Learn the flowers
Hello there. My name is Matthew Hastings and I founded RIVEN in 2013 in Burlington, VT. Originally it was simply a name for the furniture I designed, but over the years it has expanded to become a place and process through which I attempt to unify the myriad ways in which I engage with the world. It is still a furniture and design brand, yes, but it’s also an expression of my life experiences and the ways they continually inspire new explorations. I’m not interested in being a big “B” Brand with a dialed in message/lifestyle/product offering/marketing strategy/target customer. Nor am I interested in narrowly defining the work I make or people who engage with it. I’m much more interested in investigating the ways in which paths intersect, overlap, and resonate, leading to the creation of new energy and sparking new possibilities.
It is through these serendipitous interactions that the work emerges and it is reason I chose the name RIVEN to represent this work. Riven wood has been split by force, such as when chopping firewood with an axe. It is a process through which one is able break a log into smaller pieces for working and was in wide use before the advent of powered milling machinery. The act itself speaks more directly to the intention of creation, less so to the desired outcome which can never be fully controlled. Once engaged, the material would split as it saw fit down its natural weaknesses. I like this image of holding a desired intention, then proceeding forward allowing the outcome to unfold and meeting it in that new place. Getting ones self out of the way, so to speak.
So this is my intention with this project: to honestly follow my interests; engage dynamically with the world as I encounter it in my everyday life; and to allow this process to unfold fluidly, expressing itself through the work that I make.
(quote from the poem 'For The Children' by Gary Snyder, 1974)