Johanna Grawunder, the multidisciplinary designer, architect and Handmade 2011 creator of our ingenious asymmetrical Prismacolour pencil box, is lighting up Paris' Carpenters Workshop Gallery with her American landscape-inspired 'Big Sky' exhibition.
Spread over four rooms in the gallery's ground floor space, the collection of 10 angular lighting-based pieces (Grawunder's first for the gallery) uses thin layers of material to construct large sculptural forms, which have then been punctuated with either LED, halogen and fluorescent lighting - a recurring theme of her work.
The series, which demonstrates the minimal and abstract aspects of the Milan- and San Francisco-based designer's oevre, plays on her observations of the big skies, rolling hills and endless fields that frame the vast Texan plain, and the contrasting phenomena of American minimalism and industrial innovation that has arisen from such a landscape.
Grawunder, who worked with Ettore Sottsass from 1985 to 2001, feels her dual outputs as an architect and designer are more intertwined than ever for this collection. 'The pieces are architectural in scale, form and material, and hone in on a certain modernist celebration of geometry and right angles', she says.
Designing the pieces to be ultimately functional and useful, Grawunder says they have 'architectural, sculptural, and hopefully somewhat mysterious' connotations. 'I love the idea of contrasting elements, and also of something foreign and abstract, with only geometrical or architectural references, landing inside an articulated interior, such as a home or institutional space.'