Uses This

A collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done

A picture of Sasha Burchuk

Sasha Burchuk

Founder, New Age Design Studio

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Sasha Burchuk and last year I founded an interdisciplinary design studio called New Age Design Studio. The focus of the studio is a furniture product line and interior design.

What hardware do you use?

That's kind of a funny question because a lot of the hardware that I use actually comes from the hardware store! But if we are talking about computers (and not hinges and door pulls) then I actually use an old MacBook Air and a newer Lenovo IdeaPad. I prefer the intuitive navigation of Apple products, but the laptops just don't have enough processing power to run programs like Rhino and AutoCAD.

If we are talking about hinges and door pulls, I like to fabricate my own door pulls or source vintage ones from The Rebuilding Center. Most of my hinges come from Winks Hardware in Portland, Oregon.

I have three different work environments set up for building - one is a concrete workshop, one is a woodworking workshop, and then there are the digital fabrication facilities that I have access to.

I rely on various hand tools and machinery in the woodworking workshop - one of the nicest luxuries we have at our workshop currently is two Sawstop-brand table saws - one is set up for making rip cuts and the other is set up with a dado stack for cutting joinery. Other machinery in that workshop that I often use includes an old Delta 16" planer for planing glue ups, and a Bosch miter saw I check the thickness of every board I mill and the depth of every joint I cut with a pair of digital calipers (mine are made by Husky - but there are better brands). I use some more traditional hand tools as well, like bench chisels and marking gauges to lay out and cut joinery.

In the Concrete workshop the setup is more simple. We use bespoke metal form tables with vibrators attached to the bottom, various mixers of unknown age and origin, and a lot of grinding and wet processing tools.

On the digital fabrication side there is an Epilog Helix CNC laser.

And what software?

I try to avoid using software as much as I can because it really slows me down and hinders my creativity, but it is essential for precision and technical drawings.

I use InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator for branding-related collateral and asset creating. I've also used Illustrator to generate G-code for CNC lasering. With lesser success I've used CorelDRAW to do this as well. For drafting and modeling I mostly use Rhino - I'm currently learning AutoCAD so that I can start using it for interior design applications since it's the industry standard in the U.S. The two programs are extremely similar in spite of being written by different software companies - but I think Autodesk has tried to create more universal/intuitive products lately to get an edge. Before I knew AutoCAD I was making design intent drawings in Photoshop which was kind of ridiculous.

For moodboards I use Dropmark because I can't stand the performance issues that Pinterest has.

What would be your dream setup?

In my dream setup I actually have time and money to build out my studio and all three of these facilities are under one roof, instead of being located in different parts of town! I'd say that I am very well set up to do what I do all things considered and I feel very fortunate.