A Rich Softness – The Donut Series by Studio Soft-geometry
While scouring the web for new and relevant design topics, I came across this relatively new design studio, Soft-Geometry, who are based between Kochi in India and the Bay Area of western USA. Founded in 2018 by Utharaa Zacharias and Palaash Chaudhary, Soft-Geometry bridges two diverse cultures of furniturse and object design, as well as traditional craftsmanship.
An example of their amazing design work is the Donut table, a central part of their Dessert Menu collection, which features solid mango and acacia wood pieces that explore notions of softness. The Donut table is made from solid wood cutoffs from factory waste and is topped with a round glass table-top. The wood cutoffs are assembled and compressed together and then carved by CNC machine into a donut shape. The different grains and tonalities of the wood of the compressed cut-offs form visual patterns so that is unique to each table. The table comes in a few colours, “sugar glazed”, a creamy white colour and, “chocolate glaze”, consisting of a dark brown stain, and “caramel” featuring a lighter shade of brown.
I was particularly drawn to Soft-Geometry for their design ethos and vision. They produce collectible furniture and home objects around the central and abstract theme of softness. Softness is a sensorial characteristic and can be perceived through touch (velvet, fur wool), sight (billowy clouds, pastel colours), sound (rustling of leaves, whispers) and smell (feint perfume, wet grass). Although these characteristics are perceived through our bodies, softness can also be abstract – it can represent malleability, fluidity, slowness, serenity and perceptibility to change.
The soft edges and roundness of the donut shape give the table a very contemporary feel and is truly a playful and light-hearted design that will brighten up your home. I really like this design because so much of the famous modern furniture from the early to mid-20th century is based on a rigorous adherence to hard edges and essential, rigid lines. The Donut table acts like a bold fracture from this tradition, reflecting differently on what is essential to us and our surroundings. Living in London, we are constantly confronted by a sense of linearity and rigidity. The softness of the wood and the curves of the Donut table thus provides us with a moment of respite from the massive concrete jungle outside.