One of the greatest pleasures in design rests most innately in the objects we touch and connect with. A tangible series of merging geometric planes and shapes that can trigger memories, stories or even new ideas that we may not be conscious of yet. I had the pleasure of spending an entire week at such a place on my last trip to New York City. Amidst the colourful product catalog that the Big Apple had to offer, I found myself lost in a world of minimalistic masses cured from solid brass, forged from iron and carved from wood.
The owners, fellow Edmontonians Stevenson Aung and Angelique Chmielewski (designers themselves), both moved to New York City to start Nalata Nalata, a store that finds its objects first and foremost from the roots of a “backstory” (one I would like to describe as “an evolving entity”). The store began as an online venue and blog, with Angelique and Stevenson’s yearly trips to Japan, heavily researching and scouting out local factories and design studios. As they both began meticulously curating their brand, the uniqueness of the clientele grew in parallel to the uniqueness of their products.
Every object you hold in your hand comes from the production process of another individual: the errors, attention to detail and, most importantly, the preservation of an ongoing tradition that constantly requires fine-tuning and editing. In an industry where our design tools have become so technologized, I found the unmechanized pattern that seem to echo in all of their products to be richly refreshing. In the root of it all, you bring home something imperfectly perfect. Our everyday tools crafted from people themselves. Now isn’t that something worth preserving?
Check out NalataNalata’s products and backstory at: http://nalatanalata.com/
- Olivia Fung