‘It’s about putting yourself in a different context’ says Michael, who – alongside Chris- ‘knocked up’ the first HOLO prototypes in 2007 while on an artist-in-residence retreat in Dale, on the isolated west coast of Norway.
Fully resolved versions of three furniture concepts were exhibited at the London Design Festival later that year under the name Project HOLO. ‘Mike came up with the name HOLO, referring to the space inside things, or a vessel waiting for ideas,’ says Christopher.
‘We enjoyed exhibiting the work and decided to create another collection the following year.’
To Berlin they went, where five concepts based on local influences were created. ‘In Dale we were isolated,’ Christopher says, recalling the first trip and the ensuing pieces that reflected the Norwegian locale’s peace and tranquillity.
‘Berlin is Berlin; it was hectic and confronting, with layers and layers of history to get lost in.’
Late nights in a concrete deconstructionist hotel room – sketching and modelling ideas – saw the Berlin concepts visualised. ‘The resulting work reflected this architectural and historical layering through both the ‘Berlin Box’ and ‘Strato Tables’,’ adds Michael. ‘Box demonstrated a compartmentalised, geometric logic, whilst Strato explored layers of colour, texture and scale.’
The design practises and processes of HOLO are different from those of most collaborative furniture designers. ‘From each trip comes a physical manifestation of what we’ve seen; the objects, shapes, textures, materials and people we’re drawn to. However, we’re each creating individual pieces, working collaboratively only for feedback and opinion on our designs.’
Michael and Christopher don’t have expectations for HOLO in a commercial capacity, at this stage. ‘It’s a vessel for our ideas, a place to work freely without compromise and to allow chance, place and time to infiltrate the work,’ Christopher explains.
‘The important outcome for us is the ideas that we generate and the people and contacts this allows us to meet and interact with. There is talk of a book, based on the growing collection and certainly more exhibiting. We’re not sure where this year is going to take us but given I live in Norway and Michael now in Australia, there’s plenty of middle ground to consider’.
Read some of the stories and inspiration here: http://www.projectholo.com/inspiration