Artist and woodworker Ken Landauer was inspired to start his own furniture line by the ingenuity he encountered during Occupy Wall Street. Before that, he was making one-off, bespoke pieces for clients who could afford the high price tags, but his experiences in 2011 led him to pursue a different goal: making high-quality, low-waste furniture that anyone could afford. Landauer translated Occupy’s rallying cry for the 99 percent into a no-waste design ethos. Each of his designs is made out of a single sheet of plywood and is designed to use a minimum of 94 percent of each sheet.
The F1 sofa is made using 98% of each 4×8′ sheet of plywood and retails for $899.
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Landauer makes two F2 lounge chairs out of a single sheet of plywood and has zero leftover material.
F5 chairs and F2 table on view at the Museum of Art and Design in Columbus Circle.
In the lead up to the 2017 launch of FN Furniture, Landauer developed his collection by creating a range of designs and living with them in the upstate New York house he built with his wife, artist Julianne Swartz. When curators from the Museum of Art and Design stopped by to check out her work, they also fell in love with the furniture and ordered a bunch of chairs and tables to use at the museum. Since then, Landauer’s work has also been scooped up by the Tang Museum in Saratoga Springs and the Dorsky Museum in New Paltz. Now, the collection includes a range of furnishings from bar stools, cabinets, chaise lounges, credenzas, shelving, sofas, and chairs.
The F1 chaise comes with a side table (both made out of a single sheet of plywood) and can slides into a range of reclining positions. You can also take it off of its base to use as a rocker.
Landauer’s signature puzzle-piece style is made of CNC cut pieces that are finished with a UV-cured acrylic coating and can be customized with laminated or lacquered color options. Each piece is sanded, edged, and joined by hand.
The angular designs have acquired a reputation for being more comfortable than they initially appear. As a trained yogi (Landauer’s body was used to develop the male cartoon figure that appears in 108 Yoga Poses for Dummies) Landauer considered proper body alignment and support when deciding on the various angles and surfaces of his pieces.
For now, FN Furniture makes deliveries throughout the Hudson Valley and New York City while exploring flat-pack options that will streamline shipping to other locations.