Here, we ask designers to take a selfie and give us an inside look at their life.
Age: 29 (Natasha). 59 (Helena).
Occupation: Furniture and lighting designers.
Studio location: Philadelphia and New York.
Describe what you make: Tactile, sculptural furniture and lighting. We like to play with the juxtaposition of contrasting textures and materials, while also emphasizing the imperfection and randomness found in natural materials.
The most important thing you’ve designed to date: Sentimentally, the Dionis and Sonya Tables. The shape of the tables was inspired by stones tumbled by the ocean. We have a tradition of picking and collecting stones on the beach, which began with our respective mother and grandmother (Sonya) who also creates sculptures with these stones. Our Armor Pendant also feels important to us because it was our first lighting design. We wanted to make a chainmail pattern to drape over hand-blown glass, but we had no idea what we were getting into with that material and how difficult it would be to pair it with a sculptural form. It took a long time to develop and get right, but we learned a lot from the process and it’s expanded into a larger collection of lighting and furniture.
Describe the problem your work solves: We want people viewing our work or living with it to touch it and experience it. So much of what we do, how we interact, and what we see is online or on a screen. We’re removed from our physical existence and the physical things in or presence. Our pieces utilize rich textures and patinas that we hope bring people to the present.
Describe the project you are working on now: We’re working on our next lighting collection.
A new or forthcoming project we should know about: We have an exciting collaboration in the works. Stay tuned!
What you absolutely must have in your studio: Natural light, a milk frother, and WNYC (Natasha). Stones from the beach (Helena).
What you do when you’re not working: Read, hang out with friends as much as I can. On a lazy day, watching any British period piece, true crime show, or recently too much trashy reality TV (Natasha). Cook, take long walks, and meditate. I try to spend as much time as I can gardening in the summer (Helena).
Sources of creative envy: Vincenzo De Cotiis, Louise Bourgeois, Elsa Peretti, Isamu Noguchi (Natasha). Junya Ishigami, Vladimir Kagan (Helena).
The distraction you want to eliminate: My phone. And stress (Natasha). Urge to always check my phone (Helena).
Concrete or marble? Marble (Natasha and Helena).
High-rise or townhouse? Townhouse (Natasha and Helena).
Remember or forget? Remember (Natasha). Forget (Helena)
Aliens or ghosts? Ghosts (Natasha and Helena).
Dark or light? Dark (Natasha). Light (Helena).