My inbox has been blowing up lately with asymmetrical designs and furnishings with organic shapes being exhibited and sold around the world. I thought I’d share some of my favorites being offered globally, and stay tuned for a look at examples debuting stateside, as the proliferation of the curvy and uneven was evident during High Point Market several weeks ago.
Asymmetrical and Organic Elements in Design
On October 19th, Carpenters Workshop Gallery in Paris debuted Karl Lagerfeld’s Architectures series of limited-edition furnishings. Though the pieces in it are classically balanced, the veining in the marble creates a tension with the asymmetrical lines it brings to each design. The mirror shown above, titled “Untitled XI,” also has scoring that creates further surface detailing as the lines flow around the frame in differing intervals.
I’ve been following as this iconic fashion designer moves deeper into interiors and architecture, tipped off by an announcement earlier this year that he is designing two residential lobby spaces in the Estates at Acqualina in Miami Beach, his first US interior design project.
In the Carpenters Workshop Gallery in London, asymmetrical shapes and organic finishes have taken over the gallery spaces with “En Plein Air” by Vincenzo de Cotiis. The edgy pieces that would add remarkable textural interest to any room will be on view through November 23 (2018).
The limited-edition Jangada Armchair by Emmanuel Babled is included in an exhibition of the artist’s furniture at Twenty First Gallery’s new Tribeca location in NYC. The exhibition, dubbed “immersion,” will be on view through November 9th(2018). This organically shaped piece, made of leather and black Marquina marble, is both sophisticated and avant-garde. The lead image is Babled’s Quark Bronze coffee table and the featured image is a detail of one of his glass pieces.
R & Company just wrapped an exhibition of furniture by Brazilian Midcentury Modernists Carlo Hauner and Martin Eisler in their gallery at 64 White Street in NYC. The exhibition, titled “Forma: Brazil Furniture Designs by Carlo Hauner and Martin Eisler,” highlighted the work of these primary designers for the Brazilian furniture company Forma. This curvy lounge chair by Eisler, which he designed in 1950, is a fantastic example of effusive lines that bring a whimsical panache to an interior.
Staying in the mid-century modern era, the Free Form Desk by one of the period’s greats, Charlotte Perriand, is made of cherry wood and has a fawn-leather top. The desk, which she designed in 1962, was originally a special order for the office of Jacques Martin, director of Air France in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This symbol of asymmetry is being shown in Laffanour Galerie Downtown in Paris.
This sconce by Gio Ponti really knocks me out! Titled Sconce mod.575, it was produced from brass and lacquered metal by Lumi in 1960. Gate 5 Gallery in Monaco (at 20 Boulevard Princesse Charlotte) has it and other pieces on view that are being shown in the retrospective of the influential architect/designer's works at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris until February 10, 2019. It is his first retrospective in France.
Swinging into contemporary times à la now, Una Malan has brought new designs by Joseph Pagano into her hip Los Angeles boutique. "I'm always refining and tweaking new designs, but I let the materials tell me how the finished pieces should look,” he says of the new designs. “I use my instinct and experience to guide me through the process. I often reference the shapes and colors I see in nature to inspire my final decisions. The client sees lighting. I see birds and rocky cliffs, fluid oceans and textured plants and trees." Shown above is the Matsuri desk lamp in cream and brown alabaster, an asymmetrical wonder of a light fixture that proves his eye for nature’s shapes is keen.
New Ravenna has launched a new collection of mosaics inspired by woven textures called Tissé, which means "to weave" in French. It explores the structure of raw materials through the lens of techniques that were used in many heritage designs for textiles and upholstery. Traditional fibers like Rattan, Jute, and Esparto are interpreted in stone colors to represent the original plant strands. Among the 23 mosaic designs inspired by international weaving techniques and textiles is the Cane Weave (above), a hand-cut stone mosaic that has organic undulations running along its surface. It is shown here in honed Cloud Nine.
Getting Asymmetrical at a Popular Party
During the Architectural Digest party in High Point, I asked designer Christina Henck why she feels asymmetry and organic shapes create interest in interiors and she said, “Asymmetrical shapes are womanly shapes. Because curves lend themselves to the feminine, they soften the severity of spaces with an abundance of hard edges and enhance the beauty of rooms with a proliferation of organic shapes.” Well said, Ms. Henck; I’ll be posting stateside offerings that prove her point soon. One example I spotted during Market is the beautiful Indian goddess deity in a prayerful posture, called lalitasana, regally watched over the yoga studio of the owner of the luxurious compound who opened her home to the design community gathered by the magazine for their ever-popular party.