Studio Job celebrates roadworks with Detour furniture collection
A highway maintenance-themed furniture collection by Antwerp-based Studio Job featuring marble traffic cones and bronze warning lights will be on show at Design Miami/Basel next week.
Studio Job's Detour furniture collection pairs bronze – a material that features prominently in previous work – with different coloured marbles, which they were yet to work with before this range.
"Of course we love marble but we had some creative reservations of using it in our projects," said studio founder Job Smeets. "Like bronze, marble is originally an 'artist material' rather than a 'designer material' and apart from few Ettore Sottsass pieces and some table tops I cannot recall significant use of marble in the field of design."
"That is until Marc Newson presented his Marble collection at Gagosian NY 2007," he continued. "From that moment the use of marble became one of the synonyms for the expired 'design art' and designers started to use, mostly white Carrara marble, as the 'raison d'être'. Sometimes to cover up less interesting objects."
The collection includes furniture formed from pieces modelled on elements used during highway repairs, such as traffic cones, warning lights, construction materials and tools.
A glass surface is balanced on four cones made from layers of red and white marble to create a table.
Glass sheets have also been sandwiched between two stacks of marble bricks layered with bronze "mortar", forming a shelving unit.
A chair features a spade dug into the top of a base made from three grey slabs.
One cone forms the base for a lamp designed to mimic the warning lights that signal roadworks, mounted on an adjustable bronze stand.
The lamp head has also been designed as a table version with a dark marble support.
The Detour collection will be displayed at Design Miami/Basel, taking place from 17 to 22 June at the Messe Basel exhibition centre in Switzerland.
Marble is currently celebrating a resurgence in contemporary design, especially during this year's Milan design week. See more marble in architecture and design »
Image credits: Stefan Vos / Works: Courtesy of StonetouCH, Studio Job and Mitterrand + Cramer
Read on for more information from Studio Job:
In a conceptual way this new body of work can be positioned between more archetypical collections like Craft (2001), Farm (2008) and Homework (2007) except the use of material differs. Although marble, in a sculptural way, can be set next to eg bronze (as you might know a typical Studio Job material) marble is relatively "new" within our portfolio. Until now we only used it "on the side" in projects like Studio Job Lounge (2010), Totem of Love (2011), Ambam (2012) and the new Garden Sculpture for Faena, Miami (2013-14). Of course we love marble but we had some creative reservations of using it in our projects. Like bronze, marble is originally an "artist material" rather than a "designer material" and apart from few Ettore Sottsass pieces and some table tops I cannot recall significant use of marble in the field of design. That is until Marc Newson presented his Marble collection at Gagosian NY 2007. From that moment the use of marble became one of the synonyms for the expired "design art" and designers started to use, mostly white carrera marble, as the "raison d'être". Sometimes to cover up less interesting objects.
For us, the use of material can never be a main topic although we are not afraid to stretch horizons of material limitations and production methods.
Referring to this new collection named Détour there were several goals we wanted to archive. First goal was finding a true reason to use marble and therefore we needed contrast. We wanted to position the material in a new context so it eases out from its comfort zone. This is a proven method to create new images or, at least, unexpected images. Secondly the new collection had to say something about Studio Job; it had to be an addition to our 3D diary which we are developing for over 10 years. A new chapter in the never finished Book of Job: what is our today's story?
The rich marble was the stimulus to explore a "minimal" or "rational" approach. Within our oeuvre a fresh revival of an older frequency. Still, rational or not, visually and sculpturally we were interested in combining the marble with other materials like glass or bronze (of course). Still, minimal or not, we found it relevant to add "colour" to this work by combining different marble sorts within the collection and within the object itself.
The concept "Detour" was developed in 2012. Productions of the marble-bronze objects started early 2013. The first public outcome of the concept was Highway to Hell, a scenery for the Viktor & Rolf fashion show in Paris, March 2014.