Shelter Within

Duncan Young

Adelaide, Australia | Wood: hard maple

Duncan Young is a furniture maker and climbing arborist currently working as an Associate at the JamFactory in Adelaide, Australia. Young’s design practice is deeply tied to his work climbing trees, a connection and appreciation which he hopes to share through his furniture. He works to save trees from the mulch pile and instead make them into pieces of fine furniture. Young has exhibited across Australia in 2020 and won awards at both Craft Victoria and the Australian Design Centre.

Young focused on the materiality of timber, and how this organic material can help us connect with nature while confined at home. ‘For those in dense urban environments, lockdowns have impacted our physical and mental strength by limiting the biological need humans have for being in outdoor spaces,’ he says. He looked at studies analysing the positive impact of nature on physical and mental health, and as a result he created a modern cabinet of curiosities as a pillar to nature, for the user to engage with the natural world while at home. Featuring a solid carcass with discreet joinery and a moiré effect shelf (a design inspired by the historic symbolism of the cabinet as a theatre), the simple plinth celebrates wood by recreating the effect of walking into a glade.