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Singgih Kartono selects the hardwoods for his two-tone Magno desk accessories because of their rich beauty and positive effect on the planet. The Indonesian designer enlists local carpenters in villages with high unemployment and instead of simple (and forgettable) souvenirs, they craft these beautiful, functional objects with locally harvested new growth wood by sustainable production practices. For every tree used in production, a new one is planted. The T-shape joints not only enhance the design, they ensure strength, too. Each item comes tissue wrapped in box, making it a wonderful gift. Also available as a set on this site.
“Craft is an alternative economic activity that has the potential to be developed and to grow in villages,” says designer Singgih Kartono of Magno. “It is labor intensive, requires low technology and investment and abundance of local material input.” Based in Indonesia, Singgih wanted to improve the lives of villagers in his native Kandangan in central Java by enlisting them to turn out exceptional products as agriculture in the area declined. Using locally harvested new wood, the business is ecologically sound and a new tree is planted for every one harvested for production. “Magno comes from word 'magnify' for a magnifying glass, the first product which I created,” he says, adding that it’s an allusion to his way of seeing all the details in “a small, simple and beautiful form with high quality craftsmanship.”