Hinika, a fusion of East and West designs, has launched two new products—Torii Lounge Chair and Tree Ring Birdhouse. Inspired by the Japanese term itsuno hinika, translated into English as “someday”, it is a positive reminder for one to be forward-looking and constantly strive to create a beautiful world not just through design but also by using materials that are friendly to the environment.
The wood used in both products has been tested under the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)2 by the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC). Wood stores substantial amounts of carbon while the tree is growing and this amount can offset almost all the carbon that is required for processing and transporting after the tree is chopped down. So unless the wood is burnt and the carbon released back into the atmosphere, the piece of furniture will continue to hold the carbon in, as compared to other materials where there is no offset and any processing will add more carbon to the atmosphere. In this sense, as long as trees are replanted, the carbon intake of the tree is more than the carbon emissions from processing the wood. The U.S. Forest Service inventories demonstrate that between 1953 and 2007, the volume of U.S. hardwood growing stock more than doubled from 5,210 million to 11,326 million cubic metres3. American hardwood forest resources are vast and naturally regenerated by seed distribution by wind and animals.
The Torii Lounge chair is inspired by the simplicity often found in Japanese and Scandinavian styles. The name Torii refers to the backrest that resembles the large Torii gates at the entrance of Shinto shrines throughout Japan.
Its design makes it suitable for most modern interiors. The chair is available in oak (with a leather seat cushion) as well as in teak wood, with a removable, quick-dry cushion and is thus more suitable for outdoor use.
A Touch of Whimsy
The Tree Ring Birdhouse is a whimsical piece of artwork that provides shelter for small birds. It is constructed out of discarded cut wood from other furniture pieces, and are joined back together and cut to shape. The shape mimics the rings found on the knots of trees, likening that to the natural habitat of birds. The egg shape also creates a comfortable space that drains water away.
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2 LCA is a report that covers the environmental life cycle of hardwood lumber from point of harvest in the U.S. to delivery at the importers yard in major export markets.