Rudabega is a contemporary design and fabrication studio in Blacksburg, VA founded by Conor Byrne and Jason Zawitkowski producing furniture, objects, architectural elements, structures and spaces. Our collaborative work is an evolving dialogue between our uniquely developed perspectives and our shared approach to holistic design thinking. Working primarily in durable, natural materials we revere proven traditional methods of production while simultaneously maintaining an active enthusiasm for appropriate opportunities to explore the avant-garde. Our aesthetic - with an ethic rooted in the poetics of pragmatic constraints and an instinctual focus on materiality and joining - generates the particular framework for our design and fabrication practice.
HAPPY HOLLOW WOODS
The thirteen species of indigenous wood we build with grow in Happy Hollow Woods which is an 70 acre FSC certified forest just a few miles from our workshop. We assist Trev Smith in harvesting only trees whose removal will benefit the overall health of the forest or in removing standing dead trees. The idea is to maintain an enduring relationship between our practice and the forest acting as stewards of its well-being as it ages into maturity.
THE BARN ON GLADE ROAD
Our studio and workshop is located in a space we built within a large pole barn on a farm where we also share a common workspace with a group of other small businesses from a group of farmers to a baker, a brewer, and solar energy consultants. Each initiative is testing the norms of it's respective field which creates an atmosphere of ingenuity and optimism producing an energy that influences us everyday.
Conor studied Environmental Science at Virginia Tech before apprenticing with Trev Smith, a sawyer and furniture maker, of Happy Hollow Woods in Blacksburg, VA. Shortly after he started Zag Joinery designing and building furniture with traditional methods of joinery. He is currently pursuing a Master of Architecture degree at Virginia Tech.
Jason studied Industrial Design and Architecture at Virginia Tech before working as an architect and furniture designer/maker at Gronning Architects in Washington, DC. Afterwards he created Zawitkowski Design an architectural and design consultancy serving architects, designers and private clients. Jason has also taught industrial design at Appalachian State University and architecture at Virginia Tech.