Bill Hilgendorf ’98
Co-founder, Uhuru Design

Uhuru Design, a multidisciplinary design firm based in Red Hook, Brooklyn, was founded in 2004 by Bill Hilgendorf and his business partner, Jason Horvath. Uhuru began as a high-end custom furniture design and build company with a focus on timeless, sustainable design. Over the past 10 years, the company has built a full interior-design division with high-profile projects in the commercial, residential and hospitality sectors.

A leading innovator in New American Design, Uhuru has pieces selected for display in the Smithsonian’s and Brooklyn Museum’s permanent collections. Uhuru offers clients and partners access to an influential global audience seeking a deeper connection with the products they use and the spaces they inhabit. This is evident in their creative reuse and repurpose in the creation of fine furniture and interior spaces.

Bill and Jason were recognized by the Smithsonian, featured as part of the museum’s 40 Under 40: Craft Futures for innovation in their field. Uhuru’s original Cyclone Lounger, fabricated from reclaimed Coney Island Boardwalk ipe, was acquired by the Smithsonian for its permanent collection. The company was featured in a 2016 New York Times piece titled “The Rise of the Locavore Designer.” Bill’s designs will be featured on campus in Milton’s Nesto Gallery in spring 2018.

The Food Issue

In this issue we celebrate the world of food. In putting it together, we visited alumni at farms as close as Mattapan and as far away as Downeast Maine. We spoke to chefs who’ve chosen diverse culinary paths and to alumni who, during challenging times, created a platform for sharing recipes and memories that are keeping them closer together. These stories help remind us that food nourishes not only the body but also the soul, keeping friends and families close. As the renowned food writer MFK Fisher wrote: “I think our three basic needs for food and security and love are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others.” The stories and individuals featured in this issue echo that sentiment.