The Iran desert sets a poetic scene for Apparatus' designs

Watch Apparatus’ film produced by creative director Gabriel Hendifar and filmmaker Matthew Placek. Courtesy of Apparatus

The smouldering elegance of New York-based studio Apparatus’ world comes to life in the form of a new film that the design studio’s creative director Gabriel Hendifar produced together with filmmaker Matthew Placek. Created to mirror the studio’s latest collection, Act III, the film and the designs both draw from Hendifar’s personal experience as a first generation American born after the Islamic Revolution in Iran.

Set within a futurist villa located in an Iranian desert landscape, the film follows a young boy as he ventures around the empty family home, which showcases Apparatus’ newest furniture and lighting creations. Its dreamy, melancholic tone is propelled by the soundtrack of a woman singing in Farsi (actually Hendifar’s mother, Afsaneh) and references Hendifar’s childhood memories of hearing stories and recollections of a place he had never been that were shared amongst his family over food and song.

Talisman pendant by Apparatus Studio Act ii

Talisman 14 pendant light

(Image credit: Courtesy of Apparatus)

‘This is the first time I have mined personal cultural history to inform a collection, and so this one is very close to the heart for me,’ Hendifar says. ‘As a first-generation American, my moments of intersection with Iran and its culture have always been experienced at a distance. I’ve never been, and it was a place that my family had to leave abruptly. My connection to it has always been through their rose-tinted memories of this place that is suspended in time, almost a fantasy. This collection is an attempt to create a tangible connection to this place, and to imagine it on my own terms.’

In the collection, the cultural motifs are treated with an equal sophistication. Ranging from its Drum table, which nods to the shape of the Persian Tombak drum, to the Pars series that features stacked leather disks along brass legs to echo the tray tables found all over the Middle East, there is a poetic pancultural fusion of influences that ripples through each of the designs.

For those who wish to see the works in person, Apparatus has opened its studio during New York Design Week for visitors until 23 May.

See more from New York Design Week here

A collection of 3 different sized wooden tables in a brown room

(Image credit: Courtesy of Apparatus)

Light fixture made of brass and marble

(Image credit: Courtesy of Apparatus)

Brass and stone ornaments on a concrete floor

(Image credit: Courtesy of Apparatus)

Metal and marble light fixture with round lightbulbs

(Image credit: Courtesy of Apparatus)


The Act III collection is on view until 23 May. For more information, visit the Apparatus website


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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.