Virtual Design Festival

Studio POA gives voice to Guatemalan heritage through furniture and homeware
The two Goyri tables (left) and the Round Block coffee table are fashioned from solid ash wood

Studio POA gives voice to Guatemalan heritage through furniture and homeware

As part of the VDF x Sight Unseen collaboration, Studio POA is presenting a collection of wooden tables, chairs and mirrors, designed in homage to the landscape, art and architecture of founder Giovanni Valdeavellano's native Guatemala.

All eight woodwork pieces are hand-shaped from solid, black stained ash in the designer's Brooklyn workshop.

The unnamed collection includes five tables, two chairs and one mirror

The five tables feature simple, organically shaped tops, and are differentiated mainly by their legs, which take varying, sculptural forms throughout the unnamed collection.

The Goyri side and dining table feature thin legs reminiscent of totem poles, in a nod to the work of Guatemalan sculptor Roberto Gonzales Gyori.

The Goyri dining table is an homage to sculptor Roberto Gonzales Gyori, while the FSC side table honours Valdeavellano's mentor Farhad Soheili

True to its name, the Round Block coffee table features wide, block-like legs with rounded edges, which Valdeavellano drew up based on the shape of Mayan jade sculptures.

Meanwhile, the organic, irregular base of the Santiago coffee table mimics the profile of Guatemala City's volcano-fringed valley.

The wood of the Round Block coffee table is hand stained to create its black colour

The two variations of the matching Santiago chair continue this same visual language, with one featuring a softer, swooping backrest and legs and the other more angular slat-like construction.

For the Lakes mirror, Valdeavellano added a bonded, volcanic-sand coating to the wooden frame, much like the volcanic sand that frames Guatemala's many lakes.

Santiago Chair 1 features a rounded backrest

The FSC side table features brass joinery like the fretboard inlays in a guitar, in a tribute to the designer's mentor Farhad Soheil, who taught him how to build electric guitars.

As the pieces are stained by hand, each maintains a distinct, organic character.

Santiago Chair 2 (left) has a more angular shape

The collection is being unveiled as part of the Offsite Online virtual showcase by Sight Unseen, where Valdeavellano will also be presenting his Croissance series of two lamps, a table and vase.

These feature either pastel-coloured porcelain or cement, which is layered gradually onto a stoneware or foam base to emulate the natural growth process of tree fungus.

The Lakes mirror (back) has a coating made from volcanic sand

Before making the move to New York to start his own design studio three years ago, Valdeavellano worked as an interior renovations contractor in Miami for nearly 17 years.

The name POA stands for pardon our appearance, in reference to its founders "personal renovation" being in the works.

VDF x Sight Unseen
Studio POA
Email: [email protected]

Virtual Design Festival is the world's first online design festival, taking place from 15 April to 30 June 2020 here on Dezeen.

Sight Unseen is a New York-based digital magazine that covers design and visual arts, as well as curating exhibitions such as the annual Sight Unseen Offsite event.

The VDF x Sight Unseen collaboration presents projects by 51 international designers as an extension of the New York platform's Offsite Online virtual exhibition.

More images

The purple Croissance lamp is made using layered, pigmented cement and hand blown glass
The pink Croissance lamp is made by layering porcelain slip on top of stoneware