highlighting the value of waste materials.

Find out more about the ingenious ways designers are tackling waste, don’t miss A chair made from 20KG of plastic waste found in Indonesia.

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