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See Designer and Skateboarder Greg Papove's Sock-Inspired Furniture


By MIEKE TEN HAVE

“Being a skateboarder is my biggest influence,” industrial designer Greg Papove says. “It requires you to see things in new ways, like architecture and function.” For the 31-year-old Vancouver native, best known for his sock-inspired furniture, a rebellious and perennial teenage pastime seems as fitting a career catalyst as any. A concrete (read: immovable) laptop holder with a Bauhausian silhouette and a wiry, large-scale sculptural object designed to save parking space are other representative designs in his wheelhouse. “The Dutch must have understood my sense of humor,” Papove says. (His collection“Socks and Furniture” was heavily influenced by his time studying at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in the Netherlands.) “At Canadian and American design schools, it’s all about ‘who is your consumer, who is your audience?’ Over there, you are free to create something simply because you think, ‘Well, that could be nice.’ It was very liberating,” he says. Setting socks aside, in May, Papove exhibited new work with his studio partner Claire Balderston (together, the duo forms Studio Medium) at Site Unseen Offsite in New York. Included in the debut was Halo, a columnlike table lamp encircled by a thin, geometric copper wheel, and the ABK table, a coffee table in a shade of blue that Papove compares to a Nike Elite LeBron James pair of socks, with niches to both hide and display objects. The introductions struck a less irreverent tone, while remaining insouciant in shade and form. For Papove, delight in design is often found in the eye of the curious beholder: “I’m more interested in interacting with other people who are trying to figure out what you’re doing.”