NATURALLY INSPIRED DESIGN.

By sevan

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Everywhere you look, contemporary design still seems to be firmly rooted in the sleek and simple geometries that first made their debut in MoMA’s 1932 International Style exhibition: basic polygons, clean lines, pure abstraction. Modern design is timeless design, and as La Corbusier famously said, “less is more.” But as much as we love the logic of the grid or the honesty of glass, sometimes we wonder, whatever happened to art and design’s original muse: nature, environments, and the human experience?

Michael Aram’s designs are exactly this: a return to the original. His naturally inspired designs may not be simple in the modern interpretation of form, but they are simple in the sincerity of their meaning. His pieces celebrate nature and our experiences within it: watching the sun set at a beach wedding, having brunch in your family’s backyard, or seeing a field of lotus blossoms floating serenely on the surface of a lake. Each collection within Michael Aram’s body of work has a personal story connected to it, many inspired by the Armenian designer’s first trip to India. There, he was not only taken by the beauty of his surroundings but also entranced by the metal workers and the centuries-old tradition of producing all their tools and crafts by hand. The Molten Collection, for example, is a celebration of this craft. Each bead is created and welded individually onto the stainless steel platters, bowls and frames of the collection.

We had the pleasure of attending Michael Aram’s seasonal celebration last Tuesday at his flagship store at 136 West 18th Street, meeting the designer himself and hearing the stories behind all the collections. The latest collection, Sleepy Hollow, is inspired by the eery but romantic settings of our childhood ghost stories — “whispers heard in the rustling leaves, and the wind whistling dark secrets.” The Sleepy Hollow Collection offers a complete set for the gathering table, including a bread basket, a cheese board, and a cocktail napkin holder, to name just a few of the pieces. And as each of the collections holds a special meaning, the wonderfully crafted and intricately beautiful pieces make wonderful gifts for any number of occasions, from the festive to the melancholy.

  

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