Objects of Common Interest Explores the Allure of Iridescence with "Poikilos"

Opening at Nilufar Depot during Milan Design Week.

Design
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In just under a week’s time, the atrium of the Nilufar Depot gallery in Milan will become home to a shimmering showcase of furniture crafted by design studio Objects of Common Interest.

Titled “Poikilos”, the collection is set to offer a deep dive into iridescence – the factors that affect it, the way it is created, and the emotions it can bring about. It seems like a pretty specific point to build a show from, but for both the curator, Valentina Ciuffi of Studio Vedèt, and the studio, it has long been on their minds. As for the show’s title, that dates back to Ancient Greek times, when the word “Poikilos”, would be used in reference to the coat or skin of living creatures.

“Iridescence seems to originate from a movement or movements and remain alive in them,” says Ciuffi, who has put the show together alongside Nilufar co-founder Nina Yashar. “[It] has always intrigued me. It is among the most elusive visual phenomena; it seems to exist only at the moment we see it and is different for each of us depending on our location, the light around us, the gaze, the time of day, and perhaps even our mood.”

In addition, the designers behind Objects of Common Interest, Eleni Petaloti and Leonidas Trampoukis, had been thinking about the term through the lens of transcience. These days, the pair operate out of both New York and Athens, and according to Ciuffi – the detail of the story behind the exhibition takes place “somewhere in between the Big Apple and the Greek capital”.

Behind the pieces on show is a story of a man who Petaloti had met during her days working in the art world, and whose workshop was dedicated to producing resin objects of both high and low-brow status – from one-offs for artists to hundreds of souvenirs. But beyond this, the craftsman – named Ovidiu Colea, would spend his days developing recipes for resin in order to create things that had never been seen before.

Now, this work comes to life through the collection of Objects of Common Interest. Using a recipe devised by Colea, they have created seats, tables, lamps, and vases that make visual effects that play tricks on the eye – appearing to transform from liquid to solid. Whatsmore, because of the method developed by Pataloti, the pieces can be melted down to create something new, and also negate the offset of any waste thanks to the way it is processed. “The idea of these changing forms, of this continuous transformation from liquid to solid, seems to be the most natural origin for the ethereal creatures on display at Depot,” Ciuffi adds.

Take a first look at some of the works set to be on show above, and keep up with the rest of our Milan Design Week content here.

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