If you haven't yet discovered Objects of Common Interest, a design studio founded by architects (and design wizards) Eleni Petaloti and Leonidas Trampoukis, allow me to introduce you to a world of functional beauty.
Where abstract art meets conventional, everyday items, Objects of Common Interest marries architecture, conceptual design, and material experimentation. Petaloti and Trampoukis' talents are varied, as the two run an architecture firm, LOT, as well as their own interior line. The creative duo commutes between Greece and New York, harnessing inspiration and then translating it into ideas, projects, and tangible designs. They founded Objects of Common interest two years ago, and have been creating modern furnishings and small goods ever since. In their most recent collection, “Relativity of Color,” the team challenges customers to engage with creativity and imagination to arrange their objects — multicolored and made from acrylic and glass— in a unique way. Read ahead to find out more on the objectives of and inspiration behind Petaloti and Trampoukis' creations.
How did Objects of Common Interest come to fruition?
Leonidas Trampoukis: We started experimenting by full-scale modeling some ideas we had for furniture, without any context. We had great feedback and decided to formalize our work. We partnered with design galleries and companies also pursuing more "architectural" but also abstract object installations. We still experiment with our own designs and constantly sketch out and create ideas to materialize in the next opportunity.
From where do you find your design inspiration?
LT: Having an architectural background initiates a unique approach to design. It encourages conceptual or abstract thinking, rather than starting a project with a design brief.
Our background in the arts is a reference, as we have always been drawn to art for inspiration for our architecture work as well.
Lastly, we're inspired by abstract moments of form and beauty that we find in our travels and everyday urban wandering, that we envision in a certain way, transformed into the life of an object.
What’s the most inspiring space you’ve ever seen in person?
LT: We are still, and will always be, amazed by the diverse greek landscape — the contrast of sun, the blue forms of the sea, the rocky rough landscape, the breeze the textures, and peoples' hospitality... It evokes certain feelings that we haven't felt elsewhere.
Was architecture your first passion? What was your passion ignited by?
LT: We started as architects and that is what we consider our practice to be — architects that design objects. we split our work time equally, as the two are of very different in terms of speed and production.
What would be your dream project to work on?
LT: We are eager to create permanent installations with objects. Until now, we have experimented only with temporary projects and still life objects. In architecture, we are getting into more projects for the arts, and we look forward to making larger scale buildings.
What’s your biggest goal with Objects of Common Interest? What do you hope to bring people?
LT: We like to create new things without repeating ourselves. Also, we're working with amazing local craftsmen in Greece and would like to continue to work with and showcase all of the talent there.
What does your mood board, or hypothetical mood board, look like right now?
LT: It's filled with color palettes, various stone materials, felt, and acrylic surfaces.
What does your creative process always start with?
LT: Sketching. A lot of sketching and looking at art references.
If you had to choose, would you consider yourself more of a minimalist or maximalist?
LT: We don't consider ourselves doing minimal work, but rather, making work of certain complexity with simplicity in form.
What’s one thing you know about design now that you wish you knew before?
LT: It is a constant exploration. We would love to know about all of the amazing people who help us fabricate things now. We had to dig in and ask around to find them, because it's impossible to find them online. Their work is handmade and their lives are enveloped in an elaborate design process.