Interview with Study O Portable

Study O Portable discuss their work with MOST's Liz Cowley. You can see the pieces selected for the Museum in the No. 12 Breakfast Parlour as part of the current pop-up gallery 'Studies for My Mind', during the London Design Festival. They are on display until the 21st of September.

Three pencils by Study O Portable designers







Does the Bowl/Vase have a name or specific purpose? Is it part of a series?

The bowl is a part of Fuzz series, which is made by applying layers of ceramic resin onto a rotating form, in the case of the bowl you have, a sphere, much like how the German Baumkuchen (Tree Cake) are made

Why did you choose the 2 pieces of work for this exhibition in particular?

We chose the pencils because it partly concerns the effect of nature on manmade landscape. We have been fascinated by the drawings Joseph Gandy made for John Soane, especially the one of the Bank of England building in ruins.  The pencils are about the arboretum in Stoke Newington (founded 10 years after Gandy completed the drawing), which started out as an ordered arrangement of trees by man but has been altered and rearranged by nature over time.  These two events have a sort of romanticism in common, and the fact that trees has been widely used as a tool to write and draw, helping us form ideas and to communicate them is quite interesting in the context of both John Soane and design in general.

The bowl, and how it's made, initially came about as an attempt to visualise how an idea or thought evolves. Starting from something pure and simple (sphere), but turning into something else as it spreads its reach (wobbly but bigger exterior).  This, and the fact that it tied in with the pencils through the wood reference made our decision.

How does your studio and collaboration work?

We work collaboratively in different ways depending on the project, so it's difficult to say, but we generally start with an idea, or an interest, and research the subject to find often overseen or forgotten aspect of design (in the broadest sense of the word).  These research inform how the outcome would look, so we often end up with quite different types of objects.

Do you have any other exhibitions coming up?

We currently have two group shows open in London - Blanks in Between and Loose Thread

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