It’s no secret that wood contributes majorly to climate change in the form of mass deforestation. When you add to this the fact that landfills receive close to 12.2 million tonnes of waste wood a year, you’re forced to reckon with the unsustainable manner in which we use this material.
Such was the case of Aakriti Kumar from New Delhi, who says she noticed that huge amounts of fine wood pieces were discarded and being wasted.
So the graduate of Parsons School of Design, New York, decided to reuse waste wood and turn it into beautiful and intricate pieces of furniture.
Her first attempt at this was in 2014 with a coffee table made using discarded plywood. This gave her the confidence, she says, that she was on the right path to sustainability and could start a venture to do more.
The following year, she established Differniture, which makes sustainable furniture out of waste wood. They create a wide range of pieces including chairs, tables, sofas, consoles, outdoor furniture, lighting, bars, kids’ furniture, and more, all using discarded wood.
What’s more alluring about these pieces is that she lets the imperfections in the wood remain, finding a way to add a new quirk or dimension to each intricate piece of art.
Aakriti, whose designs are mostly inspired by nature, purchases tree logs at auctions in the Delhi-NCR region. She says she does not use any synthetic polishes or toxic materials to make the pieces, and that the resultant furniture is fire and water resistant.
In 2018, the young designer decided to use the piling scraps of wood from her other projects to create the ‘Tesselate’ series, wherein she makes furniture by repeating a single shape. Her work has also earned her a place on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list.
Watch Aakriti create magic in a way that upholds the values of sustainability:
Edited by Divya Sethu