The Conran Shop is opening the 2022 edition of the London Design Festival in style, collaborating with cult art and design publication It’s Nice That for a new immersive installation Meet Me in the Metaverse. Highlighting the work of six digital artists, pals Chris Golden and Christie Christie have reimagined Poul Kjærholm’s PK0 Lounge Chair in explosive floral fashion.
The London-based visual artists Chris Golden and Christie Christie are introduced at The Conran Shop this festival season in digital form. Chris Golden explores the energy and vibration of this world. His work focuses on synthesising a meditative-psychedelic perspective through colour and form. Chris has collaborated with companies such as Adult Swim, Apple Music, Nike, Snap Inc., and has had work exhibited at global institutions such as MOCA, the V&A and Tate. His design partner, Christie Christie, is a London-based creative director, designer and digital artist with a deep interest in visual futures, digital culture, web3 and phygital spaces, working with mediums such as CGI/3D motion and still, extended realities, AR and interactive experiences to explore these areas. Christie's clients include The Future Laboratory, Selfridges, The Fabricant and Snap Inc.
The duo worked with the distinctive form of Poul Kjærholm’s PK0 A Lounge Chair, newly released at The Conran Shop by the design manufacturing legends Fritz Hansen. Now unveiled to a larger audience in the form of a chair and coffee table, the PK0 collection is shaped from black ash or Oregon pine. Beautiful from all angles with sweeping curves designed to stand the tests of time, each is a lasting tribute to Kjærholm’s keen eye for aesthetics and materials.
Alongside their flora and fauna PK0 A design, Chris and Christie have created an AR filter inspired by the piece with our exhibition’s sentiment. When used, abstract objects designed by the duo will either begin to fill your own environment (if using your back camera) or rotate around your profile (if using the front). Aiming to provide “an overall sense of joy and playfulness” when exploring design’s role within digital spaces, “we almost imagine the Metaverse to be this inviting and delightful playground,” adds Christie. “So we wanted to create a digital sculpture garden, where the user could interact with different objects, and imagine a new reality.”
Read Chris and Christie’s interview below, to learn more about their work and inspiration.
1. Welcome to The Conran Shop, Chris and Christie! Please could you tell our readers all about you?
Christie: I’m Christie - I’m a creative director, designer and digital artist with a deep interest in digital + internet culture, web3, visual futures and phygital spaces. I predominately work with mediums such as CGI, 3D animation, AR, VR, extended realities and interactive experiences and have collaborated with clients or partners such as Tate, The Fabricant, SPACE10, The Future Laboratory, Snap Inc. and Selfridges.
Chris: I’m Chris - I’m a 3D digital artist exploring the energy and vibration of this world. My work focuses on synthesising a meditative-psychedelic perspective through colour and form. I have exhibited work with brands and cultural institutions such as Dolby Audio, Sydney Fashion Week, Apple, MOCA, and Tate Britain.
Christie: We are actually the ex-co founders (feels weird to say this now!) of Pitch Studios which, up until this year, was a hybrid design/art studio that created new forms of visual explorations through CGI, AR and XR. After five years, we decided to step away from the studio to focus on our own individual practices, however, we’re still working together in various capacities (like this project).
2. How did your relationship with It’s Nice That begin?
We were featured on It’s Nice That many years ago now, when we were both early into the Pitch Studios era - it was a blessing to have been featured back then when we were so new and fresh. In 2019, we were invited to speak at Nicer Tuesdays when we were conveniently on a trip to London/other parts of Europe. Since then, Chris and I have worked in various capacities with It’s Nice That, and more recently Chris worked on the 3D Trend Report that INT wrote in collaboration with Adobe.
3. Please take us through your journey in reimagining Poul Kjærholm’s PK0 Lounge Chair for Meet Me in the Metaverse; what was your favourite part of the process?
The most exciting part of the process for us was exploring materiality and engaging with this idea of emulating tactility through digital materials - Kjaeholm was heavily focused on materials and we saw a nice link between his practice and our practice, although his was far more analogue.
We didn’t necessarily replicate the exact materials that Kjaerholm used in his works, but we thought about how incorporating unexpected or unconventional materials could be applied to digital sculptures. We referenced more abstractly the idea of functional materials used as more expressive features.
We wanted to infuse an almost ‘alien-like’ feeling to some of the surfaces that maybe feels a little unsettling but also beautiful. I think in a way we are very much doing what Kjaerholm did, but in a digitally native format.
4. What does the Metaverse mean to you?
It’s a space/dimension/world where humans (and machines) can collaborate in real-time to create dynamic digital experiences. For us it’s a space where ideas can be shared on a level that wasn’t possible before, it’s a space where we can be completely self-expressive in ways that aren’t possible in the real world.
5. As we celebrate the 20th London Design Festival, what is the importance of such events for artists and designers?
LDF holds a lot of importance for artists and designers as it can showcase both sides of art and design. On one hand, we see many functional, design-led outcomes that may work as utilities in everyday lives but we also get to see more expressive or emotive outcomes, that may not always be possible to do in a commercial setting.
It’s also a great way to meet like-minded folks who are perhaps creatives themselves, or even avid followers who have an interest in the field. So the community aspect is also an exciting part of LDF.
6. Finally, what does the future hold for you?
Independently we’re working on a wide range of digital experience, CGI and Metaverse-related projects that we can’t yet reveal, but keep an eye out!