Designers Turn Hurricane Sandy’s Devastation Into Reclaimed Furniture

We all know the legend of the Phoenix, a mythical bird that spontaneously combusts only to emerge, young and strong, from its own ashes. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, this type of transformation and rebirth is happening in different ways all over the Eastern Seaboard.

In New York City, residents are rebuilding with all of the creativity and ingenuity we expect from such a culturally diverse metropolis. Gathered together under the name Reclaim NYC, three designers are encouraging their colleagues to see the wreckage not as a reminder of the devastation, but inspiration for new art. “We are calling upon designers to use debris and refuse materials from the storm to create pieces of furniture and art that will be auctioned for charity,” writes the team.

Reclaim NYC, Hurricane Sandy, reclaimed furniture, recycled materials, art

Image via Reclaim NYC

Browsing the Reclaim NYC page on Facebook yields photos of artists out and about in the affected areas, helping to clean up debris and securing the choicest pieces for a return trip to the studio. Other images show the finished products: a beautiful heart-shaped end table, a lounge chair, several high-end-looking lamps, and a colorful chest of drawers.

On December 19th, dozens of artists and designers gathered together to sell off their pieces in a silent auction. As MNN reports, the guest list included “international superstars (Dror BenshetritKarim Rashid, etc.) alongside some of Brooklyn’s finest indie designers (Fort StandardKiel MeadDaniel Moyer, etc.). And the list goes on and on. Uhuru, a sustainable design firm that’s no stranger to working with reclaimed materials, is also participating.”

All of the proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross in Greater New York to aid in recovery efforts. Due to the overwhelming response, Reclaim NYC said it may consider repeat events in the future.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog