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‘Unbroken’ alters fractured marble and onyx to objects existing between order and chaos
(L) The 'Unbroken' collection by (R) designer Arielle Assouline-Lichten
Image: Courtesy of Slash Objects

‘Unbroken’ alters fractured marble and onyx to objects existing between order and chaos

Arielle Assouline-Lichten's solo exhibition Unbroken: A beautiful edge explores contrasts using shattered fragments of natural materials to create furniture and lighting fixtures. 

by STIRpad
Published on : Jun 05, 2023

Materiality, ephemerality, and the pursuit of imperfect objects juxtapose within artist and multifaceted designer Arielle Assouline-Lichten’s new solo exhibition titled ‘Unbroken: A beautiful edge’. The showcase comprises minimal furniture and lighting designs on display during New York Art + Design Week from May 17 to June 6, 2023, heralding the overlooked aesthetic of seemingly 'imperfect' elements. Signature pieces by her studio Slash Objects will be on view, including the 'Coexist Collection' and the 'Adri Chair.' Assouline-Lichten’s approach to furniture design is rooted in elevating overlooked and typically disregarded source materials, and giving them new life through refined, minimalist and timeless designs that emphasise the beauty of ephemerality.

“In Unbroken, I transform fractured marble and onyx into furniture and lighting that play on the dichotomy between chaos and order. Using found pieces of stone slabs, I have devised a system that adapts to irregularity, enabling each piece to be a product of its own constraints. In refusing to erase broken edges, the work maintains a trace of its past and reminds the viewer that materials transcend time and experiences. ‘Unbroken’ showcases the beauty of imperfection and highlights the importance of longevity in a world where everything is treated as disposable,” shares Assouline-Lichten. The products designed for the ‘Unbroken’ exhibit utilise underused source materials to highlight the dichotomy between the natural environment and man-made processes. In an endeavour to explore the fusion of material and form, the Brooklyn-based designer and architect crafts the objects as a path to transform the human experience by reframing the comprehension of resources through tactile stories, creating a sense of intrigue about the material world.

The product designs from the ‘Unbroken’ series are crafted with natural stones like Cippolino marble, Giallo travertine, green onyx, Roman travertine, alabaster, arabescato and white onyx, along with brushed aluminium and stainless steel. The goal of the furniture designer is to influence social change through aesthetics, by drawing attention to the excessive levels of material consumption and waste production around the globe. Working with scrap marble and tyre rubber to create objects that not only challenge the prevalent idea of design objects being disposable, and producing an excessive amount of waste, the collection also encourages the owner to become a custodian of the object, replacing its disposable nature with that of longevity. Her design process strikes a balance between the pieces' visual appeal and sustainability, through optimising production processes and delving into 'ecological designs' that minimise waste and reduce the carbon footprint created during manufacturing and shipping.

Slash Objects was set up as a sustainable design practice that contributes towards creating a greater impact. The work is inspired by a fascination with materials and the ways in which they are combined. The studio produces works that alter how people view the world, by amalgamating novel juxtapositions with intelligent design. As they create clean forms connected by geometry and precision, they start with the material in an effort to expose the very tactile nature of production. The materials employed are durable and recyclable, striving towards a circular design future. Slash Objects' oeuvre is underscored by a design ethos of 'careful design' that makes the world a better place, succinctly reflected in the ‘Unbroken’ collection.

The exhibition ‘Unbroken: A beautiful edge’ will be on display during New York Art + Design Week from May 17 to June 6, 2023.

Text by Ria Jha

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