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Material Studies: Rugosa

Motivated by the belief that beauty and emotion are inherent in everyday objects, Kalon Studios takes a reverent approach to design. Since its founding in 2007 by Michaele Simmering and Johann Pauwen, the Los Angeles creative firm has realized this ethos by positioning materials at the foreground of what it does — particularly those that are natural and eco-conscious, as well as locally sourced and produced — and fusing traditional American craft techniques with modernist principles and precise technological manufacturing. Material Studies: Rugosa is a stellar example of this concept.

“It’s a smart-looking collection, a nice shiny copy of its predecessor, but better.”
Alex Holloway, AZ Awards 2024 Juror
Material Studies: Rugosa

The first chapter in a series that explores how material choice impacts both an object’s design and the space it occupies, Material Studies: Rugosa reproduces a 2020 interior furniture collection constructed from sustainably harvested western sugar pine into one that embraces the outdoors through the use of powder-coated aluminum. In swapping wood for metal, the outdoor collection — which includes a lounge chair and side, coffee and dining tables topped with bronzed glass — boasts slimmer proportions and a sleeker expression, one that is amplified by slick and glossy colourway options like Oxblood, Lapis and Lime White. It also perfectly balances beauty with utility in bringing the intended spirit of conviviality to outdoor settings. Made locally with the help of small-scale, family-owned manufacturers, Material Studies: Rugosa is robust enough to withstand every weather condition, from arid deserts to sea salt–whipped beaches.

Team: Johann Pauwen and Michaele Simmering, Los Angeles, U.S., Kalon Studios, Los Angeles, U.S.

Winner: Furniture Systems and Collections
Material Studies — Rugosa

Material Studies: Rugosa perfectly balances beauty with utility in bringing the intended spirit of conviviality to outdoor settings.

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2017
Award of MeritFurniture Systems and Collections
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PearsonLloyd, U.K.
Designers
Tom Lloyd and Luke Pearson
2022
People’s ChoiceFurniture Systems and Collections
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Dirk Wynants, Belgium
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2019
People’s ChoiceFurniture Systems and Collections
Design
Iwasaki Design Studio, Japan
Manufacturer
Arper, Italy