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January 24, 2016
In our March issue, we explore how Argentine architects Nicolas Tovo and Teresa Sarmiento built a Buenos Aires home—filled with recycled materials—for themselves and their three young children. That thriftiness extends to Sarmiento, the toys and homewares business that Teresa founded: she uses wood leftover from NET, the furniture and design company where Nicolas works. Click through to see some of their products and learn more!
Ska chair from Argentine company Net

NET was founded by renowned architect Alejandro Sticotti in 1990. The firm prefers to use South American hardwoods that, in addition to being durable, anchor their products in their Argentine origins. For instance, the Silla ska chair (seen here) is made from lenga, a patagonian wood that resembles American cherry. The satin black floor lamp is also from NET.

Courtesy of 
Net
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Coatrack of tropical woods from Argentine company Net

Sticotti cites a mixture of design inspiration from Japan, Scandinavia, and European designers who emigrated to the Unites States. A simplicity and honest expression of materials is evident in this coatrack made from peteribí and lapacho, both South American woods. 

Courtesy of 
Net
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Pendant library, made from tropical woods, from Argentine company Net

Sticotti collaborates closely with Tovo in the design and production of their pieces; six to seven designers and administrators work in NET's offices while an equal number of employees work in a separate workshop, also in Buenos Aires. The wall-mounted library seen here is made from cedar and platinum peteribí.

 

 

 

 

Courtesy of 
Net
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Banquette V, made from tropical peteribi wood, from Argentine company Net

Most of NET's products are sold through Argentine retailers and NET's own showroom in Buenos Aires. However, the Banco V bench—also made from peteribí—is available through Design Within Reach for U.S. customers. 

Wood leftover from NET's production doesn't go to waste, thanks to the efforts of Tovo's wife, architect Teresa Sarmiento.

Courtesy of 
Net
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Toy block set from Sarmiento

In 2014, Teresa began collaborating with her sister on Sarmiento, which produces toys, artwork, and home accessories. Teresa says both she and NET "were shocked with all the disposal of good wood" during the furniture production process, "so we decided to do something meaningful with it."

Courtesy of 
Sarmiento
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Sarmiento's recycled wood desk set

Teresa fashions Sarmiento's prototypes in her basement workshop, then collaborates with a small team to fabricate them. The up-and-coming company sold almost 1,000 items—such as the desk set seen here—in 2015 alone. 

Courtesy of 
Sarmiento
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Recycled wood ship toy / decor from Sarmiento

Ships are a common motif in Sarmiento's toys: "Our grandfather had a very well-known shipyard of sailboats," says Teresa, and "we grew up using it as a playground. So wood is a very familiar material for us. [It's] natural that we wanted to recreate in an abstract way our childhood."

 

 

Courtesy of 
Sarmiento
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Recycled wood ship toys / decorations from Sarmiento

When it comes to product testing, Sarmiento has no shortage of willing volunteers: Teresa's children Manuel (age 6), Julian (age 3), and Clara (age 1) join Teresa's sisters son Burno (age 3) in playing with the toys. The ships' rough forms were very intentional: "It was really enlightening for us to see them playing with wooden pieces that still weren't formal blocks...only wooden pieces that they found in the carpentry workshop," says Teresa.

 

Courtesy of 
Sarmiento
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Recycled Wood Calendar from Sarmiento

Their products, like the calendar seen here, are mostly available in Argentine musuem shops and select stores, though they plan to expand to online sales in February.

Courtesy of 
Sarmiento
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Ska chair from Argentine company Net

NET was founded by renowned architect Alejandro Sticotti in 1990. The firm prefers to use South American hardwoods that, in addition to being durable, anchor their products in their Argentine origins. For instance, the Silla ska chair (seen here) is made from lenga, a patagonian wood that resembles American cherry. The satin black floor lamp is also from NET.

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