/ˈɒr.ɪ.ɡən/ /paɪn/

Wood of the Douglas fir
Material Journey: British Columbia -> Johannesburg 16,348 km - global

Reconstitute, Recognise, Reinvent.

Why is there a 200 year old piece of Oregon pine from the American Northwest in my home in Johannesburg, South Africa? The skirting from a 90 year old house that has been kept because of my father’s waste-not attitude. “The Douglas Fir tree was named after famed Scottish botanist, David Douglas. Despite its name, it is not a true Fir (Abies genus), but was given its own genus: Pseudotsuga¹. What struck me most about this material is its age, presume the tree had to grow for over a hundred years, was processed, shipped and sat in a house built in 1930; it is a piece of material that has been sustained for a huge amount of time and still has workable material properties.

I have been processing some of this Oregon Pine for some time and noticed a lot of wood chip waste in the process. I wanted to test the materials’ versatility and cut down on the waste so I developed these prototype sound panels using a material recipe found on Materiom.

Imported wood, when tracked, shows the extent of materials journeys around the world. How wood and other materials - raw or processed - are exported, imported and valued is of great concern to me. Detailing that journey might help us better understand the real value of materials.

Pine trimming and lathing, creating offcuts in the process.


Matthew Binary Edwards.

Founder and Designer of matte.

Johannesburg, South Africa.

matte is an experimental design studio from Johannesburg, focussed on designing with materials and processes in the South African context. Our approach to design is based on the concept of REIY (Recycle/redesign/reduce It Yourself) and MAKE DO, ways of working that push a variation of sustainable design in South Africa.

#migrantmaterial #design #product #restoration