The collection of modular and multifunctional furniture is a naturalistic study of the orthoquartzite rock of the Świętokrzyskie Mountains and it refers to pagan rites of the ancient Slavs.
ESW ia a functional piece of furniture that introduces a fragment of natural landscape indoors. Single piece of furniture can serve as a table, a seat, or a storage unit. A set of two or more elements can be combined to compose a cabinet or a room divider.
In the forests of the Swietokrzyskie Mountains, the oldest mountain range in Poland and one of the oldest in Europe, there are still prehistoric stone circles that, according to ancient beliefs, are places of power emanating a unique energy.
The highest summit of the Swietokrzyskie Mountains was once encircled by a massive “Pagan Wall” in the shape of a flattened ellipse, composed of huge quartzite boulders. In the ESW project I have been analyzing the structure of the orthoquartzite rock from the Swietokrzyskie Mountains. I had examined ancient Slavic places of worship seeking traces of spirituality expressed through rites and objects.
The form of the ESW furniture is a naturalistic study of a particular quartzite rock, which I have found in the forest. The aim of the project was to create a functional piece of furniture by introducing indoors a fragment of natural landscape. The idea was based on the assumption that this specific landscape, just like nature in general, can be characterized by the coexistence of order and chaos. Due to its dynamic nature, an irregular block, inspired by the trigonal crystal system, changes completely its visual aspect depending on light and perspective. A single element can represent a table, a seat, or a storage unit; it also allows the user to recline and rest. In addition to that, any set of two or more elements can be combined to compose a cabinet. Thanks to a set of separate elements, it is possible to
do both, systematic and random arrangements, and the aim of the dynamic spatial relations between the elements is to introduce the changeability typical for natural landscapes. The set of all elements constitutes a piece of multifunctional and modular furniture. The Earth Stone Wood comes in two forms and three finishing versions.
In the civilization process a human being has lost the connection with nature. We no longer experience neither its randomness, nor its hidden order and purpose. Although the inhabitants of the Polish countryside still mark the boundaries of their property with stones, they are often unaware of the fact that by doing so they are copying an ancient pagan ritual. The process of industrialization is only a tiny fraction of the human history, yet our bodies have been evolving in constant contact with nature for over millions of years. I strongly believe that the mission of contemporary designers is to create spaces relating to the natural environment and its attributes, such as mystery, hidden order, changeability, sensory richness, and dynamic natural light.
Concept, design and development: Anna Bera studio The Whole Elements
Production: studio The Whole Elements
Photos: Emilia Oksentowicz