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Anna Karlin Subverts Domestic Familiarity in New Furniture

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Anna Karlin is a self-taught designer with a widespread career touching on areas like fashion shows, set and interior design, art direction, furniture design, and, most recently, jewelry. In April during Salone del Mobile, Karlin launched a series of designs from her Furniture + Fine Objects line, making their debut at Galleria Rossana Orlandi in Milan.

“I’ve always worked across all the disciplines,” said the London-born designer. “I started mainly with set design, but also branding and graphics; a lot of events; all of that. Then, I decided from there, I wanted to create permanent works. That’s why the furniture was launched, and later the fine jewelry.”

Karlin’s latest designs are part of her “Subverting Domestic Familiarity” collection, a series of furniture and lighting pieces that investigate the relationship between man-made object and natural forms. Inspired by humankind’s need for familiarity, Karlin described the collection as a “visual interpretation of the emotional paradigms that exist in our everyday lives.”

The designer also explained that, instead of seeking to narrate a story, her underlying motivation is to provoke emotional reactions from those who interact with the collection. “I think if you can use essentially an inanimate object and get an emotional response from someone, then you’re doing your job and doing it well,” she said.

The collection features pieces like the Dimple Lamp, a combination of organic and geometric shapes that emits a warm glow from an abstracted orb; the Form, which is part sculpture, part lamp; and an intriguing chaise lounge constructed of cushioned cylinders that rest on a large brass globe. Other items include the W chairs in black or maple, and a set of brass Chess stools, reminiscent of the playing pieces used in the game.

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