Here, we ask designers to take a selfie and give us an inside look at their life.
Occupation: Creative director and industrial designer.
Studio location: Porto and Singapore.
Describe what you make: Furniture, objects, and interiors.
The most important thing you’ve designed to date: Luva Sofa and Cyclade Tables for Herman Miller. Launched last month, Luva and Cyclade are a representation of my design philosophy and life experiences thus far. I designed Luva when I first moved to Porto in 2020. I drew inspiration from the shape of boxing gloves, with their soft grip and padded support, and Japanese Shikibuton, with their delicate rolled tops that provide as much function as visual interest. Luva is a sofa that can adapt to different postures and preferences. The modular pieces can be connected or separated, allowing for various configurations and arrangements.
The Cyclade Tables—an arrangement of three tables—emulate the shifting forms of Pangea. Negative spaces and voids allow the tables to nest and intersect with one another and with lamps, plants, and other furniture in the home. This is our first collaboration with Herman Miller, a company that I admire for its history of innovation and quality.
Describe the problem your work solves: Combining craft and technology to create beautiful and functional furniture and objects. My practice aims to bridge the gap between form and function by creating pieces that not only serve a purpose but also tell a story through their design while celebrating the craftsmanship of the makers.
Describe the project you are working on now: The 2024 collection of my craft-driven design brand Origin Made. Origin Made, which I co-founded with my wife Cherie Er, pairs international contemporary designers with traditional craftsmanship to encourage a greater appreciation for raw materials and handmade processes. We partner with family-run workshops and solo artisans, and we share the stories of these individuals because we want people to know where and by whom their products are made.
I’m also working on extending the Quiet Lines collection for B&B Italia, which was launched during Milan Design Week this year. Quiet Lines is a range of bedroom furniture that’s a result of research on serenity. Curved, padded surfaces bring tactility and comfort while dampening sound when objects are placed on them. The silhouette of each piece in the collection is composed of sinuous and straight lines, forming graphical compositions. Driven by circular design principles, each component in Quiet Lines has been designed to be easily separated so each part can be individually reupholstered, refinished, or repaired when needed. This year’s collection comprises a writing desk, bench, bedside table, and folding screen.
A new or forthcoming project we should know about: An upholstered seating collection for an iconic German furniture company that will launch in spring 2024.
What you absolutely must have in your studio: Music with good vibes and positive energy playing in the background, such as Kings of Convenience, Westerman, or Bossa Nova.
What you do when you’re not working: Drawing, reading, playing tennis, and spending time with my family. I also enjoy traveling to new places where I can explore local traditions and learn more about Indigenous handicrafts.
Sources of creative envy: George Nelson. He was a versatile and visionary designer who created some of the most iconic and influential furniture and products of the 20th century. He also saw the importance of building a design community around a brand, inviting other designers like Charles and Ray Eames, Harry Bertoia, and Isamu Noguchi to collaborate at Herman Miller.
The distraction you want to eliminate: Technology makes our lives easier but it can also break creative thought processes. I keep my phone in another room or have it switched off when I really need to focus on sketching and concept generation.
Concrete or marble? I like both materials as they have different qualities and expressions.
High-rise or townhouse? Townhouse 🙂
Remember or forget? Remember.
Aliens or ghosts? Aliens because they represent the possibility of what might be out there.
Dark or light? The interplay between light and dark, lumens and shadows, has always been an interesting aspect of design and art for me.