Set up in 2010, Yard Sale Project has been growing fast in reputation and portfolio. Yard Sale Project is Ian Spencer and Cairn Young, and the work they design and produce together is labelled as made by Yard Sale Project. Together they create one-off and small batch pieces of furniture that combine the unique design skills of Young with the making talents of Spencer. All Yard Sale Project items are made by them in their workshop and studio in South London, aiming to bring together the 'cool' of the world of design with the obsessive applied skills of handmade one-offs. The Chaos technique, used in the construction of a lot of their work is inspired by the meeting point of several ideas: Firstly an interest in how the scientific discoveries of the universe's chaotic nature can influence how things are made. When looked at closely, no object is symmetrical or exact in its dimensions or shape, just as no colour is pure, and no surface smooth. Why then do manmade objects tend to be symmetrical? Is it a response to our symmetrical bodies, simplicity of construction, or a love of conformity? Why do we strive for perfect proportions even when they clash with function? Why do we aim for perfection when it is impossible to achieve?
Secondly, when considering which timbers would complement each other, which would clash, and which were too similar, Yard Sale Project discovered that with enough variety, such considerations become redundant. Many timbers bring out an appreciation of each individual piece as opposed to their relation to each other. A chaotic mixture of woods becomes harmonious and balanced.
The last idea was one of how to make items of furniture without using the traditional construction techniques that tend to force a limited array of design possibilities. By using a "chaotic" construction technique Yard Sale Project has broken free of traditional boundaries whilst still retaining an understanding of how to work with wood. A technical appreciation of wood that is borne of the Arts & Crafts movement has been able to escape their sometimes overbearing attitude towards "truth to materials" and "honesty". This rejection of tradition has crossed over into Yard Sale Project's attitude to other materials, an example of which can be seen in their use of plastic plumbing pipes to make their chair 'Hepworth'.
Yard Sale Project's work has been sold in exhibitions all over the world, including Design Miami, PAD Paris and Gallery Seoul 12. The Museum of Art and Design, New York is also including one of their chairs in a forthcoming show called Against The Grain. Their work can currently be bought direct from them or via Todd Merrill Gallery in New York.