Over the past seven years, renowned British designer Faye Toogood has produced five limited-edition collections of homeware and furniture that draw together innovative combinations of form, material and finish. Each series conjures up a mood and palette that challenges the material conventions of luxury products, and has influenced the aesthetics of design on a wider scale.
Toogood's latest collection, Assemblage 5, is on show at the Friedman Benda gallery in New York until April 15. It brings together three materials that blend the earthy and ancient with the technical and modern – cob, bronze and crystal – lending the series an elemental mysticism. The materials are chosen to represent three elements: earth, moon and water.
Cob composite, a traditional building material that combines dung, straw, sand and clay, represents earth; bronze, with a silver-nitrate patina, symbolises the moon with its soft surface sheen; and lithium-barium crystal, ordinarily used for optical glass owing to its clarity, reflects the fluid transparency of water. These materials are cast and moulded into objects with a ritualistic feel, including vessels, pews, spoons and strings of beads – all imbued with an ancient yet futuristic feel. This is echoed in our A/W 18/19 materials theme Tech Spiritual. We will be looking in greater depth at materials pushing the conventions of luxury goods in our upcoming Macro Trend, which publishes in May 2017.