American Hardwoods
Real American Hardwoods
Last May, our sister organization, the American Hardwood Export Council, teamed up with the Red Dot Design Museum in Singapore to showcase the work of 10 young designers from Asia and Australia. Each was asked to develop a unique object made from their choice of four types of Real American Hardwood®: red oak, cherry, and hard or soft maple. Supported by AHEC’s technical experts and mentored by established designers Nathan Yong (Singapore) and Adam Markowitz (Australia), the emerging talents produced a range of intriguing pieces, from chairs, tables, and other furniture to more abstract, sculptural works that inspire contemplation. Here are three of our favorites.


Conceived during the pandemic when social interaction and travel were severely curtailed, the “Thought Bubble” rocking chair by young Thai designer Nong Chotipatoomwan aims to replace those physical activities with a psychological state that allows the mind to wander—focused but free—through realms of creativity and imagination. The repetitive motion, known to have a calming effect on the psyche, also enhances mindful awareness of the moment. The designer used American red oak because of its distinctive grain: “It’s quite expressive,” she notes, “and I was interested in its porous nature.”
The lockdown also affected the performance of many social rituals, confining them to the home. Chinese designer Yunhan Wang aimed to create a domestic alternative to the “winding stream party,” a riverside drinking tradition involving floating cups of wine. Wang produced a compact table with storage concealed in the legs and a central slit to fit trays and cups. It also has a drain so that water can be disposed of through a gully that trickles into a bucket in the main leg. She chose American hard maple, which has been given a rot-resistant finish, for its light, golden color.
Australian designer Vivienne Wong, a former dancer, began her project by contemplating non-verbal communication, a central aspect of her previous profession. She aimed to create a piece that nurtures strength, intimacy, and connection, resulting in an intricate coffee table with interlocking forms that echo one another. The name of Wong’s table, “Iuxta Me”—Latin for “beside me”—reflects the human desire for meaningful contact, a basic instinct that influenced her choice of wood, American cherry. “It has a beautiful warmth in its pinkish-red hue,” she notes. “I felt that supported everything I was trying to put into this piece.”

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This