Most people equate the speckled rubber found on gym floors with sweaty workouts. However, for Slash Objects founder Arielle Assouline-Lichten, the material became the starting point for a new firm when she was struck by its adaptability while designing a gym at a previous position.
“I was really inspired by how different materials can come together in new ways,” says the designer, who has previously worked at BIG and Snohetta.
“I also wanted to be able to make three-dimensional pieces with a unique way of combining materials and toying with shape and harmony because my background is in architecture.”
Slash Objects was founded in 2016 with a collection of raised terrazzo-looking rubber made from recycled tires. According to the designer, she wanted to work with materials that would influence how we think about the resources we have on our Earth and help people reduce waste.
Assouline Lichten’s recent project is the Adri Chair, which she created while competing on HBO Max’s Ellen’s Next Great Designer.
“I’ve always wanted to develop a chair as a designer,” she explains.
“It’s a pretty difficult piece of furniture to make since so many designers have tried it, and it has to be comfortable, beautiful, and something that brings a room together,” says the designer.
With the Adri piece, she combines her signature rubber with luxury, natural marble, as well as a new addition to her materials portfolio, mohair. The designer says that she is extremely attracted to natural stone, the veining, and the kind of complexity that exists in stone.
“I started working with marble early in my furniture career, and it’s been an ever-evolving process in which I’m always looking for new methods to turn a piece of mountain into a piece of furniture. The inherent beauty of this stone may come together with various elements, which excites me.”
Assouline-Lichten works primarily with fragments, little bits of marble left over after bigger slabs are carved, in keeping with her environmental approach.
The furniture starts with a sketch, which Assouline-Lichten then 3D models using cardboard, paper, and foam-like she does with all of her other pieces.
After that, it’s time to choose materials: the designer explains she spends a lot of time at the marble yard as it Is critical to choose the proper marble that anchors the piece.