Joshua Howe combines materials fluidly in his furniture and lighting designs. Be it machined steel, cast plastic or poured concrete, his industrial and product design background and years of experience promote a collaboration between concept and its components.
Based in Chatham, New York, he has worked with concrete for a number of years, seeing beyond its limitations. Originally attracted to the material’s rugged looks, he became impressed with its versatility. “It can be rough and industrial, or light, silky and elegant.”
In an Interview with the New York Times, Howe said, “I like working with metal - it works for me. But with concrete, I feel I’m working for the concrete. It’s got its own agenda.”
His work is a fascinating mix of the handmade and the industrial, which is also a good explanation of Howe’s vision of design. “A lot of what I do is tweak proportions. I have the idea for a piece, and then I play with the scale of the relative materials. It is amazing how radically different the overall feeling of two different pieces based on the same idea can be,” Joshua says.
Howe hand-makes small, large and custom editions of his work. His creations reveal a deceptive and disarming simplicity that’s as functional as it is innovative. Here are a few pieces that we especially admire:
Y-series coffee table
The five-foot-long table top is just three-eighths of an inch thick. It’s made out of what Howe calls “delicate” concrete, a modified version of the regular stuff. The concrete sits on an acid-treated asymmetrical steel base that looks decorative but is primarily structural.
WF Magazine Side Table
"The idea is a simple geometric structure with pieces that can be added to it,” says Howe of the steel-framed table.
Both a seating solution and/or cofee table in one, this mutli-functional piece is a clever small-space solution.
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