The Artist
Based in Montreal, architect and sculptor David Umemoto holds a degree in architecture from the the Université Laval. For the past 15 years, he’s worked on a range of design projects across a number of different mediums, most notably concrete sculpture. His experience in handcrafting was heightened in 2010, after spending a year in Asia to experiment in woodworking, engraving, sculpture and metal casting techniques.

The Process
Each sculpture and modular building system begins with a series of sketches. While the artist conceives and visualizes each artwork in its 3D form, he constructs a series of molds for the sculpture’s negative space. While designing molds for negative space is a common construction process, Umemoto is amazingly able to do so without ever prototyping the positive form.

The Inspiration
Umemoto’s artworks are based on the theory that there is a universal order. “Molecules, cycles, ecosystems - order is the norm and chaos an accident.”

His building systems are an exploration of the patterns and codes that govern our environment. Each system is meticulously designed to allow modular elements to be interchanged and transformed. Though governed by a rigid set of rules, the systems still allow for organic development.
– Shop Now –
What are some general things that people can look out for to asses the environmental friendliness of the products they consume?
The design, the materials, and the packaging are three key things to consider. A great, well-built (Gus* Modern!) design will always have a longer life cycle. Check that materials can be verified to be sustainable. We’re certified with the Forest Stewardship Council, a non-profit organization that provides a reliable, independent way to confirm that wood products can be traced back to responsibly managed forests. Lastly, check that recyclable packaging is used wherever possible for your products.

What inspired the idea to plant trees as a tie-in to your promotion? When did that first start? How many trees have you planted to date, and do you partner with another organization to do so?
As a Canadian company, our cultural identity is tied closely to nature. Replacing trees used for manufacturing by planting new ones creates a clear connection between products and source materials. A percentage of sales from the Gus* #growmodern event will be donated to the Nature Conservancy’s Plant A Billion Trees campaign. The Nature Conservancy is an environmental non-profit organization whose mission is to “protect the natural landscapes that harbor the diversity of plant and animal life on Earth”. The Plant A Billion Trees campaign plants trees in North America, South America, and Asia, “to help forests regrow where they have been severely degraded, and helps ensure clean water, air, diverse species and full, healthy forests for future generations."

How is your environmental consciousness reflected in your products?
It’s reflected in the designs themselves and in the materials we use. Showcasing wood grain and sourcing sustainable wood products wherever possible. We’re proud to use FSC-Certified hardwoods in all of our sofa frames. This ensures that the wood comes from forests that are managed responsibly.

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