Godspeed Furniture launched in 2008 in Tel Aviv by Finn Ahlgren, (Sweden) and Joy van Erven (Holland) who met at a bar in the Holy Land. Coincidentally, they started building bars and interiors, using very badly decayed scrap wood found on the street and put an added challenge of making the piece within a one hour time frame. Because of this self imposed limitation, they had to eliminate sketching before creating, which resulted in their very specific and unique “live sketching”; a process which brings “randomness and improvisation” to their work.
Having a soft spot for great sustainable design, I was immediately attracted to the way the designers use and “sculpt” decay in their pieces, how they really showcase and highlight the seriously weathered and unwanted elements they use. They work with what would normally be an end of life of material and transform it with an intention of purpose and beauty, although perhaps because the beauty is not so cliche, it maybe a little bit harder for some to see. As I looked through images I was reminded that we, as human beings, are decaying every second, and perhaps this work can serve as a metaphor that death is not as finite as we have been conditioned to think, but can also be thought of as a transformation into a new life, an infinite cycle of new beginnings.
Each piece of furniture has been made by highly eroded material, with the thought that it will keep eroding, wine will be spilt, dogs may chew the legs of a table or” children may stain a sofa” These “traces of usage are supported and embedded within Godspeed’s designs” which makes them highly functional and long life. That is the heart of a sustainable practice, Godspeed is doing their part in taking what we may find banal and insipid and transforming it into charm and wit, and, they make really cool furniture.