Ken Landauer once specialized in one-of-a-kind pieces for the one percent. Architects considered him the go-to artist for bespoke furniture. The Occupy movement inspired the former art professor to use furniture as activism—a space where he could create well-designed, affordable furniture with zero waste.
Landauer launched FN Furniture in 2017 with chair, bench, and sofa designs guided by yogic principles, so that the angles and surfaces of each piece support comfort and alignment. The indoor furniture is made with multi-layered Baltic Birch Plywood cut on a CNC (computer numeric control) machine.
The Stone Ridge artist and furniture maker began receiving requests for outdoor models and office furniture. In 2020, he launched an outdoor line following the same principles, but made from sheets of marine-grade, high-density plastic.
The outdoor chairs have only seven parts compared to traditional Adirondack chairs that require more than 25 pieces. The minimalist design eliminates joints that can weaken and break and Landauer hopes his body-fit chairs become pieces of art that people appreciate for decades. Each piece ships flat, slots together, and tightens up with pre-installed hidden fasteners. The lounge and rocker-style chairs cost $725, and the chaise lounge lists at $1,375.
“I started off being critical of plastic, because it needs to be used responsibly. If it’s not used carefully, there is a lot of waste,” Landauer says. “The marine-grade plastic is weatherproof, non-toxic, and, if used in a building, can earn LEED credits.”
The plastic, also used to build children’s jungle gyms, comes in vibrant colors including red, yellow, green, and blue. Custom orders have included an outdoor bench commissioned by Civicworks, a Calgary-based urban planning firm. Landauer modified his F1 Universal Bench design for an outdoor piece that encourages vertical posture and is easier to use because of the armrest heights and by space underfoot. The outdoor sofa starts at $1,375.
Custom requests also sparked expansion into office furniture. Joe Hagan, a writer for Vanity Fair who lives in Dutchess County, requested a writing desk made from the same zero-waste design. That served as the prototype for office furniture that ranges from shelves to desks and a credenza. Rather than letting metal filing cabinets go to waste, Landaeur incorporates them into select styles of desks. A wall hung desk sells for $475, the Upcycle desk for $999, and there are several options in between.