EXPERIMENTAL / EXPERIENTIAL

All design movements have been a reaction or a rejection to the aesthetics—zeitgeist if you will—of a certain time and place that preceded it. Contemporary design, in particular, liberated itself from the constraints of both the modern dogma of machine aesthetic as well as the eclecticism rooted in historical reference. It became a dynamic hybrid of varying design techniques and movements: individual and international, eclectic and expressional. It is at once traditional and modern, sculptural, cultural, traversing the boundaries of time and space.

But like all of reactive movements before it, contemporary design has now become ubiquitous in an oversaturated industry. Nearly every topical design studio has laid claim to the contemporary aesthetic, and in the Internet age of innumerable blogs, the endless flow of social media, and the slew of young millennials giving the middle finger to big business while aspiring to own their own start-ups, it’s too easy to get lost en masse. (Having a decent press page does not a successful business make.)   

Over 30 million results in just as many tenths of a second | www.google.com

Over 30 million results in just as many tenths of a second | www.google.com

While the movement claims to be particular to each designer and perpetually in flux, it cannot go unnoted that contemporary design has a distinct aesthetic of its own. There is an overabundance of clean lines, open spaces, natural light, smooth surfaces, shiny materials, dark woods, light marbles, stream-lined lighting…. There’s a definitive theme to contemporary design that has captured American 21st century culture and aesthetics and Thislexik simply doesn’t feel comfortable conforming to it. 

interiordesign.net

interiordesign.net

elledecor.com

elledecor.com

interiordesign.net

interiordesign.net

interiordesign.net

interiordesign.net

Once a purported "contemporary design studio," Thislexik now maintains its title as an experimental design lab, with an approach to design more akin to science experiments and less like adhering to an instruction book, or popular trends. We ask questions, undertake copious amounts of research, test hypotheses, and analyze the resulting product's function, style, and credibility in the market. We are not afraid of taking risks, or going against the flow. In fact, we embrace it. 

Thislexik started with a simple question: how to re-purpose used clothing in an innovative way. We’ve been expanding our line of products ever since, and hope to continue producing high-quality furniture composed of both extra ordinary and extraordinary materials. Our mission is to scan the environment in search of raw materials and found objects to manipulate, conjoin, and experiment upon, resulting in highly conceptual products that explore the effect of visual data on the user’s experience. Now that we have released our new series of products at ICFF this spring, we hope to take on a new material each month and test its capabilities.

Video still from Martine Landgreve

Video still from Martine Landgreve

Contemporary design is rooted in the moment. As in, this moment. Right now. But it’s not enough anymore to design in the moment. We must design for future moments.

We’re making a definitive break away from the contemporary design principles, shifting toward the experimental. It is defiant, and unapologetically so. Thislexik’s designs explicate the experiential aspect to not only inform, but, dare I say it, confuse. 

“I want people to be shocked. I want them to question how [my products] work, how they’re made,” explains founder and owner of Thislexik, Vedat Ulgen. “I felt like there was something missing in the design world. I wanted to do something different.”

The Woven Cubes fuse an everyday material, strips of natural cloth, with resin, resulting in an illusory cube that appears to magically hold its structure.

The Woven Cubes fuse an everyday material, strips of natural cloth, with resin, resulting in an illusory cube that appears to magically hold its structure.

When a cactus is placed in the Bond Arm Chair's trough, it tests the user's faith in the integrity of the transparent planes bonded seamlessly together.  

When a cactus is placed in the Bond Arm Chair's trough, it tests the user's faith in the integrity of the transparent planes bonded seamlessly together.  

“I like to think there's a certain "wow" factor to my pieces, not only on the way they look, but how they are put together, what materials are used to create something unexpected,” Ulgen adds. “Most of our creations are inspired by products that people are used to seeing and how they are constructed and flipping that concept on it's head. What you see is not what you get.” 

Thislexik’s designs are not necessarily a reaction to the contemporary design movement, but we do strive for a reaction. 

Maggie BuchmannComment