Bruce Marsh, a self-taught woodworker whose focus is sustainable design, was one of 4 presenters/panelists at last Thursday's AT Design Meetup. The theme was green design at home, and Bruce helped everyone understand how hard that really is to achieve...
Every decision, on the part of the producer/designer/consumer may relieve one aspect of environmental concern and exacerbate another. It is up to each individual, then, says Bruce, to determine priorities and evaluate the process for those things that matter most. For example, Bruce chooses to create a table that has great longevity and is carefully handcrafted, but adds to the bulk and cost of shipping because it isn't collapsible into a 'flat-pak.'
Some stains and finishes may yield a more aesthetically pleasing piece but be too harmful and toxic to those on the production side of things. Repeated exposure is terrible for his employees so he makes different choices.
The results is beautiful furniture, lovingly and thoughtfully designed and produced in Brooklyn by a person who is dedicated to sustainable design and who is passionate about protecting the environment as much as possible. Bruce is aware of the challenges that thwart a truly green product but takes pains to get as close as possible to this goal.