Designer Alexander Purcell Rodrigues built a name for himself designing beautiful bespoke furniture that sits at the fascinating intersection between cutting-edge technology and ancient traditional craftsmanship. Now, he’s making his work more widely available with the debut of Atelier Purcell, a luxury furniture and lighting brand.
Emerging technologies like 3D printing and computer-aided parametric design can produce visually stunning results, but sometimes it feels like something’s missing. That ‘something’ is almost always a human touch. When you lose a connection to craftsmanship, you lose a certain soulfulness, too.
Purcell Rodrigues avoids this feeling of emptiness by combining the strength and complexity afforded by technology with the heft and character of much older fabrication techniques, like bronze casting. Unusual and creative, the works offer a refreshing change for those who are tired of seeing the same old midcentury silhouettes rehashed year after year.
He calls his aesthetic “tradition redefined,” offering up the monolithic Seismic cocktail table as a prime example, “the lovechild of antique granite and cutting-edge CNC marble fabrication.”
Other standout designs include the Khepera Bench, which features legs that began as a computer model, “evolved” into physical sample through additive or subtractive manufacturing, and were made into a pattern to create the wax parts for casting. “Then, from the rough ceramic mold, an exquisite object materializes ready for finishing and patina.”
The Phalanx Loveseat and Tray features a soft microfiber cushion tucked into a leather-wrapped frame for both comfort and durability, which reaches around either side to offer two built-in wooden side tables. The result is a sleek silhouette that does away with the need for additional clutter.
The sculptural bronze legs of the Horta Console look like artifacts from Ancient Crete refined for the modern era, stretching up from the ground to support a black marble surface. The striking Bias Hooded Bed includes a multi-dimensional faceted headboard that feels like a protective shelter, and the Wesley Sconce sees a topography of rounded metal plates layered over a light source to intriguing effect.
The designer says he was encouraged to pursue both creative and entrepreneurial skills as a child raised by a graphic designer and a businessman. He says he used to disassemble his toys “to get to the bottom of how things were made, what was inside them, and how they worked. It was about the process of creation, the making.”
Now, with Atelier Purcell, Purcell Rodrigues offers access to his designs to customers in the US and UK via his online store. To see the pieces in person, check out Dennis Miller in New York City, De Sousa Hughes in San Francisco, and Thomas Lavin in Los Angeles and Laguna Beach, California.
“Alexander Purcell Rodrigues Design is an award-winning interdisciplinary design studio based in London and Los Angeles focused on delivering elegant design solutions through a combination of detailed research, a respect for the functional demands of contemporary life, and expertly-sourced materials that combine to interpret and reflect the client’s unique requirements. The studio looks to define a new aesthetic language for the luxury sector.”