BKLYN DESIGNS ‘09 Exclusive Video Preview: I Make Studio’s Octavo

When architect Nandinee Phookan got tired of the horridly simple conference table at her architecture and design firm—what she described as “basically a door with four legs”—she decided to start a subsidiary company, I Make Studio, to create furniture appropriate for the architectural spaces she designed—something she had already been doing as part of Nandinee Phookan Architects.

Octavo. Designed by architect Nandinee Phookan of I Make Studio.

But with the advent of Octavo, I Make Studio is official, its own special entity created specifically to design and manufacture furniture, thereby complementing the designs of Phookan’s firm. I Make Studio intends to “create bridges to understanding design and aesthetic production in diverse communities”—and Octavo is the embodiment of that philosophy. A modular table based on the geometry of the triangle, Octavo shifts to accommodate the user’s desires. Pieces can be grouped together into formal tables (i.e. rectangular) or moved into playful, organic shapes, S-curves for example. They can also form a neat circular table for more intimate meetings—or in residential projects, for dining. Octavo’s basic unit is a triangular top with two slanted bases (would-be triangles with a flat bottom edge), which leaves lots of open space and leg room.

The overall effect is fluid and dynamic, something that Nandinee Phookan Architects has achieved in the past by using furniture to define space. A residential project at 721 5th Avenue employs a screen wall/storage unit of varied squares that separates the foyer from the living area. With open shelving in rectangular shapes, the “wall” allowed for framed views of New York. Octavo similarly uses geometric precision to alter interior space.





Octavo will be unveiled at BKLYN Designs ’09, a local design fair in its 7th year that has begun garnering serious attention from the international design world. As of this moment, the modular furniture has not even been featured on either the Nandinee Phookan Architects or I Make Studio websites. While I Make Studio was waiting for their design patent, Octavo was lingering in design limbo—that was, until now. Watch the 3rings video to see Octavo in motion. The triangle is an excellent basic unit, as it combines to make shapes of all kinds. Octavo is a particularly great product for architecture firms, where everyone can put their mathematical skills to work, molding Octavo to suit their moods.

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