A chair is not just a chair, a cabinet not just a place to hold objects, but a mind-bending experimental piece of art in the hands of Dubai-based designer Aljoud Lootah. She created The “Oru Series” of geometric furniture and decorative objects with dramatic, sharp angles for Design Days Dubai 2015 and has caused a stir. Her pieces look like they would easily fold, origami-like, but ha! That’s just an illusion. But they are indeed inspired by the ancient Japanese art. The term “oru” refers to the Japanese for “to fold.” Thus the idea behind the designs is “to show that folding a flat, 2-dimensional sheet can create aesthetically appealing functional 3-dimensional forms,” according to the artist’s website.
The small collection features a chair, lamp, cabinet and mirror, all looking super complex at first glance but hiding an ingenious simplicity, made of teak, felt and copper. Lootah’s experimental approach to product design is informed by folds, geometric shapes and patterns to create detailed, aesthetically pleasing objects. “I try to look at traditional crafts with fresh eyes and challenge myself to incorporate their intricate details and manufacturing techniques into my work in a modern way,” she told Another magazine.
We’d love to test drive the chair for comfort, although it would be a stunning and iconic decorative item either way. The cabinet looks beautifully practical and versatile. Form indeed marries function in this piece. In all, there’s a chic femininity coupled with a timeless, angular neutrality, due to the pink glow of copper and delicate color of the felt for the chair.
Lootah graduated from Dubai Women’s College in 2008 with a Major in Graphic Design. Let’s keep an eye out for her next foray into furniture. More at aljoudlootah.com.