This past weekend, we were invited to a traveling exhibit of the Barrique Project in New York City. Barrique – a term that means “third life” is a beautiful marriage of three meaningful elements – exquisitely designed furniture created from recycled wood by youth who are recovering from substance addiction.
Thirty eight leading designers from Italy have conceived dining tables, chairs, swings and more from recycled wine barrels. Each piece takes advantage of the natural curves and grains in the wood, giving the wood its “third life” – first as wood, second as barrels that impart taste to wine and third as furniture. The furniture is so sensual and natural that each piece almost speaks its history and story to you. And the most poignant part of this meaningful design initiative? The furniture is all handmade by the youth of San Patrignano, a community in Italy that over the last 30 years has become one of the most effective drug rehabilitation centers in Europe.
Sustainable design, reusable materials, design with societal impact and meaningful design are all terms used today by designers to advocate their emerging thinking. The Barrique Project demonstrates that these terms are not just mere pipe dreams but achievable reality.
Here are my top five pieces from the traveling exhibit.
To catch this traveling exhibit in the US, click here:
To admire the beauty of the entire collection, click here:
To learn more about the amazing drug rehabilitation efforts of the San Patrignano community, click here: