While isolated within the confines of their home, soft-geometry co-founders Utharaa Zacharias and Palaash Chaudhary wanted to explore the relationship between furniture and people. The idea was born out of the confined feeling the design duo felt when the summer design fairs were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. It began out of playing a game of “what if,” when moving their equipment from the studio to their apartment. Together, they decided during quarantine, “design could foster the need to exchange, share, and create together, despite social distancing.” Participating as both curators and exhibitors, they initiated Imagined, in uncertain times, a virtual exhibition featuring 11 independent design studios, now on view.
While the showcase is entirely digital, the virtual space takes place in an imagined mise en scène. Eleven furniture-like objects are set in a rocky abyss that fades into the reflections of the surrounding body of water. Zacharias and Chaudhary handpicked designers who they admired for their ability to push the boundaries of common forms. “We were looking to our favorite artists who skillfully traverse between real and fantasy,” they said.
The lineup includes a diverse group of studios from around the world: Voukenas Petrides from New York; Ovuud from Philadelphia; Serban Ionescu from Brooklyn; Léa Mestres and Argot Studio from Paris; Laurids Gallée and Supertoys Supertoys from Rotterdam; VIDIVIXI from Mexico City; Yeon JinYoung from Seoul; SPOT Studio from Barcelona; and their own studio from San Jose, California.