Dezeen Magazine

Utopia by Mad Lab

Mad Lab creates wooden vessels that resemble miniature buildings

The wooden decorative objects in this collection by Madrid-based studio Mad Lab form a set of a scaled-down "buildings" with arched details.

Called Utopia, the home decor collection consists of three lidded jars, a fruit bowl, two trays and a serving platter, all handcrafted from cedar wood.

Shown at Madrid Design Festival, which took place 1 to 28 February 2019, the collection features geometric angles and arched cutouts. Each piece has ebony wood inlays that create dotted and lined patterns across its surface.

Utopia by Mad Lab

"I'm a great lover of architecture and the geometry of this collection has a classic aesthetic but with a touch of the contemporary," said Mad Lab founder and designer Antonio Serrano.

"Wood as a raw material is fascinating, it exists in silence and brings warmth," he explained. "This collection is made in maple and ebony wood because it creates a delightful contrast in tones."

Utopia by Mad Lab

The collection is inspired by Renaissance ideas of utopia, in particular a late 15th-century triptych called The Ideal City and the geometry of Italian Renaissance painter Piero della Francesca.

All seven items in the collection resemble miniature versions of buildings that might populate the Ideal City.

Utopia by Mad Lab

The wooden jars feature faceted bodies and geometric lids with gold spires. The bottom of the jars have arched cutouts, while the insides are coated with Canadian cedar wood, which is described by Serrano as "highly aromatic".

A square fruit bowl with a concave surface also features in the collection. Like the jars, it has arches puncturing its base. The design resembles a scaled-down building complete with colonnade.

Utopia by Mad Lab

The elevated serving platter has a rectangular frame and a flat top for presenting small food items. The top extends over the base, which features an arched motif in line with the other pieces.

The two trays in the collection are dotted with ebony squares, in the manner of inlaid flooring, with raised edges for the user to hold.

Utopia by Mad Lab

Mad Lab is a Madrid-based design studio that was founded in 2012 by Antonio Serrano and Mar López.

Architecture has also provided the motifs for Russian designers Nasya ​Kopteva ​and Sasha​ Braulov​, who used Russian avant-garde landmarks as a starting point for their wooden desk accessories collection.

Elsewhere, Klemens Schillingger used ancient Greek and Mayan structures as an influence for his concrete tabletop accessories.