Every year, Toronto's Evergreen Brick Works – an environmentally focused community centre in the middle of the Don Valley – hosts a juried design competition called Design by Nature. The proposals can be purely ornamental or functional pieces of furniture, but they have to be made with at least 50 per cent recycled or reclaimed materials.
From the 118 entries for 2014, one of the seven recently unveiled winners, called Sleep Shapes, was built using myriad, upcycled offcuts – everything from the cedar salvaged from an old deck to sapele, an African hardwood used to make front doors. Its functions are as varied as the materials used to create it. Designers Matthew Blunderfield, a recent graduate of the University of Toronto's School of Architecture, and Daniel Gruetter, a local furniture maker, shaped the undulating mounds to simultaneously be a chair, bench, table and lounger.
The first kids who saw it treated it like a jungle gym, jumping and playing all over the Seuss-like peaks and valleys. On display until the end of December; $2,500 each or by custom order at danielgruetter.com.