Stepping into Sabine Marcelis’ world of design is like entering a space where innovation melds seamlessly with artistry. A Rotterdam-based designer, whose creative roots trace back to New Zealand’s captivating natural landscapes, Marcelis possesses a unique ability to channel the beauty of nature into her creations. Her work serves as a tribute to pure forms and the transformative dance of light and water, which reveal the innate qualities of materials. Drawing inspiration from the awe-inspiring scenery of her homeland, the Dutch designer translates these natural influences into objects and installations that elegantly capture the essence of these environmental moments onto a more intimate scale.
One defining aspect of Marcelis’ artistry is her profound engagement with materials. Her work is a testament to her relentless curiosity in the realm of material exploration. The furniture designer skillfully manipulates materials to challenge the limits of translucency, shape, and texture. This deep connection with materials has laid the foundation for her latest collection called Stacked, a radiant celebration of materiality and an exploration of the interplay between the natural and the manufactured.
The Stacked collection, created exclusively for Side Gallery, comprises four exquisite works by Marcelis, each crafted from Sunrise Delight onyx single-cast resin. These include a side table, coffee table, mirror, and console. What makes this collection exceptional is not just its striking visual appeal but also the tactile and interactive quality of the pieces. Each product design is meant to be discovered three-dimensionally, allowing users to engage with them on their own terms. They exist without prescribed direction, offering flexibility in their use. The outcome is a harmonious, polished, geometric shape, where offset resin volumes infuse whimsical dynamism into monolithic stone structures, allowing them to either interlock, or be stacked upon one another.
The Stacked collection artfully orchestrates the juxtaposition of the nature-made onyx with the translucent volumes of cast resin. The resin, referencing the veining of the onyx, takes on the colours inspired by the natural stone’s warm, cognac-hued veins. This dance of colours and volumes transforms seemingly static objects into dynamic, multifunctional works of art. Within the Stacked series, Marcelis achieves a remarkable feat—it marks the first instance where an entire collection is composed of various typologies of functional design, all crafted using the same materials.
Marcelis’ intimate connection with resin and glass has been a decade-long journey marked by experimentation and innovation. Her deep appreciation for the versatility of these materials—whether it is moulding sharp, angular forms, or elegant, spine-less curves—opens up a world of creative possibilities. Their adaptable translucency, ranging from sheer to milky opaqueness, empowers her to delve into material research and experimentation. This hands-on approach, in collaboration with industry specialists, allows the product designer to achieve new and surprising visual effects, infusing a unique aesthetic perspective into every facet of material development. This collection is a testament to the designer’s enduring fascination with the boundless potential of resin and glass. These materials serve as her chosen medium for artistic exploration, enabling her to craft immersive experiences that seamlessly blend the organic and the manufactured.
Beyond the Stacked collection, the Dutch artist's diverse body of work reflects her ability to sculpt materials into an array of shapes, from sharp and angular to soft and curvaceous. Her unique approach is not limited to functional design only—it extends into the realm of immersive installations, where she has consistently explored the interplay between artificial and natural light. Her reputation has spread far and wide, and she continues to leave her mark on the world of furniture design.
Today, Marcelis remains closely affiliated with Side Gallery, where her diverse creations from the Voie lights to the Filter lights and the Stacked collection, continue to inspire and captivate. With her relentless pursuit of the extraordinary, Marcelis emerges as a storyteller, illuminating the world with her unique stories and perspective on form, materiality, and light. The Stacked collection, with its celebration of materiality and the interplay between the natural and the manufactured, is the latest chapter in Marcelis’s ever-evolving design narrative.