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17 September – 28 November 2009

Grasswork is series of experiments in self-assembly furniture designs by Jair Straschnow - a range that is designed to be simple, intelligent, beautiful, space-saving and wholly sustainable.

The furniture is made from bamboo laminate sheets and Straschnow has designed an interlocking system of component parts in order to assemble each piece with dry mechanical fastening rather than glue and screws.  The interlocking components allow the furniture to be flat packed.


The exhibition, which included a double, ‘stacking’ trestle dining table, a picnic table and bench, a convertible easy/dining chair and a set of bookshelves, places emphasis on the details of the joinery that is the essence of this clever collection.


Bamboo is the fastest growing plant on earth and can be harvested again and again from the same stalk; its use ensures the sustainability of the collection.


Zeev Aram, Director of The Aram Gallery believes that Straschow has an innovative approach to his design work that is wholly dedicated to solving the problems that designing furniture presents.  This approach is illustrated by the fact that Straschnow’s design process involves building full-sized experimental prototypes rather than sketching or modelling.  “He has an idiosyncratic way of wanting everything to fold-up, click into place, and fit together with a minimum amount of glue or fixings,” says Aram. “It’s rare to find a designer who works so hard to solve problems that he sets himself.  Jair is a very thoughtful designer who thinks very creatively to produce practical solutions.  In one of the tables we looked at in his studio, two of the leg components are held together with a screw.  I know he will work tirelessly to figure out how to make it work without that last screw, making the table better, with less components and probably more cost effective.”


The items on show were prototypes, handmade by Straschnow in his Amsterdam studio.


Jair Straschnow was born in Israel in 1965 and finished his MA at the Design Academy in Eindhoven before settling in Amsterdam.  This is his first solo exhibition in the UK. 


Photographer Shira Klasmer

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