Last week, as part of City Modern, a series of events celebrating architecture and design in New York City, local designers opened the doors to their work spaces and invited the public in for a visit. Inside his Bushwick design studio, Daniel Michalik, founder of DMFD, creates furniture and housewares from environmentally friendly materials. Working primarily with cork, he uses industrial machinery to score and shape the cork to create a base material that is at once soft, pliable and yet strong.
In the studio, which he refers to as his 'laboratory,' all steps of the design process are visible: from the raw cork still attached to the bark of the tree, to sketches, rough cuts and final projects (often accented with a hint of bright paint). The cork, formed to create chairs, bowls, containers, light fixtures and door stops, is a beautiful example of a natural (and renewable) material. From Daniel:
In recent years I have delved into the secrets of cork, an engaging and responsible material with vast implications for healthier perspectives on design, agriculture, tradition and manufacturing. Cork is a sustainable material, regenerating every 9 years for harvest.
The Portuguese regions of cork production hold centuries-old farming and manufacturing traditions that can teach us how objects can be made more responsibly. The cork objects I design and make reflect a love for the origin and context of a material, and it has led to exciting collaborations with adherent cultures and industries.
For more information on the designer and his work, visit DMFD.
For more information on the events, tours and exhibition, visit City Modern.
(Images: Liana Walker)