The sublime Iran desert sets a poetic scene for this New York studio’s designs
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 14 pendant light
‘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.