Arik Levy & the Split collection

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“The world is about people, not objects,” says award-winning designer Arik Levy. With an eye for the unconventional, his furniture has always been beautiful but functional, and his latest collection no different. Called Split, the collection is a combination of old techniques and new technologies, and James Richardson Furniture is excited to be the exclusive Australian distributor.Born in Tel-Aviv, Levy moved to Europe to study in Switzerland, where he graduated from the Art Center Europe in 1991. After this, Levy won the Seiko Epson prize and spent time in Japan contributing to Seiko Epson projects before returning to Europe. After teaching in Paris and producing stage sets for the Grand Théâtre de Genève, the Finnish National Ballet, and the Batsheva Dance Company in Israel, Levy founded his successful Parisian studio, L design.With a multi-displinary approach, Levy has established his presence in both art and industrial design. While he has worked on products and stage design, he is best known for lighting and furniture. Prestigious museums like the MOMA (New York) and the Centre Pompidou (Paris) display Levy’s work, and he’s been involved in projects like furnishing Cartier’s Parisian headquarters. Other notable clients include Adidas, Hennessy, Swarovski and LG Electronics.

Levy’s inspiration for Split was to take the techniques of the past and modernise them. The name of the collection comes from ‘splitting’ a piece of wood in two and bending each part in a different direction to make sculptured chairs, barstools, armchairs and lounge armchairs. The act of bending forms the design, but also the functional seat needed for chairs and other seating furniture.

This manual bending technique is 150 years old and requires in-depth knowledge of woodcraft. Creating the Split collection has been a labour of love, as learning how to correctly bend wood for a new design can take more than six months to learn. Each Split piece combines fluid design, functionality and thoughtful ergonomics. As with all quality furniture, durability is a must and every design has been put through a series of heavy load tests.

Once he was assured of the functionality, Levy concentrated on the visual aspects of the collection. To highlight form on every non-material surface, he used a gradient technique. This involves layering paint to showcase the thickness of the wood or the curve of the wood as it ‘splits.’

The dedication to every detail in this collection meant two years between initial sketch to finished product, and with a design story like this, furniture from the Split collection will surely add class to any space.

View the entire collection online at JR Furniture.

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