There’s a certain amount of mutually beneficial cachet inherent in collaborations between "name" designers and brands: The latter’s resources can facilitate the former to push their creative limits, resulting in, ideally, a truly exciting new addition to the existing collection. And, of course, the savvy consumer’s attention is often piqued in anticipation of the next big thing by a pair they know and trust.
Many companies, however, have also begun going back to school, searching for students and recent graduates with portfolios—and big ideas—worthy of developing and being put into production. Écal/University of Art and Design Lausanne, in particular, has made an incredible showing of late; last year, Alessi introduced an entire series of office items featuring work from industrial-design sophomores at the prestigious institution. Fierzo, a smart and simple desk organizer by Julie Richoz, was a standout, and the talented young gal has recently teamed up with Artecnica to introduce Thalie, a series of elegant metal containers.
"We had seen Julie’s work and were very impressed with her brilliant mind," Artecnica’s artistic director Tahmineh Javanbakht tells Co.Design. Richoz’s concept, which has been applied to both small and large bowls and a dish, transforms stainless steel into something more closely resembling a textile: Incredibly thin strips are sliced from a single sheet, then folded up, wound together, and secured with a delicate wire. It’s not surprising that she was inspired by crochet and knitting, but the incredible technical precision required to actually manufacture Thalie makes for a nice contrast from those more traditional handicrafts.
It’s a strong addition to Artecnica’s growing collection—not far in spirit from Tord Boontje’s lightweight floral motifs, and an interesting companion piece to Paula Arntzen’s similarly stripped La Couronne chandelier.
It sounds like Richoz is currently keeping plenty busy post-graduation with a residency at , projects with CIRVA/International Center for Research on glass and arts, and, undoubtedly, more big things to come.