New York City-based design studio PELLE creates objects and design for the modern age. Merging architectural practice and pristine craftwork, founders Jean and Oliver Pelle imbue their collections with a keen aesthetic and studied attention to functionality. Their pieces are to be lived with, handled, worn, and enjoyed. At the heart of PELLE’s work is a fusing of primary elements with modern form – geologic lines repurposed, blown glass and coiled leather forged to light contemporary spaces. We first discovered the work of Jean and Oliver when their – now famous – Soap Stones were first released after they had created them as a submission to the NYC destination exhibit for MoMA. The appealing form and feel of the Stones show their fine feeling for aesthetics, but when looking beyond it one sees a diversity in PELLE’s creations, offering way more than the sharp lines of the soap objects – PELLE’s catalogue is both elegant and playful, two elements which the two designers have merged masterfully.
Jean in an interview with Alldayeveryday:
It just starts off with a spark of an idea and then in order to pursue it and to explore it we have to physically make the thing. I think that’s how all of our products start out as, they come out as concepts and ideas and we would like to explore in. Once we get to that point we actually need the physical space to turn it into a production line.
Jean Pelle began her own design studio in 2008 with a line of decorative wood candle holders that were quickly picked up by design shops across the country. She followed up with another series called the Assemblage Works, personal objects and smaller furniture that were built from parts that she had been collecting for years, as well as parts that she had found. In November 2008, Jean authored a do-it-yourself project called the Bubble Chandelier for Readymade Magazine. Since its publication, the light fixture project gained much traction on the blog circuit and suddenly became a product in popular demand by those who wanted finished versions. By 2011, Jean and PELLE’s co-founder Oliver Pelle, developed an entire series of re-engineered Bubble Chandeliers that range in size, shape and finish. Jean’s early work has gained significant recognition and has been included in the publication of several notable design books and periodicals, nationally and internationally.
For us, our ideas always tie into our personal interests at the time. It has something to do with formal exploration and our architectural thinking or training kind of flows into that a little bit. We explore certain ways of how to put things together. Sometimes we focus more on furniture pieces and now we’re focusing back on some of the lighting pieces so it meanders a little bit, but the core of the work is always very personal and it always very often stems from our own needs.
Prior to forming PELLE, Oliver Pelle was an Associate at Robert A.M. Stern Architects in New York City. During his seven years at the firm, he was the Project Architect for large-scale institutional and academic projects, such as the Harvard Law School in Cambridge and the Lebow College of Business in Philadelphia. He was also lead designer for several large mixed-use developments and urban master plans, both in the US and abroad. Oliver has an extensive architecture background and has worked at the offices of Mario Botta in Switzerland, John Ronan Architects in Chicago, Richardson Sadeki and Andrew Pollock Architects in New York City.
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