after nearly two years of experiments, design and art duo batten and kamp has launched the ‘shelter to ground’ series including sculptural chairs, tables, lights and mirrors that express a simple harmony between natural and human-made materials. born from a desire to find calm in the contrasts of hong kong – a city defined by a tense coexistence of metropolis and jungle, the designers have created a raw and elegant furniture collection.
steel and stone chair of the ‘shelter to ground’ collection all images courtesy of batten and kamp
the pieces designed by batten and kamp are shaped by carefully juxtaposing found boulders and stones with glass panels and simple bent sheet metal components. both physically and metaphorically, the untouched stones ground the pieces, serving as anchors for the metal and glass components that form seats, surfaces and lights. the process for creating the furniture is deliberately laborious and manual. to complete each item, the couple first find a boulder in nature, after which they determine the specific dimensions of the corresponding metal and glass pieces, in order for the fabricated components to be in proportional harmony with the natural component. this process means that every chair, light or table is different from the last.
pieces in the collection attempt to find harmony at the intersection of natural and man-made materials in hong kong
the designers see this as a sort of collaboration with chance – they set the parameters by deciding the general intention of the piece and let nature dictate the final specific proportions. rather than predetermining form and forcing nature to bend to their will, they find the natural material first and respond to it as gently as possible. ‘it’s a particular kind of minimalism – minimal interference with the existing, rather than minimal visual complexity‘ the duo shares ‘we simply want to highlight the beauty that is already there‘. these are pieces of furniture, to be used, but their primary function is as tools for contemplation. like scholar’s rocks, or work by lee ufan, they are intended to help people think or feel more deeply about relationships – to nature, between different materials, places, landscapes, ideas.
‘anchoring transience’ – an object for flower arrangement
stones found on hong kong island are responded to with sheet metal fabricated on the industrial streets of kowloon
table and floor lights balance similar volumes in opposing materials
steel and stone console tables are made to order with dimensions defined both by buyers preference and the shapes of found stones
‘odd balance’ – an earlier peace that sparked further development of the collection
the angles and dimensions of each chair are individually defined to harmonise with the shapes of a particular found boulder
the ‘shelter to ground’ collection evolved out of a number of experimental furniture and interior exhibitions created by daniel kamp during 2019 in hong kong
steel and stone floor light in batten and kamp’s hong kong studio – a converted factory building between the jungle and the sea
‘shelter to ground’ by batten and kamp includes sculptural chairs, tables, lights and mirrors