Known for incorporating recycled materials into her sleek objects and furniture, and for launching the New York-based Slash Objects, Arielle Assouline-Lichten is this year’s recipient of WantedDesign’s American Design Honors, the fair’s annual recognition of emerging designers who have developed inventive catalogs and progressive business models. The designer also recently unveiled a new daybed for her Coexist Collection, which explores how different materials interact and emphasizes some very clever balancing elements. It will be on display at WantedDesign Manhattan, which runs from May 18 to 21.
“Arielle is a brilliant and creative young woman, capable of envisioning original products and spaces, with a particularly great attention to details and without compromises,” say WantedDesign cofounders Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat in a release. Attention was also paid to Arielle’s focus on ethical, green design practices. “[Her] creative use of materials, like recycled rubber, and appreciation for sustainability make her work not only interesting but original. It’s no surprise Arielle has earned such recognition,” says Jerry Helling, president and creative director of Bernhardt Design, which co-presented the honor.
Arielle’s aforementioned Coexist daybed/chaise lounge places a black steel frame between two supporting cubes—one brass, one black-stone marble. The most dramatic feature is how the brass cube is positioned: tilted on end, but still keeping the bed suspended thanks to precision balance. (No hardware is used.) It furthers the Coexist line, which similarly plays with balance and suspension. The collection’s coffee table pulls off a similar trick with its leg placement, and the side table cantilevers one cube above another, jutting out while still keeping balance. The collection took top prize at last year’s NYC X Design.
Arielle acknowledges the playful streak that underpins her high-design aesthetic. “As an architect by training, I think about the impact any piece will have on the space around it and am driven to create a sense of delight from the unexpected,” she says. “Slash is rooted in the multifarious. As designers in today’s world, we can work at many scales and mediums, unbound by a single discipline. We aim to use thoughtful design to create innovative work that embodies a sense of curiosity and consideration for the world we live in.’’
Arielle also designs and sells coasters, mouse pads, office essentials, placemats, tableware, and other products—all of which utilize recycled rubber—through her Slash Objects studio and online store. Her coasters were included in the New York Times’ 2018 Holiday Gift Guide.
You might also recognize Arielle from the campaign she co-led to petition the Pritzker Architecture Prize Committee to recognize Denise Scott Brown for her work in Robert Venturi’s 1991 prize.