In The Woods by Karen Ryan



British designer Karen Ryan has sent a series of images showing the development of her latest project, called In The Woods.


The project, a balanced stack of found chairs, is "a reaction to the ever increasing consumer mountain of design and design waste".


Here's some text from Ryan:


‘In The Woods’ a chair.

Work in progress March 2009.


My choice of creating designs which use discarded or unwanted objects and materials is not recent and has never been born out of fashion. The decision was a political one and a personal one, a reaction to the ever increasing consumer mountain of design and design waste as well as my own necessity created by a lack of money and resources.


The struggle that I have with my conscience at the irrelevance of creating yet another one-off design object against a global backdrop of poverty, violence and greed remains a permanent dilemma in my creative process.


The working philosophy I practice is simple, I use what others want no more, generally collected locally from within the city I live in Portsmouth. Everything I create is imbued with passion, belief and autobiography.


My need is to make things perhaps more than ‘things’  ‘objects’  are needed, but I love design, art, colour, form and function. ‘In The Woods’ embodies this practice, yet underlying the surrealism of creating a wood for the living room is a sense of helplessness and escapism.


Am I guilty of hypocrisy as my desire muffles my conscience in my own haste to create a ‘new’ chair even one made from old chairs?
How many designers overwhelm their consciences by want and pride in the invention of the ‘new’, the new chair, the new table, the new DesignArt, the new.

In this fashionable haste that almost demands constant reinvention, the life span of existing objects seems to become ever shorter perhaps prolonged in certain circumstance by the designer name tag.

I am not sure where cultural value lies anymore. I am sure of one thing, I will make another new thing even if it is from something old.

More Dezeen stories about Karen Ryan:



Another Chair


Wood Work


Untitled Lights


Custom Made Chair at Trash Luxe


Unmade 07 vases

Posted on Sunday March 29th 2009 at 2:10 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • kingmu

    A thoughtful statement, made dimensional.

    And, it also happens to be rather beautiful.

  • Jeremiah

    Beautiful, and poignant. I really enjoy the use of functionally similar side chairs to reinforce the effect of “style” and “fashion” on design and waste. It is the tragedy of consumerism brought together in the form of one of its victims.

  • shahabkaveh


  • x


  • Amy

    Absolutely stunning. It’s odd how the chairs, which were once merely trees, take on a very tree-like form – going back to their roots.

    I dig it.