Studio Swine is known for employing unconventional mediums, such as long flowing tresses in their ‘hair highway’ project, to create distinctive, functional design pieces. In continuing their exploration of alternative mediums, they have developed a set of cabinets which are made from foamed aluminum — ultimately a composition of gas-injected pores — a lightweight material that has the appearance of pumice; and which is typically used in the automotive industry behind walls and car bonnets to enhance structural properties.
A project commissioned by pearl lam galleries, ‘metallic geology’ is a collection of small, sculptural storage units that draw their rocky forms from the customs of Chinese landscape painting which often displays expressive depictions of China’s mountainous terrain — bringing the rugged environment indoors, drawing striking contrasts with the power of nature, and the still sanctuary of interiors. Here, studio swine have taken what is typically considered an industrial product and highlighted its intricate beauty.
The boulders reference traditional tea cabinets, with highly polished stainless steel shelving integrated into their cavernous depths, synthesizing ancient Chinese practices with the south-east Asian country’s contemporary industrial production.