Public Furniture | Urban Trees – Vancouver

Hugo França, Brazil


TitlePublic Furniture | Urban Trees – Vancouver 
Artist: Hugo França (b. 1954, Brazil)
Medium: 4 wood works
Dimensions (H x W x D): 119 x 351 x 300 cm (47 x 138 x 118 in) ; 165 x 201 x 351 cm (65 x 79 x 138 in) ; 170 x 249 x 150 cm ( 67 x 98 x 59 in) ;
Weight: Variable
Location: Spanish Banks Beach (NW Marine Drive, west of East Concession Stand), Vancouver

Over the past 20 years, Hugo França has researched and developed materials and techniques to transform salvaged fallen trees into objects, sculptures and furniture. This creative reuse offers a groundbreaking proposal for sustainable design. In Public Furniture | Urban Trees – Vancouver, França uses this experience to convert trunks and roots of condemned trees and trees that have washed ashore into sculptural artwork and furniture for the citizens to use.

Although the artist had exhibited his artwork internationally prior to coming to Vancouver, his Vancouver Biennale project was the first time in his 20-year career that he created public sculpture outside Brazil using a variety of local wood species, which resulted in a truly unique project and experience for the artist.

França’s process of working respects the natural features of the wood, promoting minimum waste. It also brings to light the beauty of the natural organic forms, lines, holes and cracks of the trees. Their memory remains alive with their uniqueness, being offered back to live together with people in a harmonious way.

In considering Vancouver’s call for sustainability, França created Public Furniture | Urban Trees for the 2014 – 2016 Vancouver Biennale exhibition, whose theme of “Open Borders/Crossroads Vancouver” aligned with the artist’s thoughts about integration, creativity, and renewal of thinking and acting.

França and his team carved sculptural furniture on public beaches and parks during their one-month stay, inviting the public to watch the transformative process.

As a legacy of the 2014 – 2016 Vancouver Biennale exhibition, many of the artworks have remained in the Biennale’s host communities for public enjoyment.


Watch Hugo França in Vancouver


Listen to the audio tour by Jessica Wallin:


Press Coverage

Brazilian Vibe

Dzine Trip Online Magazine

Vancouver Sun


The Squamish Chief

Huffpost British Columbia

The Squamish Chief

Press Release

Press Release for Public Furniture | Urban Trees – Vancouver

Photo Credit

Joe MacEachern

Tais Ribeiro