Setting out to design a piece which was at once functional and challenging, Sheffield Hallam graduate Beatrix Bray created this low table from American walnut, topped with a system of reconfigurable, hand-carved sycamore tiles.
“Fluctaure’s design – and my major project – were influenced by personal observations of a societal discontentment, a disconnectedness between people and their physical surroundings,” says Beatrix.
“In many cases, standardisation has morphed into a stagnation of form, leaving little-to-no leeway for individual interpretation over an object’s meaning or use.
“The concept behind this table seeks to question the predefined, easy-to-use qualities of modern products, by providing a functional, decorative surface that is both mentally and sensually intriguing.
“As humans, we become so emotionally invested in our belongings, and I believe their ability to evolve alongside the user is key in establishing lasting, sustainable and continuously joyous material relationships. The retention of this emotional value in turn counteracts the disposability of an item – preserving resources – whilst simultaneously enriching the lives of those they surround.”
Last summer, Beatrix graduated with an Exceptional First in Furniture Design at Sheffield Hallam’s Institute of Arts.
She was awarded the Consistent Academic Achievement accolade by the Chartered Society of Designers last June, and won Best in Show at Sheffield Hallam’s 2018 degree show in the same month. She was the runner-up in the John Lewis Loves category at New Designers 2018, and, in October, won first prize in the Bespoke category at the Young Furniture Makers exhibition, organised by The Furniture Makers’ Company. She also exhibited at last year’s Milan’s SaloneSatellite with five fellow students (where she exhibited her Suku range of turned cork vessels), and at London Design Festival, as part of Mint Shop’s 20-year anniversary exhibition, Trans-Form – with whom Fluctuare remains on show.
“Harmony is the result which I seek within my work," she concludes. "My designs look for balance – not only between a piece’s form, function and materiality, but also its place within human lives, spaces and the wider ecological systems of which we are all party to and responsible for.”