Christian + Jade Are Making the Sculptural Indoor Fireplace of Your Dreams
After 2+ years, it’s finally what we call “design season” — what with New York Design Week, Salone Del Mobile, 3 Days of Design, and the Collectible Design Fair all happening within the coming weeks. With that in mind, we decided to devote the next two weeks to one of our favorite subjects, and one of the things we enjoy scouting most during those kinds of fairs: new and emerging talents in furniture, interiors, objects, and more. We hope you enjoy!
Since graduating from Design Academy Eindhoven in 2018, Christian Hammer Juhl and Jade Chan — who go by the name Christian + Jade — have combined their love of material history, context, and raw expression through their Copenhagen-based studio. He’s from Denmark, she’s from Singapore, and together they’ve already developed a strong visual language centered around two very specific themes: projects based on and around fire, and those made using hammered aluminum, with several obvious overlaps.
The pair’s interest in reintroducing fire into contemporary living environments, both safely and beautifully, has resulted most directly in a bio-ethanol fireplace. Called Gathering Heat, the all-black design comprises a cylindrical “log” from which the fire burns, protected by a sculptural guard resembling an abstract flame. “We started out with the question ‘how can we design for the act of gathering?’” they said. “This led us to fire, a natural element that has played a historical role in our lives as humans, ensuring us warmth, safety, light, and food while allowing us to become the social beings we are today.”
Christian + Jade were taught how to hammer aluminum by a retired aircraft builder in Detroit, and they’ve used this technique to shape the material into a variety of fluid forms. These include Proud To Be Humble, a range of mirrors with distorted reflections; the Smoke Cloud Chandelier, an oil lamp that appears like a pool of metal floating in midair; and Reflecting Flame wall sculptures that create niches for candles. “We love the softness and flexibility of the material and find it fascinating how with our hands, we can shape a flat sheet of aluminum into a three-dimensional functional object,” the duo said.
These aluminum studies have led Juhl and Chan to evaluate other materials used for everyday objects too, and current projects include a deep-dive into the world of wood with Danish flooring company Dinesen. Soon, they’ll also be exploring the geopolitical issues of sand mining through the lens of material glass with Austria’s Schloss Hollenegg for Design. We’re, uh, burning to see what comes next.