When David Alhadeff founded The Future Perfect in 2003, it was always with the intention of showcasing the best design that the world had to offer. A dozen years later, the design boutique is once again making waves with an inspiring collaboration with two rising design forces: the Dutch furniture designer Lex Pott and the Brooklyn-based firm, Calico Wallpaper.
Together, the trio has produced a multi-faceted presentation of design under Design Miami’s Design Curio banner, a new by-application platform at the fair that opens up the exhibition floor to innovators, boutiques and non-gallery entities in general.
‘Fragments’ consists of a series of monolithic furniture pieces, designed especially for the occasion by Pott using stone from a single quarry, and a custom-designed chromatic wall covering, incorporating pulverised minerals in its pigments by Calico Wallpaper. Three of Pott’s pieces – tables in various sizes with planes of glass disruptively wedged in between – are made from Belgian bluestone, while the fourth piece, a shelf, features layers of different marbles (Nero Marquina, Verde Rajasthan, Rouge, Giale and Bianco Carrera, to be exact).
Pott’s inspiration for the Fragments collection originated from the way rocks at a quarry fracture and break; along natural veining and fissures inherent in the material. By preserving the stone offcuts in its brutally raw form, and then fusing them with opposing, highly polished glass surfaces, the resulting pieces poetically and provocatively toe the line between design and art.
‘As I started to see the collection come together, it felt like an opportunity to do something different than we’d ever done before,’ remembers Alhadeff, who is presenting at Design Miami for the first time. ‘I presented the idea to Calico and it was like kismet because [they’d] been experimenting with the idea of mineral pigments. The digital process is their standard line, but they always start by hand painting, so I [suggested] if they could do a ‘de Gournay’ version of Calico. What has transpired is a perfect synergy between the two collections.’
Calico’s bespoke wall covering is made from a fine Belgian linen that’s painted using pigments and minerals made from the same bluestone in Pott’s work, as well as pyrite and mica to bring a lustre and tactile iridescence to the design. Known for deftly using digital technologies to create its immersive patterns, Calico seized the opportunity to create something entirely handmade, in ode to its artwork-inspired approach that consistently serves as a jumping off point.
‘We’ve always been interested in creating something utterly handmade,’ says co-founder Nick Cope. ‘We decided that if we could pulverize the stones from Lex’s pieces, we could create an environment where the pieces could seem like they came from pre-history or from this primordial ooze of pre-time and space. We started creating these very dynamic and textural horizons from mineral pigment.’
After many rounds of testing and trials (even the substrates used have been developed especially for the project), the final design will be painted in situ by Calico’s co-founder Rachel Cope during the duration of the fair. ‘We’ve created an entirely new product [in the process],’ she says. ‘We’ve sourced linen of the highest quality from Belgium and found a way to back it with a non-woven backing. The product is completely by us using the best materials.’