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A Berlin Duo Whose Marriage of Art, Design, and Craft Is More Literal Than Most

When creatives describe their work as blurring the boundaries between design and art, it's rare that the effect is quite so literal as it is in the case of Berlin's Opt Studios — not only because it's the shared practice of a textile and product designer and her painter and sculptor husband, but also because the works themselves look like abstract artworks that just so happen to be hanging out on rugs and side tables.
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Guess This Is The Point Where We Crown Paper Pulp the “It” Material of 2020

Brazilian designer Humberto da Mata was born and raised in Brasília — which, with its swooping, Oscar Niemeyer–designed reinforced concrete buildings, could be considered the international seat of organic architecture. So perhaps it comes as no surprise that da Mata creates freeform work from easily moldable materials like hand-stitched upholstery, ceramics, and, most recently, papier-mâché (which, in case you missed it, appears to be *the* it material of 2020).
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Meet Kelsie Rudolph, Our Newest Ceramic Furniture Crush

Ceramic artist Kelsie Rudolph glazes her adventurous creations in color combinations that just about make her skin crawl. She does this to better grasp color’s effect on us. On vessels, sculptures and, more recently, larger furniture pieces like benches and chairs, the striking pairings jig across her work in stripes, zig-zags and checkerboard. “I’m really intrigued by the way color and pattern are able to make each other move," she says.
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Each Piece By French Designer Baptiste Lanne is an Ode to Nature, His Biggest Inspiration

After almost 10 years working for acclaimed studios like Habitat and Philippe Starck in Paris, French designer Baptiste Lanne felt a longing to get away from the screen and 3D modelling software. It was a trip to Japan to visit some woodworkers’ workshops that influenced his decision to make a living out of his personal affinities. Today he hand-carves impossibly refined design objects out of rough hunks of wood as if they’re as malleable as clay.
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A Former Dancer, Virginie Hucher Uses Her Whole Body to Sketch Out Paintings in the Earth

French artist Virginie Hucher’s paintings begin in the middle of nowhere. Through a meeting of performance and land art, she uses her whole body to carve large symbols into the sand, the snow, or the clay alongside a river bed with a stick as her only tool. She then documents her process in film and photographs, so she can appropriate the gestures when she begins to recreate the forms in paint back in her studio.
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This French Design Studio’s Process is Steeped in Tradition

The couple behind Haos – neither of whom is formally trained in design – work primarily with French artisans who often have decades of experience working with the same material. It's a process rooted in all things tangible and permanent, one whose outcome can only and inevitably be an object that's been stripped down to its most essential form.
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Polina Miliou’s Paper Pulp Pieces Have So Much Personality She Sometimes Gets Mad At Them

Whether chairs, macaroni-shaped light fittings, or knotted, tubular standing lamps, Polina Miliou sees her pieces as creatures. “I often start from an archetypal furniture form and gradually twist it into more of a character,” she says. Once she’s sculpted their form, she dresses the pieces in a final smooth layer of papier-mâché. “It is a slow but fun process, during which I literally slap and caress the furniture,” she says. “The time I spend with each piece lets me build a personal relationship with it."
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Meet the South Korean Designer Making Furniture From Lacquered Volcanic Stone

Seven years ago, Seoul-born Jeongseob Kim set out to find a niche that would define his identity as an independent designer. He began experimenting with using black or brightly colored cement to fill in the cracks and crevices created in the process of making cast-concrete stools, lamps, and tabletops. Calling the project Emergence, though, turned out to be prescient — rather than being his sole calling card, it ended up inspiring a body of work that draws on similar ideas but is even more layered and process-driven.
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Designer & Rendering Artist Charlotte Taylor is Imagining The Brighter Future We Need Now

London-based designer Charlotte Taylor popped back on our radar recently with her Tiled House, a 3D rendered residence that begs the question: What if your whole house could be as hard to clean as the bathroom? All jokes aside, the eye-catching space is a bit of an engineering feat, real or imagined, as well as a kind of microcosm of the portfolio Taylor's been building over the past few years bridging those two worlds.
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Cape Town ceramicist Ceri Muller

The Cape Town Ceramicist Making Crinkled Vases and Clay Faces

Here’s a tip for anyone suffering from the fear of starting something creative: Make the ugliest thing you can think of. That’s the genius bit of advice that ceramics artist Ceri Muller’s partner gave her when she felt blocked, faced with her first lump of clay. “I did that and carried on doing it and those ugly little things morphed into these heads that I grew to really love,” she says.
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