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These Hunks of Stone, Paired With Sleeker Materials, Reflect the Tension All of Us Feel Right Now

Next month, we’ll be hosting a roundtable over Zoom about design trends because that’s what design people do in the first part of the year, pandemic be damned. But one particular 2021 design trend has actually been percolating for quite some time — so much so that we can’t believe we’re the first to comment on it — and that is the fact that craggy, organic, imperfect hunks of stone, used to support or decorate typically sleeker materials, have become nearly ubiquitous. These stones are different from their more refined cousins, which showed up last year in a stone-age editorial on Clever, or from the two-dimensional geological patterns that popped up a few years back in an Elle Decor story called “The Newest Design Trend That Really Rocks.”

Monica had lots of big-picture ideas about why the rocks trend is so popular, including the current Zeitgeist for natural materials in general, a thumbed nose at globalism and mass manufacturing, and the desire for something solid and weighty as an antidote to so much fluff. But the fact that it is so often paired with materials like glass, concrete, and steel — and that it is often used as a structural or foundational element, no matter its proportions — makes me think that it’s somehow a reflection of all the opposing forces currently exerting themselves upon our world. It’s a desire to inject imperfection into something more prescribed, sure. But it’s also a manifestation of the uneasy tension each of us feels right now. Scroll through for some of our favorite uses, and tag us on Instagram if you find more.

Collin Townsend Velkoff

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The Olive Houses by Mar Plus Ask

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Pierre de Valck

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Sisan Lee

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Paul Cocksedge

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Max Enrich

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Jeonghwa Seo

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The Studio Fer

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Artish Studio

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Boir Studio

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Batten & Kamp

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Ewe Studio

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