JF Dialogues #02 - Furniture Designer, Brecht Wright Gander.

Our second featured interviewee is New York-based furniture designer and founder of Birnam Wood Studio, Brecht Wright Gander.


"Birnam Wood Studio treats functionality as a ground plane for aesthetic play. Making materials spark, become molten, desiccate, oxidize, exhale and twist is at the crux of our research-driven practice. Produced through experiment and experience, through mallet and chisel, drawing on fine craft and restless exploration, the works are the culmination of many collisions."


1. How has your work evolved in the past year?

In the past year I transitioned from a self-guided study in craft – in which I ran a company that did high-end remodels, millwork and architectural fabrication – to doing work which threw all the wrote procedures of spec-driven execution to the wind. Which is to say – I began to make things I wanted to make, simply because I wanted to make them.


2. What have you not achieved that you would like to?

I haven’t created the designs of my dreams, the designs which might satisfy me. I can describe and draw what those might be in detail. But internally, there is always a lot of preliminary – I need to win certain freedoms from within myself before inching closer to what I want.


3. What’s the most rewarding element of your process?

Exploring unfamiliar mediums is often the most exciting part of the work cycle. I get bored quickly. Doing something again and again brings me no pleasure – though I respect artists who work in that way – who mine a particular vein with great fidelity. I’m more promiscuous.


4. What book has influenced you more than any other?

Both of my parents are poets. My father read me the Odyssey as a bedtime story. My rearing was so enmeshed in books that they filled the landscape of my childhood like snowdrifts. And they move in each other – one writer’s book is carried into another’s – and so while I could name specific titles which resonated powerfully – I doubt I would’ve received them in the same way if not for other literary exposures. Because my parent’s voices have been primary – the first filter – I’ll say Torn Awake by Forrest Gander and Deepstep Come Shining by CD Wright.