American Design Hot List 2022
Ceramics Furniture Plants
San Diego, ceramicsfurnitureplants.com
In 2020, former photographer Roly Gomez launched a design studio centered around the three elements represented in its name: ceramics, furniture, and planters (plus a few rugs made in Oaxaca). But for us, of course, it’s the furniture that stands out — chunky wood pieces that have a Judd-like minimalism but subtle aesthetic moments, like the grooved details of a bench arm, the oversized handles of a cabinet, or the edge of a table leg seemingly peeking up through its top.
What is American design to you, and what excites you about it?
American design isn’t bound to a specific style but is more about individuality, embracing other cultures, and having the freedom to work autonomously. This sense of freedom to explore and navigate without any boundaries is very compelling and is what initially led me to this space. Seeing a resurgence and appreciation of hand- or slow-made objects has been refreshing and inspiring in many ways.
What are your plans and highlights for the upcoming year?
I look forward to building a small team and expanding into interiors. I’m excited to introduce a new collection that includes a few larger upholstery pieces and lighting. There are plans to move into a larger studio space with the possibility of an attached showroom as well. Aside from that, I hope to recharge a bit and do some traveling.
What inspires or informs your work in general?
I consume a lot of imagery on a daily basis. Before I took the leap into designing and building furniture, I spent a lot of time on the road with a camera. The kind of work I was drawn to involved people, but I often felt uncomfortable convincing strangers to let me into their lives and photograph them. Consequently, I was spending a lot of time in nature and became drawn to making images of trees and forms in general. To this day, photography still plays a big role in my process. Being able to now work in a studio and in three dimensions has opened up a new world for me. It feels a lot more natural, and in many ways is an extension of what I was trying to say with my photography. Living and interacting with my own work on a daily basis is something that’s very satisfying for me.