Collaborative Exhibit Plays with the Versatility of Laminate as a Modern Design Cornerstone
Canadian laminate producer Arborite has teamed with the design duo behind LA-based Ouli to create a standout exhibit for Sight Unseen OFFSITE’s 2016 edition. For this play on a dining set composed of table, bench, and chairs, designer Brooke Intrachat focused on the idea of reinvention, asking the question does progress exist within aesthetics? Using a versatile product like laminate, the Ouli designers have created thought-provoking pieces that turn design standards on their heads.
The exhibit consists of a table, bench, and chair, as well as a sculptural “H” in homage to Guy de Cointet’s preparation stool. The use of laminate as surface “upholstery” allows each piece to take on its own character and personality based on the colors and finishes selected. The bench features multi-colored sides, showcasing Arborite’s bolder selection of laminate colors, and a whimsical curved back reminiscent of Matisse’s “Oasis” cutouts. The minimal chair features a crisp white and wood color palette with a back composed of two rods. The table is also a standout piece, with half the legs featuring a traditional composition and the other two undulating as one piece connecting across the underside.
Arborite President Salvatore Rivera notes, “Laminate is a supremely versatile material, and Ouli is a boundary-pushing studio with impressive product design experience. Their creative use of laminate will cast the material in a new light for many viewers. Such a thoughtful commentary on design is the perfect addition to Sight Unseen OFFSITE, a show known for its provocative and enlightening exhibitions.”
“Being informed and influenced by what has come before in design is inevitable,” adds Studio Ouli designer Brooke Intrachat. “Laminate feels new again. Greenguard and LEED certified, durable, and most importantly, fun, Arborite’s laminates were the obvious choice. My hope is that its use in the collection develops subtle new associations for those who interact with the pieces.”
She continues, “The collection as a whole is inspired by the idea of contradictions. It is satisfying visually, yet challenging physically. We think these contradictions bring the viewer back to the idea of how progress exists within the aesthetics of design...how does the form determine the position of each element as a whole?”
Featured laminates include:
Iris: A bold take on an inky blue, Iris provides a pop of color when used on the bench.
Inukshuk Carbon: This subtly speckled grey mimics a rock plucked from nature, and provides a natural look on the chair.
Elegant White: True to its name, Elegant White lends a classic backdrop to both the bench, chair, and table side.
Ivory: A modern take on neutrals, Ivory’s use next to other colors and neutrals adds a surprising contrast to the pieces including the bench, chair, and tabletop.
Black Stone: Black Stone gives the look of a composite stone, and is applied to the miniature stool in this collection.
Smoked Speckled Maple: An unexpected play on wood, this laminate reinterprets a wood grain in a deep gray color and is used on the Guy de Cointet H.
Midnight Blue: Ouli uses Midnight Blue, a rich navy laminate look, as an accent color on two sides of the table, as well as the bottom of the bench.
Daffodil: This playful gold hue enhances the whimsical playfulness of the bench as the leading color on one of its sides.
Following the exhibition, all of the pieces will be on sale through Ouli Studio.
With over 60 years of experience in decorative high-pressure laminate manufacturing, Montreal-based Arborite delivers inspired contemporary surfacing solutions. The company excels in supplying designers, architects, and specifiers with the perfect laminate for any space, allowing them to choose from a range of premium textures and over 200 colors. All Arborite laminates are GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified, and over 50% of their product offering is certified by the FSC.
Ouli is a design studio based in Los Angeles, California. They work with interior/exterior spaces, physical, and non-physical design.