Chen Chen and Kai Williams, ‘Nº 8 "Garden Tray"’, 2015, Chamber

Through the re-imagination of a traditional Japanese tray garden, Chen Chen and Kai Williams aim to create a sense of landscape without being a simulacrum of one.

To that effect, the designers substitute industrial metal products like aluminum foam and geometrically cut, resin-treated travertine for the bonsai trees and natural stones used by their predecessors to simulate more sweeping panoramas. Amongst such man-made interventions, the inclusion of a single dwarf tree literalizes the designers’ otherwise abstract landscape exploration.

Image rights: Fran Parente

New York, United States

About Chen Chen and Kai Williams

Brooklyn-based collaborators Chen Chen and Kai Williams cultivate an unexpected fusion of material and design. Experimentation fuels the duo’s process, as they combine found objects such as spandex, pieces of bone, and chunks of marble to create home goods, jewelry, and unique studio pieces. From the metamorphic to the functional, their expertly crafted work explores material fluidity in ever-changing spaces.

based in Brooklyn, New York