American Design Hot List 2016
Rotterdam, The Netherlands, earnestly.org
The American-born Rachel Griffin moved to the Netherlands to attend the prestigious Design Academy Eindhoven and never moved back. Her work, primarily made from natural materials, often explores notions of modularity and function.
What is American design to you, and what excites you about it?
American design is audacious. America has a more irreverent relationship to history than Europe, which gives the work — even when it is not especially new — a feeling of freedom and fearlessness. Those feelings are always exciting.
What are your plans and highlights for the upcoming year?
The studio has several new products expected to launch with brands in the new year, along with a collection of furniture and lighting for spring. We are looking at themes of texture, transparency, and reflection through a variety of materials and shaping techniques. It is an exciting time and we are really looking forward to showing the new work.
What inspires or informs your work in general?
Generally, I am inspired by material and functional form. A good example is our recent “Mill” table lamp, which draws inspiration from the dexterity of the basic sphere. Balanced on a hollow cone and connected using gravity alone, the continuous three-dimensional symmetry of the form creates a simple, but limitless, joint with an exceptionally wide range of motion. These kinds of specific discoveries that come from getting to know a shape or material are at the core of my work.