Founded in 2004 in Red Hook, Brooklyn, Uhuru is a self-described multi-disciplinary design firm with a very particular interest in history. The company, whose work has found its way into both the Brooklyn Museum and the Smithsonian’s permanent collections, takes special delight in using reclaimed elements. These time-battered materials, which master woodcutters skillfully convert into new designs, have unique stories, and, it goes without saying that no two pieces are alike.
Over the past 10 years, Uhuru, whose name is derived from a Swahili word meaning freedom, has found its niche in the world of innovative contemporary American design, and developed a client list that includes adidas, The New Museum, Fjällräven and more.
The studio’s most recent collections are a masterful reflection of an ethos that inspires such thoughts as “we believe that each piece conceived, designed and produced should add to a greater good in the world.” For instance, the company's “Coney Island” line sees reclaimed Ipe wood from the 1940s translated into six limited edition pieces, including a chair whose whimsical, curving design is very reminiscent of the rumbling roller coasters of Coney Island’s boardwalk.
Yet another offering, the “War Craft” line, reimagines teak wood harvested from the deck of the decommissioned USS North Carolina (it is one of the most decorated US naval battleships to date). In typical storyteller fashion, Uhuru wanted the collection to “create a dialogue between honoring those lost during its [USS North Carolina] campaigns” while still exploring the inherent violence of modern warfare.
Learn more and inquire about pricing on Uhuru's website. The brand will also be opening its first public retail showroom in New York's TriBeCa to coincide with New York Design Week. You can visit the space on 74 Franklin Street starting Monday, May 18.