Building materials often differ depending on the weather, structural pursuit and scope of work. At times, designers and architects spend a lifetime mastering the manipulation of these materials in their body of work; Tadao Ando with concrete and Matthias Pliessnig with bent wood. Many of us are quick to define interior and exterior materials as two completely different palettes that do not switch roles and locations too often. The project known as 'Building' was commissioned by Depot Basel for the "Personal Content" exhibition by designers Emilie Pallard and Rachel Griffin of Earnest Studio aimed at reinterpreting exterior construction materials for use in an interior environment.
Using perforated bricks and wood, Pallard and Griffin explore the interlocking and play of both materials and how they can create a diverse set of abstract objects to fulfill a utilitarian use for an interior space. Each object uses the weight of the brick as an anchor and wood as a binding element to marry both materials. The collection consists of a bench, a table, a shoe rack and a lamp. The pieces reflect the natural tones of the materials while highlighting the essence of their structural composition.
The bench with its two sets of bricks at each end gives balance and structural soundness to the horizontal wood member that forms the seating surface. In order to interlock both materials, two circular rods are introduced into the wood surface and into the perforation of the brick in order to secure both pieces when in use. The side table contains the same language as the bench where the terra-cotta tone used is the only perceivable difference. Two towering columns connect and cantilever a wood surface for use. On this occasion, the rods interlocking with the wood and bricks turns into a coat hanger. Every other piece follows the same logic and philosophy where the simple, honest yet abstract exploration of material produces useful objects. In this case, we love seeing ingenuity in its simplest form. Materials and their perceived uses are turned on their head through the design team’s sense of commitment to giving already available structural material a new and very different lease of life.