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The Lyre Chair, handmade in bamboo, is a perfect balance of craftsmanship and design. The result of multiple sessions and mockups with an established local bamboo artisan, “Lyre” is an attractive, ergonomic chair, whose overall dimensions and parametric curvature, coupled with the natural bounce of the material, perfectly adjusts to the body. By linking multiple “Lyre Chairs”, a circular bench is formed.
Bamboo is a natural, lightweight, ecological material, readily available in large quantities and requiring little maintenance. Simultaneously flexible and resilient, with superior bending strength, bamboo can perform seemingly impossible feats of engineering, while maintaining its structural integrity. Furthermore, with the right design, it can easily transition from a casual outdoor to a more formal indoor setting.
The power of a handcrafted object, made with a natural material, lies in its details: the uniqueness of each chair, its basket-like woven corners, the functional yet poetic interplay of bamboo cane sizes, how it ‘breathes’ when used.
AKA is a multidisciplinary design studio present in Athens, Greece and Oxford, UK, that works across the fields of architecture, interior, exhibition and furniture design.
Our furniture and objects, whether created as an experiment or with a particular project or patron in mind, generate narratives formally and functionally. Intrigued by the ability of antique furniture to become vessels of history by interpreting specific, often outdated uses, we seek to create objects that mirror a modern lifestyle, but are simultaneously timeless due to their sculptural, enigmatic geometry.
Our designs revel in the repetition of elements, the layering of precious and common materials, and the juxtaposition of textures. The forms are folded, twisted, and stretched, and are characterized by elegant detailing and vibrant splashes of rich color.
Captivated by the countless variations of shapes and materials, we are in a constant mode of experimentation. Each piece is handcrafted by Greek artisans with handpicked materials.
The body of work in this collection consists of pieces by Greek designers of the mainland and the diaspora, or international professionals who live and work in Greece. As a common theme we tackle the elusive notion of “Greekness” and how this transpires through the work of seemingly diverse and distinct individuals. In our attempt to define “Greekness”, we aim to raise questions about how this plays out in the work presented.
How do Greek designers view their identity? Is it through their effort to decipher their heavy heritage? Is form important in order to achieve a predisposed classic elegance, or is a philosophical disposition towards shape more poignant? Could it be simply a resourcefulness and DIY ethic to make up for the absence of design infrastructure?
How do Greek designers based abroad deal with their background? Could it be that they simply ignore it in order to finally free themselves? Is there a certain amount of innovation necessary in order to channel it into the new environment?
Finally, how do foreign designers see their work influenced by their Greek surroundings? Is it the reference through the use of noble materials such as marble or the abundance of natural light that makes their work unquestionably Greek? Or could it be something else they were seeking when they decided to move here, something abstract like humour or drama? Could their arrival finally mean a departure from Greek heritage’s self-reference?
The pieces that we present might seem ill-matched, but they share an important core element. They are confident in their narrative of a personal story of identity, that is either at peace or against the Greek archetype. Through this communication, they all describe a culturally mature and vibrant scene that is finally extroverted and coming of age.
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