You know you’ve truly entered a futuristic age when the “virtual” or “conceptual” begins to seem as real as the “actual.” And perhaps this is just a natural outgrowth of the internet environs, but I’m seeing an increasing number of 3-D, computer modeled pieces lately that merit mention, if only because I’d love to see them come into living fruition. It could be that the ascendance of the “rendering” is just a clever marketing technique by designers looking to hook up with manufacturers, like Russia’s Milla Rezanova and her La Roche Concept Chair. If so, I say more power to her.
La Roche Concept Chair. Designed by Milla Rezanova.
Rezanova would seem to have an international eye and a domestic heart. She was educated in the U.K. before returning to the Moscow School of Design and founding her own studio in 2005. She desires markets for work not only in Russia but also abroad, anywhere they appreciate “innovative experiments that create the space where objects, light, color, and architecture exist in organic connection with a human being.” While I can certainly affirm that the La Roche would have such happy co-habitation with light, color, and architecture, I’m less sure about the fourth entity, such is the piece’s degree of high drama and ostentation. It definitely has an archaic Bohemian quality—its elongated and angular silhouette reminds me of the high-necked woolen cloaks of 19th century Austro-Hungarian aristocrats. In this way, it’s similar to recent work by Patricia Urquiola (Bohemian Collection) and countryman Dima Loginoff (Vassili). It also owes a nod to the classic Panton Chair.
But the true test for this hoped-for transformation from auspicious fiction into fact is the all–too pragmatic probability quotient: That is, how difficult will it be to manufacture? How broad is the audience? Does it have the necessary aesthetic allure to distinguish it from other pieces? Only time will tell, of course, but I like its chances. The piece has a striking aesthetic befitting its imaginary quality—it certainly deserves to come down (or up) to earth from the land of make believe. Its just familiar enough to predict future success and just strange enough to make it worth the risk.