6.5.Hungary-1-detail-d Highlights Relevant to Sustainable Design:

Embrace long life and cultural tradition.

One of my first experiences in Hungary was seeing everyday objects like this chair that were built with a high degree of attention to detail in structure and aesthetic. These traditional Hungarian chairs, with heart-shaped cutouts in the backrest, sit comfortably in many kitchens. Across different regions of the country, I learned that villagers carve out a slightly different variation on the theme. In each case, the chairs are solid wood versus veneer or composite, and they will most likely get repaired before they are tossed out. In fact, these chairs probably never end up in the trash, because at the end of their useful life serving as a place to sit, they probably become firewood. Europe does not have the land space that we have in America for landfills, so reuse and recycling are more of a requirement than an option. I imagine that there are more than a few broken plastic and bent metal folding chairs in American landfills.

At the end of this chapter (reference to Learn from Looking book), I having included a chair that I saw in the Czech Republic that has similar cutouts but turns symmetry on its head. See Hungary 6: Detail (d).

Author and illustrator: Charlie Szoradi is an architect, inventor, and the CEO of Independence LED Lighting. He writes about many other topics related to craftsmanship and waste reduction for landfills through his extensive travels around the world.

If you have found this posting online, it is an excerpt from Mr. Szoradi’s book Learn from Looking that served as the inspiring seed content for this drawing share resource. For additional drawings and insights on hand made objects that will most likely not end up in landfills, we hope that you enjoy exploring LearnfromLooking.com. You can search via general terms such as sustainability as well as narrower terms such as chairs and landfills.