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Estimated production time: 2 - 12 weeks
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Part-way between sculpture and furniture, RAILS is a modular concept designed by Gwendoline Porte, inspired by the form of railway tracks and the concept of ‘journey’. Porte conceived the system when she worked on a fictive redesign of Fulham Broadway Station’s old Edwardian ticket hall during her studies at Chelsea College of Arts, UAL, London.
These limited edition functional sculptures are playful, graphic and ergonomic. Each hollow structure is made from plywood and built as a boat hull, resulting in a surprisingly lightweight (less than 10kg), easy-to-handle feel. They can be stacked on top of one another to form a column, multiplied to form a hexagonal, or separated to become a stool, chair, coffee table or side table. The pieces can lie horizontally or vertically or multiplied to create a bench, wall or a landscape or used simply as a striking standalone art piece within a room.
Conceived, designed and refined by Porte in London, the first limited edition is available in a range of colours, while finishes include metal brass, lacquer and wood. The patented modules are available in three sizes at standard seating heights: 450, 550 and 750mm. They can be bought individually or in multiples.
Every piece is handcrafted with care in Italy, by specialist metal and wood artisans who blend traditional techniques and innovative technology. Unlacquered, brass pieces are designed to reveal a gentle patina over time. This first collection is designed for indoor use.
Wood & Cabinetmaking
Brass, lacquer, plywood
United Kingdom (UK)
Gwendoline Porte is a French interior designer, born in 1974, who lives and works in London.
She spent her childhood under the Caribbean sun and the shade of palm trees, growing up barefoot, in contact with warm sand and the colonial houses of Guadeloupe. As an adult, she moved to Paris to study and work as a PR in fashion, events, arts and digital marketing. She then moved to London, whose cosmopolitan nature prompted her to embrace the idea that “anything is possible”.
Porte recently graduated in Interior Design at Chelsea College of Arts, UAL, receiving the Dean’s Award for her work. RAILS, designed as a functional sculpture, was inspired by a cross section of railway tracks and aims to capture the essence of life’s journey. It was exhibited at Decorex London, Paris Design Week, the Decorative Arts Museum in Berlin and Clerkenwell Design Week in London. RAILS are now part of the selection of the Design Museum\'s shop and eshop.
“I love travel and history,” says the designer. “I believe we are constantly reinventing things based on what we know and what we see. I am influenced by so many creative minds, from Le Corbusier and Pierre Paulin to Basquiat and Warhol.”
Undoubtedly, Porte’s inspiration stems from her travels and her exotic roots. Her designs tell a story using clean lines and natural, often raw materials that age beautifully. She likes to mix different elements to add contrast and create a balance of styles, between male and female, traditional and contemporary, rustic and luxurious.
Her first project was her own family house and design studio, before completing a number of offices and residential projects in London and France.
Often the ordinary and visible present becomes vague and forgotten. Analogue experiences have boiled down to a minimum during the last years. We are currently in a situation where much of our regular rhythm was interrupted, the everyday was frozen and almost disappeared for a while. It became particularly evident how the environment we are functioning in, what we have or possess, matters. Layers of the past provide a means to describe the world and rethink the evident. Remembering and untangling the past and the local provides a captivating perspective through types of objects, materials, and methods of making.
The Estonian collection, “Revisiting the Past”, is based on tracking the everyday and the conventional, translating observations, reconsiderations, and hints of the past into contemporary design. More than ever, the future is about rethinking the present and the past, of what we have and need. The past is heavily coded in our future.
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