Superstorm Sandy produced floods, blackouts, and unprecedented destruction around the New York City area, knocking down trees, ravaging houses, and flooding cars (not to mention claiming more than 100 lives). Now, a group of artists and designers are “reclaiming” and transforming that devastation, seizing upon detritus from the storm to create furniture and conceptual pieces in a project called Reclaim NYC. On Wednesday night, more than 200 guests attended an auction in downtown Manhattan to purchase the work and raise funds for the Red Cross’s New York City Chapter.
The 24 artists and “designers either used debris from Hurricane Sandy, or simply used the events that took place as inspiration for their work, which ranged from simple, functional work to more conceptual artistic pieces,” explains industrial designer Brad Ascalon, who organized the project, along with design writer Jennifer Gorsche and Designerpages.com editor Jean Lin. Works include salvaged wood hooks by designer Kiel Mead, reclaimed wood stools by the design studio Fort Standard, and a bench made from reclaimed flooring by Brendan Mullins, an industrial designer.
According to Ascalon, support for the project has been overwhelming. And he says it has potential to continue in the future, beyond just the Sandy aftermath. “It could be a really interesting platform for designers to share their work with the world while doing good at the same time,” he says. “Not everyone can donate their time or money so easily, but by doing what designers and artists do best, it’s a win for everyone involved, the designers, the spaces like Ligne Roset that host these types of events, but most importantly for the charities we choose to focus on.”
The work presents an opportunity to create something beautiful out of the destruction, while preserving a unique moment in the city’s history. Check out photos of the works in the slide show above.