When designers translate music or fragrance into physical forms, the results are magical.
The unseen worlds of sound and smell have long inspired writers to capture the essence of the indescribable, but the challenge of translating these intangibles into physical form can prove just as irresistible to design creatives. For Juliette Mutzke-Felippelli and Diogo Felippelli – founders of Los Angeles design studio Joogii – inspiration arrived in the form of experimental French house music, and Daft Punk’s album Alive 1997 in particular. Intrigued by 3M’s Dichroic film (a decorative finish with iridescent hues), the pair developed the ethereal French Touch collection, beginning with a chair, and later adding tables, vases and jewellery.
“We wanted to create an object that could transport viewers to a specific time and place,” says Mutzke-Felippelli. That time and place was the 1990s, when artists were using disco loops and heavy filters to create a new musical genre. “There was a lot of layering of samples then,” says Felippelli, and the similar layered quality of the dichroic film guided the acrylic chair’s design. The duo, who met in Brazil and deejayed together for eight years, even created a mixtape so that people could experience the collection on a different sensory level. “We want our designs to have the same effect as music – one that taps into a collective consciousness to create a shared experience.”
Across the Atlantic, artist-designer Zuza Mengham was commissioned by London’s Laboratory Perfumes to create sculptures representing its five unisex scents – Amber, Gorse, Samphire, Tonka and Atlas – for an exhibition at the Conran Shop during the London Design Festival. “I basically had a big smelling session,” says Mengham, who isolated herself to smell each fragrance, taking notes that informed the mood boards she later created.
At her South London studio, Mengham used resin to create a series of strikingly colourful faceted sculptures – one to represent each scent. Gorse, for instance, she noted as having a milky and gently coconutty smell, and the final work features a marbling of creamy pink and pastel yellow hues. “Using resin was perfect for this,” says Mengham. “It captured the movement of the scents.” joogiidesign.com, zuzamengham.com