Renowned Lebanese architect Aline Asmar d’Amman ventures into new but expected territory with the launch of her eponymous furniture line, an haute couture assemblage inspired by Hollywood glamour with a modern spin. Design highlights include Georgia, a nod to famed modernist artist Georgia O’Keeffe’s work, and features an undulating lounge seating composition of three distinctive circular rotating chairs in powder pink mohair, accentuated by multiple braided petals to present a contemporary design. “If architecture was my calling and destiny since childhood, furniture design came later, ignited by a strong love of details, the fascination with superior craftsmanship and my quest for ‘concrete poetry,’” says the Lebanese architect of her latest project. “Working on exceptional building sites with the finest craftsmen in their field, while visiting quarries and workshops where gestures and materials speak in unison about memory and modernity, has been a great privilege, and ultimately, the main inspiration that fueled my desire to create this debut furniture collection.” Revealing a clever play of sliding materials and reflections, the chairs present a luxurious, velvet shine to a varnished metal in a variety of shades. ‘‘I remember being absorbed by the sensory landscapes of Georgia O’Keeffe’s giant, abstract flowers, in the first years of adolescence, coupled with the discovery of sensuality, through the legendary female artist’s lens,” d’Amman says, explaining her inspiration behind the furniture line.
Available exclusively through The Invisible Collection, an online platform that sells exclusive pieces by renowned designers, the collection was presented during Paris Design Week in September, and staged at the esteemed Féau Boiseries. The second showcase takes place at the Invisible Collection’s first showroom in New York in 2023. Among other evocative design pieces, the exhibitions spotlight Smoking, a contemporary set of lighting fixtures, hand-finished and reinterpreted in architectural textures – a juxtaposition of clean, patinated cuts and grafted metals. Combining alabaster, pink onyx, Marquina marble, and Zebrano wood, the lighting collection features a sleek and smooth aesthetic.
D’Amman also reveals the second part of her brutalist furniture line, “The Memory of Stones,” created through upcycling, a method that the architect describes as the driving force behind her architectural practice. Stone Cloud, a series of singular side tables with bold mineral and sculptural forms, brings together rare and forgotten marbles grafted onto Vicenza hard stone – considered for its great resistance as a stone cutting bed. The pieces pay tribute to high craft and salvaged materiality. “Combining contrasting sensations of extreme softness and brutalist tension, these creations attempt to conjure, in their own way, the field of infinite possibilities when in pursuit of beauty,” she says. With two exhibitions soon under her belt, d’Amman adds, “The designs on show seamlessly incorporate all my passions from art to fashion, and the ever-elusive paradox of merging the raw and the precious.”
Originally published in the Fall/Winter 2022 issue of Vogue Living Arabia