Many have remarked that our Branca chair for Mattiazzi is beautiful. They run the palms of their hands along its arms and down its legs, marveling at the seamless wood. Yet this wood, its diameter and form, was appropriated from a broom in our workshop. Do people run their hands down the length of a wooden broom and feel touched by beauty? So we ask: When do we come in contact with this quality, and can objects ever really reach it?

Beauty in products, in our opinion, has to do with the unity of material and function. However, there is a spatial dimension that is also very necessary and rarely ever addressed: The product must be experienced within a context that arouses something in us. This “something” happens when we look beyond the thing itself, beyond its own space, to something much bigger than ourselves, without time. Without space around it, the object becomes flat. Context adds an atmospheric dimension of space and time, while the tension or energy between the product and its context makes our minds and souls struggle just enough to raise questions. This is perhaps as close as we could come to describing beauty.

— Kim Colin, Sam Hecht

Édouard Urcades