Design: Sustainable Furniture Designer Ryan Frank

Ryan Frank [South Africa]

Ryan Frank - Inkuku Chair

[Image credit: Inkuku Chair – Ryan Frank]

Squishy upholstery on chairs and smooth rounded shapes making up some fun stacking stools form the basis of a range of furniture just begging to be touched and played with. These quirky and innovative designs are from Ryan Frank, a South African designer now residing in London’s trendy and bohemian East End. Starting his business in 2005 sustainability is at the core of Ryan’s work When I first saw Ryan’s ‘Inkuku’ Chair I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it, however I must say it has grown on me; I’m finding something rather comforting about it, reminded of very random things from a cuddly fluffy character on Sesame Street to life force beating its way through the body; real and alive pulsing with energy. What gives the furniture designs their unique appearance are the materials used. Creating funky eco furniture, Ryan Frank’s work is literally made from bits of rubbish given a new lease of life. Ryan’s furniture often makes use of recycled materials such as reclaimed office furniture and plastic bags as seen in the aforementioned Inkuku chair and he continuously seeks out different types of materials to work with including; wood, cork and felt in bold colours, patterns and textures. 

Ryan Frank - Enzo stacking stools

[Image credit: Enzo stacking stools – Ryan Frank]

Covering a range of limited edition interior products the furniture is available to purchase by contacting Ryan directly. In addition to London Ryan also has a studio in Barcelona, Spain working through both studios to produce his bespoke commissions and furniture for companies within the corporate and hospitality sectors.

Ryan Frank - Ishongololo stool

[Image credit: Ishongololo stool – Ryan Frank]

Ryan work makes constant references to Africa, as seen in the ‘Inkuku’ chair which was inspired by the handcraft techniques found in South African handicrafts and references can also be seen in the ‘Ishongololo’ stool which takes me back to my childhood. Ishongololo means centipede and in Zimbabwe’s Shona language we call it Zongororo, squirmy things that usually come out during the wet season; whenever we saw one crawling along the veranda a quick flick of the foot would send it into a tightly wound ball and provided endless hours of squealing amusement – well we were kids and animal cruelty was not part of our vocabulary…I’m starting to feel squeamish just thinking about it!

Additional Details:
For further information visit: www.ryanfrank.net

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