Emerald Ash Bench is the latest creation by Brooklyn-based design duo Chen Chen and Kai Williams, produced exclusively for L’ArcoBaleno.
This multifunctional, East-meets-West charmer is small, but comfortably accommodates a sitter and his coffee cup. While the form is inspired by a traditional Chinese bench, the name comes from the emerald ash borer beetle, an invasive species destroying North American ash trees. The designers have elegantly inset abalone shell into the ash-wood structure to mimic the aftereffects of the beetles, while also concealing the fasteners used in the construction.
Chinese-born Chen Chen and native New Yorker Kai Williams have been combining their creative talents since 2011, when they launched their Brooklyn studio. Both graduates of Pratt Institute, they share an interest in displacing everyday materials from their customary environments through a hands-on, experimental approach.