Casting cosmic effects with Doshi Levien’s first studio range

Casting cosmic effects with Doshi Levien’s first studio range

The latest venture from design studio Doshi Levien feels like its most personal to date. Known for translating their versatile aesthetic into dynamic forms for the likes of Kvadrat, Galerie Kreo, Moroso and more, the London-based duo has taken a thoughtful step back into the studio, creating their first set of seven objects that are entirely self-made.

Seamlessly engineered, the Earth to Sky range is the result of organic processes. On the wall, the most simplistically designed pieces in brass appear like blossomed flowers, while a layered version with punctured blue aluminium and a sleek brass pole adds texture. A bulb is hidden here, sandwiched between the abstract curves, concealing its role as a light and appearing as a hanging artwork.

Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levien had the intention of realising sculptures, rather than focusing on function, and like most of their purist projects, they started by experimenting within the sketchpad and playing with maquettes. ‘I was drawing fine lines next to intuitive, curvaceous, sculptural forms. Nipa picked up the hole-punch, pierced one of the shapes and put a line through it. We then realised we no longer had just a composition, but an actual structure.’ This method and its results create a cosmic combination, bringing meaning to the second half of the collection’s title ‘Sky’.

Doshi Levien models and drawings
Earth To Sky detail

Above, drawings and models for the Earth to Sky range. Below, detail of a wall mounted piece. Photography: Jonas Lindström

The next step was to bring this ethereal vision to life-size, and the pair turned to a somewhat unlikely craftsman from the automotive industry, who spends his time metal rolling for the restoration for E-Type and XK1 Jaguars. An equally elegant undertaking, the technique was adopted for moulding the metal petals by beating the aluminium on a wooden block with a mallet. Raw and intimate, this connection to the craft alludes to the Earth in the range’s namesake.

‘In India [where Nipa grew up], we always say that to know is science, but to know ‘how to’ is beyond science, it’s supreme knowledge,’ says Levien. There is a sense of spirituality in these artisanal works, which was felt during the launch at the designers’ east London studio – itelf a cove of their drawings, models and cultural inspirations.

The Earth to Sky collection is proof that going it alone is just as good as a smart collaboration, where ideas can foster and grow in unique ways. They muse, ‘The reason we started this project was to have complete freedom’. §

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