May 07, 2021
Lightning Interviews on Sustainability: Kouros Maghsoudi
**Interviews have been slightly edited for flow and brevity**
- Tell us your name, and what you do?
I’m Kouros Maghsoudi and I design sustainable, carbon-neutral furniture in New York.
- What corner of NYC is most conducive to your creativity? Why?
LaGuardia Airport: An overlooked beauty of New York, compared to inland cities, is how easy it is to leave and access the rest of the world, which is where I often pull my inspiration.
- Your most interesting recent INTERIOR design project?
I’ve really grown attached to the Behsheen Chair in my Mehmooni collection, which has the aura of space age furniture from the 60s and the vibe of disco music from the 70s. The chair, above, is also 3D printed with corn-based plastic.
- In this moment — climate, pandemic, other factors — one key way you see sustainability shaping your field?
From new proposed federal legislation, like the Green New Deal, to local practices, there is a growing consensus to center economic justice in the sustainability movement. In previous years, sustainability was focused simply and solely on the net reduction of greenhouse gases. Now, more people are realizing sustainability is a multi-faceted term and equitable economic growth has to be included at every step, as disadvantaged communities have historically bore the economic brunt of climate change. Many of my furniture pieces, for example, can be produced at a larger fabrication shop with the same environmental impact. But I’ve opted to support smaller fabrication shops that will also have a stronger local economic impact and will inject the money directly into that community.
- In your practice, one concrete change you’ve made to further sustainability?
My Brooklyn-based furniture fabricator and I have been focused on sourcing pre-consumer recycled content — manufacturer waste that never makes it to consumers — as our main material source. This is instead of looking for material that has already been processed at a recycling facility. The armature of my chairs, for example, is made of local scrap metal waste, which is a more sustainable option than sourcing new sheets of metal that have been created through an energy-intensive recycling process.
- From what/who are you finding inspiration at this time?
I find a lot of inspiration from the fashion world — what I see on the runway plays a significant role in the silhouettes and colors I incorporate and reference.
- NYC has spent some time on pause, but we never stopped celebrating it as a vibrant breeding ground for creativity and innovation. Who is an emerging talent in INTERIOR design in NYC that we should be watching?
New York is currently going through a creative renaissance and revival like I’ve never seen before. It’s hard for me to point to one individual or product!
- Tell us something funny.
I love to travel, but I’m comically (and sometimes, dangerously) bad at planning my trips; for example, I once arrived in Moscow by train with a dead phone and no accommodation booked yet.
Learn more at the Design Days event sponsored by Kouros Maghsoudi HERE.