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Designer Spotlight: Project Import Export

Created by an architect turned furniture designer, Project Import Export (or PIE) was founded by Bannavis Andrew Sribyatta, who wanted to explore the ultimate concept of “living space” in relation to the complexity of nature. Using many quickly renewable materials like water hyacinth, liana, bamboo and rattan, PIE takes several design cues from nature (sort of an artful form of biomimicry [www.sundance.tv]) and uses the materials’ physical properties to his advantage.

PIE’s design philosophy is to make furniture an art form; the collections’ curvaceous profiles and rich textures generate warmth and sensuality. Take the two pieces pictured above, for example; “alpha” (left) takes its obvious inspiration from the alphabet, but combines it with an Asian-inspired minimalism that feels right at home in the contemporary world. “Easy lounge”, on the other hand, tends more toward smooth lines, making it more comfortable before you ever even sit down in it. Both designs are made from bamboo [www.sundance.tv].

“Stomach” (pictured above) also has a pretty obvious design inspiration, but what we like best about this one is that the design itself doesn’t belie the materials. Made from rattan — a material usually reserved for frumpy patio furniture and the like — you’d never guess that these chairs used to be long, sinewy reeds. The material is updated and given a fresh, modern (if stomach-inspired) look that not only looks great, but is equally functional to boot.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about PIE is that they don’t subscribe to one specific design philosophy; it’s not all modern, or Asian-inspired, or minimal, but it all uses eco-friendly materials to produce inspiring organic shapes and functional, artful furniture that can blend with many decors. Learn more about them at their website [www.projectimportexport.com]; several of the designs are available from Vivavi [www.vivavi.com] as well. So, how many pieces of PIE do you want?