Objects of Common Interest Debuts Its New Josef Albers–Inspired Collection

Dubbed “Relativity of Color,” the tableware collection goes on view at the studio’s first solo exhibition in New York City.

Objects Common Interest Matter Soho
Courtesy Brooke Holm

Eleni Petaloti and Leonidas Trampoukis of architecture firm LOT are never content to focus on a single arena in their practice. They are based in two very different locales, Greece and New York, and they take on projects of all sizes, from houses to art installations. Now the work of their product design branch, Objects of Common Interest, will be featured in the duo’s first solo exhibition in New York City. New Reflections will be on view at Matter in Soho, showcasing personal objects like mirrors, side tables, and stools. “Working on the same common elements over and over again gives you a certain freedom,” says Trampoukis. “These basic elements are so embedded in our way of living, and we started by exploring these primitive forms of domestic items.”

In the hands of Petaloti and Trampoukis, less is definitely more. These simple pieces are a thoughtful reflection of their Grecian roots, echoing the classic geometries of the ancient world. “There is extreme beauty in the simple shapes and forms,” notes Petaloti. “We focus on the juxtaposition of those and how their materiality can drive us to different compositions.”

The show also marks the debut of the studio’s newest tableware collection, called Relativity of Color and inspired by artist Josef Albers. Petaloti and Trampoukis have been studying his writings for the past few years and were particularly interested in his ideas about the interplay of color and how it affects our perception. “The notion that the interaction of two colors creates a third color that is so unique, and the way they are in relationship, was one of the basic values of this new body of work,” adds Petaloti. Unlike Albers’s bold yellow, red, and blue tones, they chose softer colors to create a sense of calm and balance, which Petaloti describes as a “more Mediterranean, summer afternoon kind of palette.”

The pieces, made of hand-blown glass and acrylic, are part of the ongoing exploration for the partners, who work with various materials simultaneously. “We really like this immediate jump from sketches to a finished object that these materials tend to deliver,” says Trampoukis.  He explains that they’ll continue to play with using these materials on the smaller scale, as they have a new appreciation of the parallels with their larger projects. “Architecture also has the microscale, but it is something that is more evident throughout the process of designing and not in the end result. Details, connections, joints that comprise the parts of a building—this usually hidden part of the work is actually really interesting.”

New Reflections is on view at Matter (405 Broome Street) through December 9.

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