IQMatics Brings Old World Delights to the Good Old U.S.A.
When I first saw the name “IQMatics” in this week’s line-up of articles, I assumed I’d be forced, yet again (see KI’s eCoupled Technology), to come to terms with another revolutionary way to power up our wireless world. I was pleased to discover, however, that the moniker refers to neither a team of robots who excel at intelligence tests, nor a line of kitchen appliances that prepare meals at their own behest, but rather a stateside distributor of some of the world’s most lauded furnishings.
Ara Collection. Designed by Jarosław Bełza.
Established some eight years back, the company “specializes in the finest authentic award wining European furniture from Poland, Italy and Germany.” The first of these countries—each of which boast a storied design tradition in their own right—is especially apropos of the Ara Collection of bedroom chests. Designed by award winner Jarosław Bełza for Profap, Ara boasts the clean lines and minimalist aesthetic of signature modernism, while also integrating a certain baroque flair.
In its first incarnation—a simple frame of stainless steel topped with a quartet of cabinets faced in a mélange of inlaid Italian veneer—Ara won the hearts and minds of many, including those of Elle Decoration (1st. prize), Berlin’s Museum of Decorative Arts (featured in 2007), and LA’s Dwell on Design (2009). One can certainly see why. The profusion of tints and textures that emerges from the synthesis of several varieties of wood creates a marked exuberance, albeit, one contained and constrained (in a good way) by the very modern frame. The look affiliates Ara with a handful of past 3rings favorites, including Eric Johnston’s Wall Sculptures and Wis Designs’ Decades, disparate pieces that nevertheless both celebrate the beauty of real wood.
But that’s not all to report on Ara. The IQMatics Collection features the very same chests with different door faces and finishes: there’s the model in bright white with an artful assortment of hand-painted red flowers. This version offers fronts finished in white lacquer gloss and body in white matte. And to further interrupt (also in a good way) the stark linearity of the Ara profile, IQMatics also offers a version with hand-carved flowers set into ebony macassar, a palpably rich-toned wood that imparts exceptional warmth. All three versions are available in multiple sizes: two, three, and four doors, each 33.5″ high and ranging from 71″ to 53″ to 35″ wide.