Part functional design, part perfectly composed works of sculpture, the latest collection from Sydney-based design studio Page Thirty Three is inspired by historic space age design, and visions of the future from the past.
'I love looking at how the future was forecast 50 years ago, and comparing it to how we live today,' says Ryan Hanrahan, who founded Page Thirty Three in 2010. 'In most cases I like the alternate space age visions that I saw on the big screen, and dreamt up as a kid, much more. I think a lot of what we design comes from these childhood obsessions and playtime.'
Collectively titled 'Use Your Illusions', the 20-piece collection is the studio's largest and most cohesive offering to date. Working with a dark, tonal colour palette and materials with varying textures, like matte-black terracotta, black polyurethane, concrete and the meteor-like Australian Bluestone, the new pieces feature all the hallmarks of Page Thirty Three’s distinctive design style; strong geometric shapes, clean lines and a clear focus on Australian design and manufacturing.
As well as eight lighting pieces, candle holders, an oil burner and an oil diffuser, the collection also boasts some impressive larger pieces of furniture; the graphic Lightyear daybed is formed from two monolithic black polyurethane cylinders bridged by a slab of black-coated Birch ply, while a chunky 40mm aluminium tube frame elegantly orbits a circular seating piece to form the Vader chair.
'There is a basic childish satisfaction felt from "solving the puzzle"' says Hanrahan, noting that many of the pieces encourage playful interaction. For instance the Totem lamp, composed of a set of Bluestone and steel parts, is formed by sliding the components onto an upright light sabre allowing the user to create a number of different compositions.
Meanwhile, pieces like the Zig Zag side table expand upon familiar forms the studio have explored in previous collections. 'I believe work should grow and evolve over time,' explains Hanrahan. 'Before starting object design I worked in the fashion industry, and it is so seasonal, which I grew to hate. I feel it is unnatural. I like to think of something forming gradually. Although this is our third furniture collection, each year is an extension on the previous year's designs and philosophies, and a result of learning over time. I like to keep what works, perfect what doesn't, and discard what I grow bored with… then there is always a million new ideas to get started on.'