Design

Odami creates a furniture collection from one dying tree

Canadian studio Odami has used wood from a 130-year-old red oak tree to design furniture and lighting.

Case Study 01: On Mass by Odami and One Wood
Case Study 01: On Mass used the trunk of a dying red oak tree to construct three pieces, including this prism-like lamp

Case Study 01: On Mass comprises an armchair, lamp and table made from the trunk and limbs of a dying red oak tree.

Odami worked with Patrick Murphy, owner of One Wood, a woodworking company to realise the three unique pieces that aim to explore the concept of mass.

Case Study 01: On Mass by Odami and One Wood
The armchair features a curved seat, straight back and two rounded arms on each of its sides

“As simple compositions of heavy masses, each piece is an expression of this strength and power,” Odami said. “With timeless simplicity, each piece is a humble celebration of material richness and craft, and a study of the coziness of mass.”

The tree came from Murphy’s parents’ property in St Anns, Ontario. One of its limbs had already fallen and rotted, but the team was able to preserve a majority of its main trunk and use it to create the pieces.

Case Study 01: On Mass by Odami and One Wood
Black markings on the bowed seat show the areas where the wood stretched and cracked

“These pieces don’t simply make use of its material, but attempt to harness this vitality, and embody the stability and weight of its lost presence,” the studio added.

After the red oak was chopped down, the wood was dried and then cut into the new shapes causing it to stretch, warp and crack. In total, the fabrication process was carried out over a period of eight months.

On the lamp, light shines through the thin opening between a square-shaped rod and rounded column that front the piece. A rectangular block forms the top and base of the prism-shaped work.

The curved seat and straight-edged back of the armchair are set at angles from one another and attach between the two rounded arms on each side of the design.

Case Study 01: On Mass by Odami and One Wood
The low table has chunky legs and a flat surface that extends beyond the two legs

Black markings visible on the front of the seat indicate the areas where the wood stretched and cracked from being worked into the bowed shape.

The low-lying table has chunky legs attached to its centre. A flat surface extends beyond the two legs to form the tabletop. In this middle is a small lid that lifts off the top to reveal a tiny compartment built into the table.

Case Study 01: On Mass by Odami and One Wood
A rectangular lid lifts off the table to reveal a tiny compartment

Odami is an architectural, interior, and furniture design studio founded in Toronto founded in 2017 by Spanish architect Aránzazu González Bernardo and Canadian designer Michael Norman Fohring. Its previous projects include Toronto restaurant Sara, which features curving plaster walls.

Other wood furniture pieces include a collection Bowen Liu Studio imagined for a fictional artist and a series of chunky pine chairs by Studio Sløyd.

Photography is by Kurtis Chen.

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