Sculpiture: Brooklyn Made Sustainable Design Blends Art, Architecture, Furniture, and Sculpture

December 23, 2013 by


When I met Ashira Israel exhibiting her Micro-Orb collection of concrete vessels at Wanted Design, I knew I’d spotted an artist on the cutting edge of Brooklyn made sustainable design.

Israel is the owner and lead designer/fabricator for the industrial design/build company, In.Sek Design. Her company specializes in what she calls “Sculpiture,” an invented word which denotes a hybrid between custom made one-of-a-kind furniture, architecture, art, and sculpture.


As part of the company’s commitment to sustainable design practices, In.Sek maintains close to a zero waste policy. Israel says they have been able to reuse “tons of materials that would have otherwise ended up in landfills.”

If not reused and turned into pieces of Sculpiture, In.Sek’s sawdust and scrap wood gets donatated to local gardeners who recycle it into mulch or compost for the rooftop farm at Brooklyn Grange. To save energy, a large array of solar panels generates most of the company’s power from its own machinery.


Of In.Sek’s wide variety of works, some of my favorites could also be called “hortisculpitures”–planted furniture pieces that incorporate vegetation into the design concept. Each piece in the Topo Bench, above, was custom designed to puzzle into it’s neighboring pieces, together forming a complex geometric topography.


One edge of the bench contains the high peaks and incorporates areas of vegetation while the low lying flatlands are for seating. Crafted from reclaimed and recycled Ipe, a very hard and dense wood, the bench is perfect for indoor and outdoor use as an enduring piece of furniture.


In a play on materials, solid cast concrete Fatty Planters, above, trick the eye as they appear light, soft, filled with air, yet they are actually rock hard.


The Charlotte Hanging Planters are inspired by the Finnish tradition of Himmeli in which items were created to celebrate the beginning of Winter Solstice and serve a means of good fortune for the future. Using century old techniques of metal spinning, the brass or copper planters are hand made one at a time on a metal lathe and hung from antique chain.

Items available on In.Sec Design Shop, and through December 29 at:  

Go East Pop-up Shop
Specials on C
195 Ave. C, at 12th St.



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