I’ve had Reclaim NYC on my radar for a while now and it looks tonight, Dec. 19, is the big night (perhaps the first of more to come?) for Brad Ascalon, Jean Lin, and Jennifer K. Gorsche’s recovery-minded design organization in which the handiwork of 24 New York-based artists and designers — all one-of-a-kind furniture and artwork crafted primarily from refuse collected in the wake of Superstorm Sandy — will be sold via silent auction at the Ligne Roset showroom in SoHo. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the American Red Cross of Greater New York.

The mission of Reclaim NYC, in a nutshell: “We hope our fallen trees and storm-damaged building materials can be reborn as objects that represent the city's recovery.”

The lineup of artists and designers involved with Reclaim NYC's charity auction is super-impressive: You’ve got yourself some international superstars (Dror Benshetrit, Karim Rashid, etc.) alongside some of Brooklyn’s finest indie designers (Fort Standard, Kiel Mead, Daniel Moyer, etc.). And the list goes on and on. Uhuru, a sustainable design firm that’s no stranger to working with reclaimed materials, is also participating. Uhuru’s own studio, located just a few blocks up the road from me in Red Hook, was heavily damaged by Sandy's floodwaters.

And Uhuru certainly wasn’t the only Red Hook-based design studio affected by Sandy. Take, for example, UM Project’s François Chambard. He dodged a massive bullet as his own studio in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint section but his friends at Token, a Red Hook-based furniture design firm, weren’t so lucky. While helping the Token-folk dig out from the massive post-storm mess, Charmbard began collecting refuse around the Red Hook waterfront: a garbage can, steel sheets, and even electrical junction boxes. These items, along with other donated and scrap materials and materials salvaged from Token's studio, make up the “Apres” collection of lamps and tabletop vessels Chambard created specifically for Reclaim NYC.
He tells Co.Design in an article profiling his efforts and the overall design do-goodery of Reclaim NYC: “Reclamation isn’t my specialty the way it is for some designers. I work with industrial materials. I knew I wasn’t going to walk away with reclaimed wood.”
He adds: “It sounds like a cliché, but there’s a real sense of optimism in the design community here. We all come to the table, we each have different voices, but it’s somehow very cohesive. It’s what I love about the city.”

In addition to the work of Chambard, other sneak-peeked highlights include Brad Ascalon’s I Lovey New York Table, a piece made from reclaimed wood that’s based on a table he designed for Ligne Roset in 2011 (that's it pictured up top); Lindsey Adelman’s Stick-Lights made from downed tree branches and LEDs; and Daniel Moyer’s High+Dry Table made from red cedar salvaged from a place that I hold near and dear to my heart: Fire Island. American Design Club's Kiel Mead also contributed a special Sandy debris-based series of his popular Driftwood Hooks. I'm particularly fond of the reclaimed wood Sandy Chest from Brooklyn Navy Yard-based Volk Furniture. Beautiful stuff. That's it pictured below.

Lots more imagery of the designs, press links, and additional info over at the Reclaim NYC Facebook page. Dwell also has a solid slideshow previewing some of designs and Core77 has a great, short interview with both Ascalon and Gorsche — a designer and a design writer, respectively— in addition to a sneak preview. As Gorsche notes, the interest from local designers wanting to participate was so great that the organization had to stop accepting donations. Because of the overwhelming response, she adds that Reclaim NYC could potentially be used as a fundraising platform in the future.

Click here to find out how to RSVP to tonight’s silent auction (space is limited). And if you want to see the Reclaim NYC pieces in person but don’t plan on attending tonight's auction, they’ll be on display at the Ligne Roset showroom through the weekend. The address is 155 Wooster St. in Manhattan. 

Any of the previewed Reclaim NYC pieces catch your eye?

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

From Sandy's rubble, a collection of charity-benefiting reclaimed furniture is born
Two-dozen New York-based artists and designers band together to benefit post-Sandy recovery efforts as part of Reclaim NYC's first charity auction.