This is a design initiative in a rural, impoverished area of Alabama that builds on community programs by pursuing three objectives. First, teach residents basic furniture design skills. Second, produce a variety of affordable tables and chairs for use by the community. Third, sell this furniture at multiple price points through local and catalogue channels. Then reinvest the proceeds within the community. Rural Collective capitalizes on the ample local resources of the area, the ingenuity of the community and the individual’s desire to improve their living standards. The Kudzu Vine is an invasive species in the south eastern region of the U.S. that is devastating on the ecosystems. By utilizing it in furniture a symbiotic system for the environment and community is created. This and simple profile construction of the adaptable furniture create a holistic solution for the impoverished area.


Hawley Braswell is a designer who is focused on the intersection of responsible design and valued objects. She currently works and plays in Brooklyn, New York. Whether designing a furniture building workshop for rural communities in the U.S., or a dining space for the DIFFA benefit dinner, Hawley consistently aims for honest and positive social impact.

Master of Industrial Design, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn. 2012.
Bachelor of Environmental Design, BS, Auburn University. 2010.
Bachelor of Sculpture, BFA, Washington University in St. Louis, MO. 2009