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“I started using recycled rubber in 2016 when I launched the brand after discovering it during an architecture project I was working on. I spent, and we still spend, a lot of time playing with the material to see what it’s limitations are –and what other materials it can be paired with. I think the success of the project comes in the unexpected combination of rubber, concrete, and brass in our Rubber CYL side tables. We also create a line of objects using the rubber with brass, ceramic and Marvel” - says Arielle Assouline-Lichten, founder and designer of Slash Objects.
To Arielle, the challenge is to conceal how they function and in that, there’s a sense of mystery that brings the viewer in. For the daybed, she wanted there to be a strong spatial effect of the piece in a space. It was also important to simplify it so that it is as paired down as possible, showing off the purity of the materials at play. “I think a lot about purity in form in order to highlight the materiality. When components are paired down, we are forced to reckon with what is actually at play and consider the way we construct and materials in use” – declares the designer.
She also thinks a lot about the impact production has on the environment and our resources, which is why she wanted to start making products and furniture from recycled rubber. Ultimately, she wanted to elevate the recycled rubber which is why she started designing marble and brass furniture, setting rubber next to marble and brass allows it to be seen in a whole new light. “I want to do that with many sustainable materials in different ways. I think by giving sustainable materials a new face and decontextualizing them can help reframe what sustainable constitutes, and hopefully widen the appeal.”
Her desire to work with recycled materials comes from a desire to address wastefulness in society overall, and a tendency not to think through the lifecycle of the products we use in many facets of our existence. “We tend to create without understanding the ramifications of the processes and materials we extract from the Earth. I think there are a lot of opportunities to use the sustainable materials that are being developed for the building industry and bring them into the realm of product and furniture. I would like to work with various materials in this way to explore the possibilities and give new life to materials made of waste.”
“What is your biggest source of inspiration?” – Luxiders asks. “I am really inspired by materials in and of themselves and how they can be formed to create spatial effects. I rely on processed to manipulate the materials into alternate existences where they exude an otherness to themselves, a perfectly cube piece of stone, a rubber and cast concrete side table, these are not traditionally the way we experience those materials and I find that in creating new spaces for materials to exist a sense of intrigue is created.
Currently, Slash Objetcs is in the research and development phase of working with new materials which the company hopes to apply the same out of the box thinking to see what they can become. Arielle thinks in extracting a material from its typical application. “We can see which its strengths and weaknesses are and come up with new ways of functionality to take place. We have spoken with many companies that have waste from their process and are seeing that there are efforts to put that waste to new use! It is a very exciting time in that regard. Our commitment to sustainability comes in the form of a typical thinking that helps evolve the ethos from one that alienated certain clientele to one where the choice to be more conscientious does not affect the quality or aesthetics.”