Ligne Roset recently celebrated their collaboration with designer Nathan Yong by hosting an exhibition of his pieces at their store in London’s West End. Ola Bednarczuk caught up with Yong to find out more about his latest designs for the brand.
5 November, 2013
Nathan Yong began working with iconic French furniture brand Ligne Roset five years ago, when they met at a Singapore design show and Ligne Roset selected his stone-shaped Pebble table for production. This initial collaboration – Yong’s first project for a brand outside of Asia – kickstarted his international career and marked the beginning of a close relationship with the French company that continues to grow.
Yong’s newest design for the brand, the Elizabeth sofa, is a high-backed love seat of black stained ash, complemented by cushions and upholstery of contrasting colours and patterns. The idea behind the sofa and its accompanying chair was to create a lightweight furniture piece with a regal appearance, incorporating the comfort of a high back without the ‘chunky’ look that often accompanies such a shape.
“There’s always a kind of transparency in my work; it looks light, not heavy,” Yong explains.
As with much of his work, Elizabeth has a warm, contemporary feel, with a strong focus on natural materials. Yong’s considered design approach and love of natural materials was born early; growing up near Singapore’s East Coast Park, he recalls, he and his brother would pick up discarded objects from the beach and create toys from them with their own hands. Surrounded by wooden huts, ships and big ocean liners “there was always this kind of rawness, brutalism and reality around me,” he says.
The aim of his designs, he says, is not to assert his own particular style, but to create objects that help people and are of use to them. “There’s no point in saying ‘this is me, this is who I am’; that’s just an ego trip,” he explains. “I want to not be wasteful, and [for the design] to help in whatever way it’s used; to be efficient in the way of materials and construction, as well as beautiful and poetic. That’s my aim.”
Next year will see the launch of a new outdoor range by Yong, an extension of the Elizabeth indoor range. He will also explore the material possibilities of Styrofoam with a lightweight, affordable lampshade inspired by the shape of a seashell – perhaps in memory of those early days combing the beach for treasure.
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