AT on ... Craftsmanship

AT on ... Craftsmanship

Stephanie Kinnear
Sep 25, 2008

9-24-2008craftsmanship.jpgIs craftsmanship the ultimate green strategy?

That's the question Metropolis magazine asked in a 2007 article about Danish furniture designer Hans Wegner. His most famous creation, the Round Chair (pictured above) sells for $4,000. The final, precise sanding of the curved arms takes 2 hours. The joints are zig-zag. And "each unit of the Chair is worked on by at least five craftsmen and takes nearly 12 hours to complete."

Of course, the price tag puts the Chair out of reach for us mere mortals; however, just the concept of the Chair raises a really interesting question. Is, as Metropolis asks, craftsmanship the ultimate green strategy?

Good craftsmanship seems to promise a certain level of beauty and durability in an object -- whether that object is a chair or a cast iron skillet. And if an object is both beautiful and durable, aren't we less likely to kick it to the curb? We think so. The older we get, the more we understand this and the less money we spend on cheap plastic items. (But we're far from perfect!)

How much do you value craftsmanship? Is it something you think about when you buy things for your home?

image via Metropolis;Jens Mourits Sorensen/courtesy PP Møbler

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