Young designers exploring new building methods and materials in London
Aram Gallery is currently hosting a group exhibition that’s focusing on interior architecture with a few upcoming designers being invited to showcase their talents and explore new ways and materials to build furniture from scratch. According to gallery representatives the main theme is taking ordinary materials and transforming them in order to create new furniture that will eventually have an industrial use.
Officially titled ‘Extra Ordinary’, the event managed to gather 14 young designers from around the world willing to prove that recycling old materials can have an artistic purpose besides the financial one and that interior design revolves mostly on great vision rather than a fixed budget. Whether it’s drilling through a coin to make a gold ring, compressing leather leftovers to make table legs or transforming bubble wrap into vases this exhibition focuses on pushing the regular boundaries so we’re going to highlight and comment the most interesting pieces hosted by Aram.
‘The Heatsink’ chair by Paul Puskarich
While entering the gallery it’s impossible to walk by Paul Puskarich‘s Heatsink chair and ignore its eye-catching aspect. According to the author the piece was designed to be entirely white and keeping things simple by using just one color was actually not a bad idea.
Making furniture comes with a lot of options if we’re talking about color combinations and despite having a solid rigorous aspect the chair actually gives you a warm feeling right after taking a closer look. The sides of the chair are without a doubt outstanding and the size makes it perfect for interior use.
‘Cutting Edge’ sofa by Martijn Rigters
Passing on the next item the Cutting Edge sofa designed by Martijn Rigters is also hard to ignore judging not only by the shape because the color makes even a stronger stand. The aesthetics and the structure are impressive and designing this sofa most likely came with new sophisticated methods of recycling material. The sofa fits perfectly with the rest of the items exposed at Aram Gallery and the color choice is definitely a big win. If you think red is too much there’s also a white version available.
‘Cardboard Stools’ by Luisa Kahlfeldt
The ‘Cardboard Stools’ manage to get attention and impress based on the execution and design
this piece of furniture features. Made entirely out of cardboard (easy to guess) these stools manage to combine multiple colors with a sharp design and all that based on a material that’s really hard to work with, especially when trying to make a stool. Luisa Kahfeldt managed to do so and the final result is pleasant and functional.
Hopefully cardboard will have extended use in interior design for the future.
Structural Skin’ by Jorge Penades
Jorge Penades decided to focus both on aspect and functionality so his work is definitely standing out for this exhibition. Based on a galvanized steel framework the Spanish designer molded together recycled leather and natural bone glue in order to create 2 amazing stools with innovative design. Working with recycled leather seems to be Jorge’s personal print and the author mentioned with his earlier releases that he came up with the idea of focusing on this particular material after discovering the amount of leather being dispatched from cars, shoes, clothes and furniture manufactures. Jorge Penades also states that leather is the first material humans used and the lack of recycling in this industry is actually shocking.
This leather was combined with animal bone glue and the author mentioned that using resin to treat the material causes more harm than good so this is why he went for a natural glue instead. After boiling the bones in bain-marie at a certain temperature the water evaporates and the glue comes after the bones get smashed. The next step comes with Jorge turning his leather into strips and after that he starts feeding the sheets into a machine similar to a paper shredder. Glue is added and the mixture transforms into iron molds.
Afterwards everything is compressed until dry and this is how the final result was achieved. The golden joints are also a nice pick to complete the stools.
‘Crown Jewels’ by Lex Pott
Taking something as regular as a coin and transforming it into a piece of art after cutting 80% of its structure takes a bit of courage but Lex Pott decided to do so. The Dutch designer managed to transform regular 10 Euro cent coins into perfect rings.
Simplicity and the beauty of the final execution makes it stand out despite not having a considerable size or an extended use for interior design. According to the author this item also aims at the notion of value since coins are no longer made out of gold or silver, materials that in the past were used to set their worth.
‘Duct Work’ by David Steiner
Jorge’s ‘Structural Skin’ stools have impressive joints without a doubt but this piece tops everything in the gallery right away. ‘Duct Work’ by David Steiner consists of 4 galvanized steel stools meant to demonstrate the complexity of joints when it comes to building interior furniture. After noticing the craftsmanship required by joining circular ducts with square ones on ventilation systems, Steiner decided to employ a group of steel workers to create seamless connections for him.
Despite involving a common industrial process the chairs will have you staring for at least 2 or 3 minutes while trying to figure out how the final form was reached. From far away you get a feeling that you’re actually facing a cold-looking set of chairs but after studying ‘Duct Work’ for a while the feeling gets warmer.
‘PPPPP’ by Silo Studio
Just by taking a quick look at Silo Studio’s website you will realize that the duo specializes in color combinations and projecting unique models. The piece accepted at Aram Gallery is no exception to that and the ‘PPPPP’ bowl is a strong combination between industrial processing, recycled materials and good vision in order to create something new.
This item is part of the ‘PPPPP’ collection including 3 additional trays and 2 other bowls available for purchase but this bowl manages to distinguish itself with a very strong color combination focused on blue. It’s fair to say that this simple concept can steal the show just by being placed in your living room but ‘PPPPP’ gets the same results in this exhibition as well.
‘Wonderfluro’ by Rachel Harding
It’s impossible to talk about interior decorations without mentioning lights so up next we have the ‘Wonderfluro’ fluorescent lamps by Rachel Harding. This might be a common thing to use since fluorescent lights currently represent 70% of UK’s public lighting system but Rachel decided to combine that with spectrum glass to color her laps and by placing them on walls on certain angles we get to enjoy a nice rainbow effect.
It’s simple but it also has a great graphic impact and gladly the ‘Wonderfluro’ exponents managed to get their well-deserved spotlight at Aram.
‘Recreate Textiles’ by Krupka Stieghan Studio
Based on industrial cotton waste and different bio-plastics, ‘Recreate Textiles’ by Krupka Stieghan Studio is aiming to redefine textile recycling with most cotton leftovers being burned instead of getting reused. The Berlin-based studio decided to take that matter in their own hands while experimenting to create new ways and methods when it comes to recycling textile waste.
This is how we ended up with ‘Recreate Textiles’ and on a first visual impact you might think this is based on solid material but you’re actually facing fibers. Pretty clever actually, isn’t that right?
‘Neolastic’ by Ying Chang
‘Neoplastic’ focuses on the common perception of beauty and value. According to the author we are invited to do the same and Ying Chang is challenging us to observe the form of an object rather than the function and the value obtained.
This is why ‘Neoplastic’ is based on regular wrapping material and the main purpose standing behind this concept revolves on rediscovering the beauty behind common objects that we normally overlook. Ying Chang also won the Adagp Design award at Biennale International in Saint-Etienne (2015) with honorable cheering from the jury for her work.
If you’re in London you can experience ‘Extra Ordinary’ live until August 22. There’s a free entry from Monday to Saturday (10AM-6PM) and you can find every otherdetail you need to know on www.thearamgallery.org. Don’t forget to tell us what you think about the exhibition and we also want to know what’s your favorite item. You can take the comment section below to do so.
* Photo credits Amandine Alessandra