Soft Baroque, ‘Corporate Marble Coffee Table’, 2016, Etage Projects
Soft Baroque, ‘Corporate Marble Coffee Table’, 2016, Etage Projects

Corporate marble is a series of marble pieces constructed from resin and glass fibre. A craft process generally reserved for hi-performance components, with shattered stone slabs: a mainstay material of luxurious corporate lobbies and buffed stone floors. These contradictions are exaggerated and forms of contemporary product solutions, revealing inconsistencies and false functional rationalities about modern consumer tastes.

Traditionally a craftsman's practice would be in proximity to the raw material used to fabricate objects. In the same fashion Soft Baroque produces work in the context of the metropolitan environment: processed materials manufactured for the domestic interiors and the DIY market are manipulated to unconventional ends. These new raw materials are converted into objects that still posses an echo from their intended use.

Soft Baroque regularly employs materials and processes that are often in contradiction, mashing mass produced ready-mades and components with a polished design sensibility. They operate at the intersection where craft and consumer logic meet. Their practice redefines classic typologies and removes them from their source material, rendering a new set of aesthetic and functional values.

About Soft Baroque

Working at the intersection of art and design, Soft Baroque is the collaborative practice of Nicholas Gardner and Saša Štucin, both of whom graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2013. The refined, simplified forms of their works reflect principles of midcentury design, but the pieces also veer toward conceptual territory by evoking the malleability of how objects are seen and mediated today. For the visual system titled New Surface Strategies, the London-based duo produces blue textiles and modernist-style furniture, the latter of which is made of simple plywood forms. The blue functions less as a fixed color and more as a skin on which different textures and patterns can be projected, suggesting that the object is both physical and digital.