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Primitive Age


28 January 2021

by David Eardley, Editor, Pink Essay

Back to the origins of the world. In the latest fair trade (Paris, London, Miami), the creation is inspired by the first traces of life on earth to take us into a phantasmagorical world where the strange reigns. A « Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea » or Stone Age aesthetic, which recalls the abyss by alternating between honeycombed caves and references to the Ice Age.


At a time when the question of coexistence between the earth and mankind is being raised, it is by starting from the first origins that a radical, even primitive aesthetic is born. Thus, organic forms inspired by strange multi-cellular organisms swarm. The rough and abrupt materials reflect an ancestral and Paleolithic landscape. The return of ceramics in all its forms gives the creations a brutalist aspect. Dive into this abyssal current in images!










Single Person Gallery, Shanghai

Kim Haddou and Florent Dufourcq, « Design Parade Toulon 2018 ».  

Kim Haddou and Florent Dufourcq, « Design Parade Toulon 2018 ».  

The cave, the first refuge of men! Far from any Platonic allegory, troglodytes and their primitive aesthetics are everywhere. Already in 2018, Kim Haddou and Florent Dufourcq presented niches at the « Design Parade Toulon ». In Paris, in trendy restaurants such as Oursin and La Riviera or in Los Angeles in the Sonia Boyajian Jewellery boutique, these honeycomb and rocky decors proliferate, with rough-touch material effects.


Sonia Boyajian Jewellery Shop, Los Angeles

Oursin Restaurant

Valentine Schlegel

Valentine Schlegel

Ceramic furniture, fireplace – library – bed – bench, are at the core of this trend. A pioneer in the genre, Valentine Schlegel has been sculpting fireplaces since the 1960s as landscapes bearing the immemorial memory of the cave. As if carved out of rock, her creations echo the house of César Manrique in Lanzarote. The organic lines of the furniture are continued in ceramic sculptures. Resolutely vegetal inspirations with forms of tubers, buds. Raw and natural.


Buha’i’rest Lounge Bar in Budapest

The legacy of Valentine Schlegel and the ceramists of the 1960s now shapes the habitats. They take on the air of dens: true refuges with clean lines and subdued light. There, the space is built around the rocky reliefs and is punctuated by organic furniture, such as Raphael Navot’s Primordial Library for Roche-Bobois.

Primordial library by Raphael Navot, Roche-Bobois

Guy Bareff

Guy Bareff

Guy Bareff

Alongside the architecture, this primitive memory also sharpens the sculptures, lights and furniture.Guy Bareff and his honeycombed creations are at the forefront of this singular aesthetic.

Yeti lamp – Mirror  » Zephyr  » by Olga Engel

Eny Lee Parker

A new wave of young creators excel in the art of ceramics and the strange with unexpected forms. Among them, Eny Lee Parker and his tortuous tables, stools and lighting fixtures evoking the natural shapes of rock.

Eny Lee Parker

Sigve Knutson

Sigve Knutson

Wang & Söderström

Wang & Söderström

The organic aesthetic is also reflected in the creations of the Wang & Söderström studio, which uses 3D printing to create bulbous and viscous works imitating « life forms designed to survive in underwater conditions that appear when the ocean retreats. »

Glossier Boutique, New York

Mesmerizing Forms From Nature by Turi Heisselberg

Sculpture Stand Up For Yourself by Jaime Angelopoulos

By creating rough and sinuous material effects, designers convey the emotions of oceanic abysses as well as earthly chasms through form and color. The result: stunning creations that are foamy, sprawling and in form of anemones and barks, at the crossroads of the land and the sea.

Reversed Process Furniture » par Philipp Aduatz

Suspension lamp Myx by Jonas Edvard

Well Proven Chair by Marjan Van Aubel & James Shaw

With an even more primitive instinct, some designers combine adaptability and durability to create a connection with the Earth. A rudimentary journey initiated by Jonas Edvard’s living, almost edible suspension made from mushroom fibres. Or Marjan Van Aubel & James Shaw’s chair, which is the result of a chemical reaction between bio-resin and wood waste shavings.

Geomorphology sculpture by Gurli Elbækgaard

Hanging Nesting Box by Pascale Morin – By-Rita

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