I had the pleasure of interviewing Khader Humied, the founder of MetaForm Studio, a lighting design studio using reclaimed and sustainable materials for their magnificent pieces. Having been featured in home style magazines Dwell, Domino, New York Spaces and Natural Home Magazine, MetaForm is no stranger to praise.
How did your company get its start, and what made you decide to make it eco-friendly?
In 1998, I was working in Manhattan and noticing how corporations were throwing away furniture left and right during renovations and remodeling. I started off by picking up 2 office chairs. I removed the legs and attached them to a piece of plywood, and voila, a rolling coffee table with chrome legs (on wheels). From there I moved on to flower crates stacked up on the street in the flower district. The first one I found I put a bulb inside and instant lamp! After several years, I began using the wood from recycled crates as well as other wood from pallets and other items, and transformed the wood into slats, which I assemble into my current line of lights. The base line for my company has always been to find a function and use for materials that have been discarded. I am an ardent believer that using natural and sustainable materials is the only way to go forward and be kind to the planet.
What are your goals for the future of this business?
I would like to reach a wider audience, employ more people, and expand the line to include other designs. During the 10 years I have been doing this work, I came up with numerous ideas/products, some of which took shape as actual furniture. For instance, I created a Pallet Desk, made entirely from planed wood pallets (oak). This is really a testimony to what you can do with recycled materials. I also designed a Re-Tire rocking chair made from recycled car tires. Since I am an inventive person, I would love to get more of my ideas out there.
Are there any designers or artists that have influenced your style, where do you find your inspiration?
I am a long-time Frank Lloyd Wright fan, having gotten a degree in architecture. I also admire traditional crafts and local vernacular architecture and appreciate anyone who makes anything with pride and heart. The universe and the unconscious inspire me on a daily basis. Great ideas are out there waiting to be discovered. All you have to do is be open to receive them.
What makes your business eco-friendly?
We currently use only sustainable or recycled materials, mostly wood. All of our stains are nontoxic and we use energy-efficient lightbulbs. Our process of manufacturing is very clean and does not generate scraps or fumes. For example, our shop is in an industrial complex. All I have to do is walk around and collect wood pallets. Our other source of wood is sustainably harvested forests and the plywood we use is nontoxic.
You can find MetaForm Studio lighting installations if you happen to be in the New York area at IN Boutique and ReLish Restaurants.