About

Our Story

Uhuru Design is the Brooklyn-based New American furniture design firm specializing in bespoke residential and high-end commercial furniture. Founded in 2004 by Rhode Island School of Design graduates Jason Horvath and Bill Hilgendorf, Uhuru gained attention for its sustainable approach, utilizing reclaimed and found materials through a narrative design process. This design approach generated collections currently in the Smithsonian and Brooklyn Museums, positioning Uhuru at the forefront of New American Design and contributing to popularizing the “Brooklyn” aesthetic.

Uhuru scaled from bespoke residential to mass office furniture, evolving with the growing New York and West Coast startup scenes. Uhuru focuses on delivering accessible New American Design to mission-driven clients across residential, hospitality, fast casual, office, co-working, architecture, and interior design landscapes.

pillars of our Design

  • NARRATIVE- Our focus is designing products and environments that add to a greater good. This is particularly evident in our narrative design process, which highlights the creative reuse of storied and naturally weathered materials and inspiration drawn from our Brooklyn surroundings.

  • RESOURCEFUL + INNOVATIVE- As a vertically integrated manufacturer, we design with manufacturing in mind. We are constantly challenging our design thinking, building new ways of finishing & fabrication, optimizing our supply chain, and partnering with the best experts in every field.

  • CRAFTSMANSHIP- We started by collectively hand making all our pieces in our Brooklyn workshop. Our creative approach today- from initial ideas, design engineering, establishing sourcing standards, to sustainable fabrication- still embodies a careful attention to detail and quality in every step.

  • SUSTAINABILITY- We develop locally when possible, and work closely with our Pennsylvania factory which employs more than 30 metal and wood artisans. We choose to work with certified woods with no added formaldehyde, and are always pushing the limits of utilizing the most innovative materials and sustainable coatings.

  • MINIMALLY LUXE- Whether its a hand built slab table or a Minim workstation, our aesthetic captures a balance between minimalism, bespoke design, and classic proportions.

Journal

  • Take a closer look at our creative process, behind the scenes of our studio, and all Uhuru events in our Journal.

Creative Compound

We’re proud to have our headquarters and showroom located in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, on a waterfront corner overlooking the Statue of Liberty.

The Creative Compound is where our offices, design studio, prototype shop, and showroom sit together under one roof. Our airy studio allows us to seamlessly collaborate on projects, quickly mock up an idea, and have an open dialogue across departments.

Our showroom is located downstairs from our offices and highlights our building’s industrial aesthetic. We occasionally host events and programs in our showroom, and invite all designers, friends, and collaborators to visit us. Email us to book a showroom appointment, and stay updated by subscribing to our newsletter below.

Uhuru Design
185 Van Dyke Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231
718.855.6519


Visit
Email us at hello@uhurudesign.com to book a showroom appointment.


Contact
More contact info here.


Careers
We can’t do it alone, and we owe our success to a motivated team of self-starters, artisans, and creative & technical experts. We are innovative thinkers, detail and quality oriented, and passionate about our work. If this sounds like something for you, view opportunities here.

CONTRACT GRADE FINISHES

  • Since 2004, we’ve creatively reused wood and metal, sourced from the best vendors, fine-tuned nuanced finishes, and adapted century-old treatments for our designs. Take a closer look at our selection of carefully crafted finishes and materials, all contract grade and durable for commercial use.

    View our finishes

T The New York Times Style Magazine
Photograph by Crista Leonard. Styled by David de Quevedo.

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