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Ross Hansen

Los Angeles, rosshansendesign.com
It was only a few weeks ago that Ross Hansen’s work stopped us in our tracks as we were perusing an exhibition of Cranbrook alums. Turns out Chicago’s Volume gallery had spotted the young designer first, though, and will bring him to this year’s Design Miami with an epoxy and clay cabinet and table (first two images above) that they’ve nicknamed “psychedelic travertine.”

What is American design to you, and what excites you about it?

To me, one of the most exciting things about American design is that over the last 10 years, the grip of functionalism has loosened its hold. Yes, the first criteria of any object is that it needs to be useful, but allowing for different interpretations of utility has created opportunities for the designer to form new relationships between object, user, and their surroundings. Designers now have the permission to slip back and forth between categories, alter functions, invent new material relationships or just do whatever steps necessary to develop their ideas. And that is encouraging news regardless of your location.

What are your plans and highlights for the upcoming year?

I am excited to have a couple of pieces exhibited at Design Miami with Volume Gallery and in April I will have my first solo exhibition at their space in Chicago. After that, I will be eager to get back into the studio to continue to developing my process and understanding of certain materials.

What inspires or informs your work in general?

The work is inspired by a wide spectrum of ideas but it is also heavily influenced by the process itself. As a INTP personality, I love analyzing the limitations of materials and developing systems that expand their applications, all while giving a knowing wink to the warm embrace of the familiar.

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