design squish blog


design squish blog

design squish blog

Above: Shelving/vase system displaying thistles, dried plants and exotic flowers.

Daniel Goers is a local Brooklyn designer, architect and artist who has a show right now called Scrap Ecology at Brooklyn coffee shop K-Dog in Lefferts Gardens.  All pieces are made from reclaimed materials except some lighting components. Daniel has been collecting scrap materials and remaking them into beautiful designs and sculptures for some time now. His other great project is in collaboration with artist Jennifer Wong called Birdtown. Fifty birdhouses were built from recycled materials and installed in Fort Greene:

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Daniel Goers and Jennifer Wong.

design squish blog
Above: Birdhouse from Birdtown.

Scrap Ecology aims to rearrange the raw materials of our urban and natural environments into objects with new meaning and purpose. These materials include abandoned shipping pallets from Red Hook, wood cutoffs from carpentry projects, recycled packaging, discarded architectural samples, donated plant stems and foraged specimens from Prospect Park and the mountains of Harriman State Park.

design squish blog

Why reclaimed materials?

New York is a great place to find raw materials to build with.  every day the streets are filled with “trash” that can be so much more. But maybe the best reason is that material is free. The reclaimed material also tends to have more character.

Do you enjoy living in New York? Would you if you had an opportunity move somewhere where there are more trees and less garbage?

Of course, New York is a great place to be a designer but my sculptures do hint at the desire to be closer to nature.  I would love to live in a barn in the mountains but in the meantime I will work to bring nature to people’s homes here.

design squish blog

design squish blog

Above: Lamp made from glass jar moss terrariums.

Why do you think using reclaimed materials is popular today? 

It’s just marketing for many people. I like to believe that myself and many other designers simply see some intrinsic value and potential in the waste around us. What was once a shipping pallet can become a hundred new things, so why cut down another tree?  More people come to this realization and the ‘green’ movement will become less about marketing & more a part of the collective conscience.


CATEGORIES:   LIFESTYLE, REDESIGN, design, ART, craft, ENVIRONMENT + ART, DIY, neigborhood + community, upcycle, NATURE, RECYCLE, TREES,

(19) COMMENTS Permalink HOME   TwitThis

Posted by DESIGN SQUISH on September 10, 2010


 on  09/11  at  04:59 PM

very cool post! i still have a couple of awesome finds from trolling the streets of NYC on trash days. and since i am quite obsessed with birds, i love the idea of creating a bunch of birdhouses! -Ania -Bombshell Rehab
 on  09/12  at  12:11 AM

smile smile smile smile wink smile wink
 on  09/16  at  08:33 PM

love the birdhouses ... and ths blog. vxx
 on  09/17  at  12:25 AM

Thanks! I like yours!
 on  10/04  at  02:16 PM

the glass jar terrariums are stunning. i just finished an installation that incorporated recycled jar terrariums but i never thought about putting lights in the jars. what kind of moss did you use? and did you have any trouble with air circulation? also what kind of lights are you using?
 on  10/04  at  03:30 PM

I believe Daniel used moss from Upstate New York and there are holes on top to let the air into terrariums but you can always write to him and ask him. His website is
 on  10/04  at  03:52 PM

Thank you! I'll try emailing him.
 on  10/04  at  05:20 PM

jar2.jpg width=510 I love this installation.
 on  11/23  at  02:21 PM

@sarah: I did such glasses around four years ago using moss from finland (happened to be there and brought it back in ziplocks). If you seal them off completely, they will start their own closed circle. Of the four glasses, two are amazingly still thriving.
 on  11/23  at  02:24 PM

Thats cool! Is there a reason why you have to seal them completely?
 on  11/23  at  02:47 PM

Yes, to keep the moisture in. The moss will use the CO2 provided by the decomposing and dead plants in the soil. Sometimes, there's algae and seeds from other plants in the mini-ecosystem, which will overgrow the moss over time. Would be interesting to hear from Daniel, how his jars are doing.
 on  11/23  at  02:58 PM

I just made a moss terrarium yesterday! That is why any information will be helpful. I have the moss in a jar but there is a little hole where air comes in. should it be sealed? I believe Daniel's terrariums have tiny tiny holes. I am not sure how this works 100%
 on  11/23  at  02:59 PM

Daniel said that moss can live in terrariums for years sealed.
 on  11/23  at  03:07 PM

Ana, I would seal the jar off completely - making sure, that there's enough moisture in it. Try to supply the jars with enough light without exposing them to direct sunlight.
 on  11/23  at  03:32 PM

How much soil should be under moss? I am afraid I will suffocate them.
 on  11/24  at  01:13 PM

I would leave about one or two inches of the original soil under the moss - that schould be enough. You might want to add some pebbles or a piece of dead wood to make it look like a macroscopic landscape smile
 on  11/24  at  02:32 PM

 on  11/24  at  04:57 PM

You're most welcome! Would you mind to keep me posted about the results?
 on  11/24  at  05:27 PM

Definitely! For example, now, because I did not seal the jar yet, small fruit flies are starting to make it home, so I need to seal it soon!

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