"VAL is an Award Winning London based design studio created by independent designer Valentina Gonzalez Wohlers in April 2009, specializing in furniture and accessories for the high-end market. Trained as an industrial designer and with 10 years of consistent work experience designing, making and selling furniture.The concepts behind VAL furniture are functionality, aesthetics and surprise factor.
Valentinaʼs design fuses conceptual thinking, artistic approach and usability. What is unique about her work, is its originality, boldness, narrative and outstanding quality. Valentina offers furniture and accessories created in the line of emotional design: pieces made to last, to grow older with their owners, becoming into much more than just a material possession to them. The designs are not based in disposable transit trends. This particular take in furniture and accessories invites the user to interact with it, to play, to question, to surprise, to enjoy.”
THE PRICKLY PAIR CHAIRS
Material | mix media
Dimensions | variable
The Prickly Pair Chairs is a furniture project born out of the creative experience of a Mexican designer in Europe.
The chairs juxtapose Mexican and European aesthetic values, incorporating the formal design elements and quirks of both to create a cultural blend. They are frivolous and humorous yet simultaneously encourage reflection and acceptance. Shapes, materials, colours, textures and finishes collide in irreverent and playful harmony; the Prickly pair chairs are a statement against prejudice and preconceptions.
The classical French oval chair originated in the Rococo period during the reign of Louis XV and has since been adopted throughout central Europe. Although now completely familiar, its form was radical at the time — considered over-decorated nonsense which dispensed with rectilinear styles in favour of more light-hearted asymmetric forms. Rococo’s naturalistic and exuberant ornamentation mixed natural and artificial forms of all kinds, from plant motifs to representations of the grotesque.
The Nopal cactus symbolizes Mexican heritage and national pride. According to legend, the Gods told the Aztecs to build Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City) in the place they saw an eagle standing on a Nopal, devouring a snake. To this day, the image resides on the National Shield.
While Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns may immediately convey ‘Mexican-ness’ to European audiences (even though they were filmed in Spain and Italy), it is the sight of cactus and Nopales that brings meaning to Mexican daily life and form the most beloved symbols of the country’s culture.
The blend of these two iconographic elements was achieved in this ‘matching’ pair of chairs. ‘Prickly Pair Chairs’ respects the original chair but concludes that its new, hybrid form synthesizes the ‘best of both worlds’; it evokes nostalgia for what was left behind and helps facilitate a sense of belonging in a new environment by fusing two powerful cultural symbols.
THE GHOST OF A CHAIR
Material | 4mm polyester sheets
Technique | hand made
Special Features | each chair is a one-off.
These fabulous Ghost Chairs are a limited edition of 99 pieces of each style, are made upon request, and can be customized in any colour.
The Ghost of a Chair is a sculptural free-form furniture piece, handmade out of a single transparent polyester sheet. Each chair is unique due to its unconventional manufacturing process, using a combination of high-end technology and craft, in a labour of love. Volatile and unpredictable, each Ghost chair is a One-off.
The Ghost of a Chair embodies signature aesthetics with its originality and functionality in a statement furniture piece. Its transparency enables the chair to exist in any environment. The material itself is a light conductor and can easily function as an outdoor fixture; its versatility goes as far as your imagination can take you.
The Ghost of a Chair is presented as a Lady version — without armrest — and Gentleman style — arm chair. Both with a weight allowance up to 150 kg.
The Blooming Branches Collection: Lamps & Ceramics
Material | stoneware ceramics, wood, electrical fittings, fabrics
Dimensions | variable
A creative crossover design project where [English] nature meets [Mexican] traditional craft resulting in a beautiful and poetic collection of lamps and sculptural ceramic pieces.
Each ceramic piece has been individually casted, fired and glazed. From classy monochrome and colourful pop to sexy metallic’s. The lamp-stands are made out of solid wood, bee waxed or lacquered finish. The lampshades are presented in a great variety of shapes and lushly fabrics. A lighting collecting that respond to the delights of designart enthusiast and where form follows fiction.
Breaking the mould.
Following traditional casting techniques, each mould has a lifespan of approximate 100 units. Based on this and due the labour of love that each piece require in the making, The Blooming Branches collection belongs to a limited edition of 70 pieces of each style.
visit Val’s site for more…