After spending the last week taking photos of the Aalto house and visiting many other architectural hotspots in Helsinki, it struck me that the Finn’s affinity with nature is really unmatched. It’s quite easy to write-off these modern builds as aesthetically pleasing but lacking soul, but for me the key to their success is the ability to blend in the structure with nature itself. Alvar was quite the master at using natural materials, especially when it came to manipulating wood and glass, but when I saw this furniture by Studio Dunn parallels between Aalto’s work became quite evident.
A furniture company headed by industrial designer Asher Dunn in Rhode Island, most of the pieces are inspired by nature and on each separate product page the inspiration is quoted, for example the Kujira Table (Japanese for ‘whale’) was influenced by whale skeletal structures, driftwood and river stones. These simple references to nature are scattered throughout and offer a nice dimension to his collection of designs.
Obviously Asher is being conscious of the materials that he uses, alongside working with local artisans to produce quality of the highest standard, but a lot of the inventive and innovative solutions are garnered through Asher’s link to industrial design. It requires deep understand of the material at hand, when respected and treated with care these materials can be manipulated to create one-of-a-kind, beautiful designs, which is very similar philosophy to that of Alvar Aalto.