In a time where real world experiences are still subject to the continual start and stall of normal life, Space of Time brings a new perspective to the act of looking inwards. Inspired by a search for new meaning in the everyday, the Los Angeles-based creative studio has launched with two inaugural sets to promote mindfulness and calm – each conceived to engage one of the five senses.
While one is geared towards smell and the other to taste, both kits comprise, in fact, a multi-faceted ritual that seduces the senses on multiple fronts, fostering a feeling of calm and tranquillity in the process.
Two sensory kits for mindfulness
'We launched Space of Time as an extension of our ongoing dialogue around the experiences, things, and thoughts that we find memorable and beautiful: the objects that connect us to our “space of time”, or the moments in time that provide meaning in our day-to-day lives,’ says Isabella Marengo, who co-founded the studio with Stephanie Tam.
Tam adds, ‘We see it as a platform to explore ideas through projects and products, so we can share these moments of connection, beauty, and meaning and make them accessible to other people. It was actually in the past year, during the pandemic, that we thought up the idea of “sensory sets” — or curated sets that can bring micro-experiences to people, at a time when it was harder to go out to experience the world.’
Each set is a collection of physical objects. In the olfactorily geared Balance Fragrance set, a ceramic scent holder, created in collaboration with Ombia Studio and inspired by beach stones, is designed to hold a stick of Japanese ginger and sandalwood incense (a specially curated fragrance) on one side, and a tapered beeswax candle when turned over.
Intentionally conceived with no distinct top or bottom, the holder is intended as a prompt reflection. ‘We wanted to focus on using sense of smell as a way to shape the way we experience a day and find centre among its ebbs and flows,' Tam says. ‘The routine of burning incense or lighting a candle is both tactile and reflective, and has anchored us in mornings, evenings, and throughout our daily lives.’
For Space of Time’s Bloom Tea Set, a glass tea cup, silver-plated brass tea strainer, and ceramic strainer dish are accompanied by a bijou hourglass, and a blend of flower tea, made by the Californian tea company Leaves and Flowers. All the elements work together to make the simple act of brewing tea that little bit more refined.
‘When choosing these items, we wanted to find a balance of objects that are beautiful but not precious,’ says Marengo. ‘We see the hourglass as the core of the set because it celebrates the three-minute time to steep, which is often overlooked. But with the tools in the set, we hope they can be used together to help to spark connection back to your time.’
Each calming sensory set is elegantly wrapped, furoshiki-style, in layers of gauzy fabric and washi paper, knotted together with hemp twine.
‘Each part of the packaging works together to both protect and thoughtfully reveal, one-by-one, the pieces within,’ Tam says. ‘While the materials used for the packaging are rather common, we wanted to add a premium quality of the hand touch — each set has been hand-wrapped by us, like a gift. In a way, we feel each set can be a way of experiencing the gift of time itself.’
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Pei-Ru Keh is a former US Editor at Wallpaper*. Born and raised in Singapore, she has been a New Yorker since 2013. Pei-Ru held various titles at Wallpaper* between 2007 and 2023. She reports on design, tech, art, architecture, fashion, beauty and lifestyle happenings in the United States, both in print and digitally. Pei-Ru took a key role in championing diversity and representation within Wallpaper's content pillars, actively seeking out stories that reflect a wide range of perspectives. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children, and is currently learning how to drive.
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