Coming Soon: The Nicaragua “One Tree Project” Audio Slideshow

img_1124The OneTree Project was born out of an extraordinary sequence of events…a meeting between Eric Poncon and John Houshmand in New York where they found their paths in a curious parallel (and a promise to “do something exciting together someday…”), the devastation of 3 million acres of forest lands in northeast Nicaragua’s indigenous frontier region (RAAN), Poncon’s appreciation for the work at JOHNHOUSHMAND,  and our mutual love for great design, natural materials, and a philosophically sound interface with reality. And we do mean reality. Nothing unreal about sending a lawyer into the Nicaraguan frontier to search titles for 24,000 acres of small property holdings, negotiating fair purchase of these lands, obtaining IFC assistance, setting up extraction teams and a 12,000 board feet per day sawmill facility, reforestation programs and much, much, more…

Poncon, with architect and designer Matthew Falkiner (Morgan’s Rock eco-hotel, Simplamente Madera furniture company, and more…) invited Houshmand down to the frontier to see firsthand the devastation and the operations, and plan a series of joint ventures which will include projects such as: The “Handshake Collection” of extraordinary pieces designed and fabricated in our New York facilities using amazing wood elements from the immense salvage operation; the “Deep Roots Collection,” designed by Houshmand and Falkiner and made in Nicaragua comprising high design values, affordability, and increasing the training and viability of the local milling and artisan woodworkers; the “OneTree Collection,” a project to put pieces of two giant trees in the hands of 10 Nicaraguan and American artists respectively, and the works to travel as bonding collections. Another germinating concept is another eco-hotel with cabanas designed by guest architects/designers, each getting one tree for their creation. Other projects include value added use of the wood such as wall treatments, prefab housing, gluelam beams, countertops, even balsa surfboards… All FSC certified, all returning profits to reforestation, social, and educational projects, some of which are already falling into place. More to come! There is much more to come as well as an audio slideshow of my most recent trip to the jungles of Nicaragua.

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