Studio Swine: Metallic Geology
London-based Studio Swine has used foamed aluminium – a material more commonly used in the automotive and building industries – to create a collection of storage cabinets. The sculptural pieces, entitled Metallic Geology, are formed from a boulder of the lightweight material balanced atop a glossy metallic base.
Made by injecting a gassing agent into the molten metal, the material is incredibly light, yet strong, with a texture that resembles naturally occurring pumice stone. As seen in Materials Focus 2014-15 Super-Light, technical material developments are producing groundbreaking lightweight materials for intriguing product applications. We are also seeing a rise in synthetics mimicking natural materials for illusionary and ambiguous finished products – see Design Direction S/S 16 Renew for further inspiration.
Commissioned for Pearl Lam galleries, based in Asia, the cabinet designs reference Chinese culture. The irregular forms are inspired by the country's rocky landscapes, while the units themselves are a take on traditional tea cabinets. China is gaining influence on the contemporary design scene as a new wave of affluent consumers emerges from this region. For more insight, see Chinese Design: A Fresh Blend and What the Chinese Want.