note At Artists for Humanity (AFH), scrap materials are not
thrown out. Employing 250-plus Boston high school
students with art and design work for commissioned
projects for companies such as Bank of America and
Vertex Pharmaceuticals, AFH focuses on sustainability
(its 2004 EpiCenter was the first LEED Platinum–
certified building in Boston and is on the brink of an
expansion). So, scraps? The teenagers involved in 3-D
design, exhibition, graphic design, painting,
photography, screen-printing, and video programs
simply brainstorm what to do with them — and that’s
how the 3-D studio created Tetrapod Accent Furniture.
“It started with a small piece,” says Haidan
Hodgson, creative project manager of the studio,
indicating the “lower stool,” measuring 18 inches
high. Once interest grew among clients who happened
to see it and at design shows where pieces were
displayed, the line grew to include a “soothing” stool
with a curved bottom for rocking, a barstool, and
benches in 5- and 6-foot lengths.
The furniture is simple, attractive, and efficient.
Made by layering small leftover pieces of birch
plywood, cutting that plywood stack into strips, and
assembling the strips into sturdy stools and benches,
the pieces are then spray-painted in one of nine bright
colors. The 3-D Design Studio group, which can
include up to 15 teenagers at a time, worked together
in imagining, discussing, designing, and constructing
“Everything we do in here is so collaborative,”
says Hodgson, adding that the bright color is a nod to
AFH’s unofficial branding — “We’re young and bright
and colorful,” she says.
— courtney goodrich
students and mentors in Artists for Humanity’s
3-D design program designed and built the colorful
pieces of the Tetrapod Accent Furniture collection
in their Boston studio.
>THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT
Furniture, $450 to $1,950,
at Artists for Humanity,
100 West Second Street,