The Cornell University School of Architecture, Art, and Planning showcased artistic furniture designs at the recent ICFF 2019 show in New York City. Chet Moye Lubarsky, an artist graduating from the school’s fine arts master’s program this year, presented ten tables created with waste materials salvaged from other projects.
During this season’s International Contemporary Furniture Fair, the House Tipster Industry team spoke with the artist, who explained why it was important to him to not only recycle building materials, but upcycle them into high-end home items.
“Cornell has an art, architecture, and planning school, and as an artist I work within the context that I find myself in,” Moye said. “I find myself surrounded by very wasteful architects, so I was interested in what are the things we think have no value, and what are the things we think have high value?”
“While I was making my artwork, I was also collecting supplies that the architecture program was throwing away, and I would take those supplies and turn them into luxury items,” he explained. “In this case, they’re counterfeit Jean Prouvé tables. He was a modernist architect who originally, using the invention of industry and manufacturing, was looking at public sector goods and civic buildings, and designed things for schools and universities.”
“Now, many of his items are too expensive for schools and universities to afford,” Moye added. But if you make it yourself, make it handmade and a little bit different, you can make it your own.”
Each year, Cornell’s programming would otherwise throw away nearly a football field size equivalent of partially-used potential building materials. By salvaging leftover plywood, Moye’s MFA work has focused on sustainability in art and design.
“This table was something the architects decided to cut some shapes out of,” Moye said of one piece. “They wanted a particular curvy shape, and once they got the shapes out, they cast off the rest. I took that material and filled it back in, and now it’s a coffee table.”
Moye also showcased some of his thesis artwork at ICFF, including a beautiful map of the world created from a repurposed cedar wood 1950s telephone pole.
“There’s many different projections of the world, this is one I found on the internet of a cubic projection,” he said of the design.
Stay tuned for more student profiles from this ICFF season, coming soon to House Tipster Industry.