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Wood For Good

Ryan Robinson ('11) |

"I love computer modeling, but nothing helps you understand a form better than actually making something that you can hold in your hands."  —Ryan Robinson (’11)

When Robinson heard about the hundreds of 300-year-old oaks and sycamores that were felled in Arcadia, California, he decided to do something to save them save them from becoming mulch. He created a plan to use this wood from trees on government land that are cut down for development by allowing artists and designers to transform the valuable hardwood into furniture and other useful objects. “What I set out to do was create an outline for how this system could work, and to create an example of what can become of the beautiful materials. That’s where my furniture comes to play.” 

 “I focus on human-centered design problems, but physical making is a huge part of my process. My design for a prosthetic leg for underserved economies uses found materials. Because users assemble it themselves and maintain it throughout their lifetime, they aren’t just receiving a new leg, they’re receiving the tools to be self-sufficient.”