Creating a harmonious balance between beauty and sustainability, function and form is the driving creative force behind Form Design Studio. Founded by Emmy-award winning designer Joshua Rose and Chinese medical practitioner Rafael Kalichstein, their work effortlessly combines tastefully curated furnishings, finishes, fabrics and objects from a collectively deep-rooted consciousness.
Recently, the pair unveiled a robust collection with Global Views that translates their rare approach to design in the form of furniture, lighting and accessories. Here, they share more on the inspiration behind the collection and how the pandemic has evolved their mutual perspective.
-I love the texture, touches of tribal and an exploration of modern materials. What was the inspiration behind the collection? (Rafael) The collection was initially inspired by the extraordinary people we met on a sourcing trip to Belgium in 2014. We connected with people who would later become lifelong friends and collaborators while discovering an aesthetic, which was just emerging globally, that is at once uniquely contemporary and sublimely timeless and organic. Belgian design centers on simplicity and mood. Nothing is overwrought and natural elements are key. There is an ever-present restraint. With all of that in mind, we set out to create a collection that recollects these elements through shape, material reference, and craftsmanship. This aesthetic—wabi sabi in the most spectacular of ways—and these friends altered the lens through which we see form and material and the ways in which these elements interact with light. This collection is a celebration of that change in us, a humble attempt at a “thank you” to the dear friends who shared their gifts.
–With so many design styles prevalent across California, where do you feel this collection fits in? (Joshua) One of our favorite musings on design, said by Carlo Mollino, has been a tenet of our practice from our firm’s inception: “Everything is permissible as long as it is fantastic.” Along these lines, we feel that, while the collection has a clear aesthetic origin, there are pieces that could live in almost any space. The visible hand, attention to detail, and restraint give the pieces an artisanal and collected quality that spans across styles.
–What are your two favorite pieces? (Rafael) The collection is broad, making it difficult to pick favorites, but as you have asked, we will oblige: today we would have to say the Camille side table and the Ege table lamp are top of the list. The gainage leather, reeded body and engraved, white-bronze finished top of the Camille are subtle and elegant whereas the hand-scraped, bronze-finished, cast metal, tapered form and pierced diffuser of the Ege offer a sophisticated Brutalist moment.
–Have you gained any unseen inspiration during isolation? (Rafael) Our time in isolation has been very much about turning inward and self reflection. We keep asking ourselves, “What do we want the world to look like ‘after?’” “What is community?” “What are the costs of our choices to the planet and to the global community?” Our design process is alway rife with questions we must answer. This global and humanistic questioning will inevitably inform our work moving forward.
–What is giving you the most hope right now? (Joshua) Our hope comes from the quiet and intimate connections we feel within our community, a depth of thoughtfulness and awareness for and of each other that was difficult to find before. We are so grateful for the hope we feel in the midst of this pandemic. An email we received this morning from a colleague in the Veneto region of Italy, who has become a good friend in the past year, ended with un abbraccio enorme (literally an enormous embrace). It washed us in the warmth of his friendship. That is our hope for the planet, un abbraccio enorme.
Shop select pieces Form Design Studio’s Global Views Collection:
–The Alix Sofa presents a touch of mid-century design with contemporary elements and maximum style.
-One of Form’s favorites, the Camille side table shown in bronze, offers a subtle yet impactful drum table made of ribbed leather.
-Inspired by the works of ceramicist Carl Johan Ege Nielsen, the Ege table lamp is made of cast aluminum.
-Wrapped in hair-on-hide the Gabriel mirror is modern, raw and soft.
-Petite yet powerful, the Grace stool is made of knotted black leather fringe, beaded with bronze discs.
-The Frequency rugs are inspired by traditional Chinese ink.
-Inspired by the whimsical Belgian porcelain artist Roos van de Velde, the Rose letter opener has a polished metal blade and etched marble handle.
–The Thetis trio of vases is inspired by the pottery of Pompei,
Shop the entire collection HERE.