The Black Walnut Veneer Burn explores the unexpected potential of a familiar material combination. Responding to a client’s desire for a chiseled face, we proposed fire as a tool for transformation. Our restaurant project’s interior walls, featuring CNC-bored black walnut veneer, offered an opportunity. The perforations added texture, revealing both veneer and substrate. Through experimentation, we discovered fire could ‘sculpt’ a face directly into the veneer. This collaborative installation reimagines conventional notions of adornment and materiality.

Design: Justin Allen and Philipp Bünger (artist and architect)

Prototypes: Justin Allen and Philipp Bünger (artist and architect)

Fabrication: Justin Allen, Adel Motamedi and Johannes Helm

Photography: Yuzhu Zheng