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Trend Watch: Connected: Design Despite Distance

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21 Sep 2020
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Todays Trend watch focuses on Project 'Connected.' 

'The onset of Covid-19 has significantly changed the way people live, interact and work. Connected is an experiment set out to explore how creatives and makers adapt their processes using new technologies to work together at a distance and often operating from new, improvised home offices' - Connected/Made together apart. 


The Connected project consists of nine international designers varying in location working together digitally to create individual work stations. All pieces have been designed using sustainable American hardwoods. The theme of their designs focus on the new need for furniture to double up as a beautiful home feature and a practical workspace.  Each designer had been connected to a craftsman at Benchmark Studios, Berkshire, who, with their vast experience and knowledge of working with various woods, made their visions come alive.


One of the studios involved, Swine Studios (Tokyo/UK) made a valid point of noting that the presence of wood in our homes can make us feel closer to nature. Their creation 'The humble Administrator's table and chair' is a simple yet stunning feature made with a warm cherry wood. 

Co-founder, Alexander Groves explained that due to the Coronavirus, he had missed opportunities to leave the bustling city of Tokyo in search of peaceful hikes and park strolls. Being involved in the Connected project allowed Swine studios to interact with the resource they are most passionate about, materials. Wood happens to be the material which has been used by humans for the longest amount of time and designer Groves commented on how he also felt connected to history during this process. 

Swine studios - The Humble Administrator.


'Connected' saw designer Ini Archibong (Switzerland) debut his creation 'THE KADAMBA GATE'. Made with American cherry wood and thermally modified red oak. At the beginning of the process, Archibong honed in on what it meant to be connected during 2020. Using music as a tool to connect to his inspiration and explaining that finding a nuance in the music brings forth flowing ideas for a physical manifestation. Inspired by the Irish rock formation 'The Giant's Causeway' his design is a homage to the evolution of earth. 



Ini Archibong - The Kadamba gate.


Heatherwick Studios' 'STEM' also focused on the concept of bringing nature indoors. Hardwick mentions that nature has been proven to positively affect well being. Hardwick brought the design right up to date by adding lighting and charging points, too. Made from maple, a wood which he says ages well. This desk is an Avant guard feature and an absolute work of art, a fusion between architecture and home design. 


Hardwick studios - Stem


Read more about Project Connected here: connectedbydesign.online


Jessica Holmes - SPEXTRUM Overseas Content Marketing Manager

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