The Chronicle

Get to Know the London Design Duo Soft Baroque

This week on Tetra, we released an incense burner made by hand from a small piece of looped brass — an object that excites us as much for its elegant form as it does for the talents behind it. The Brass Curl ($35), pictured just below, was designed for the Australian incense brand Subtle Bodies by the London duo Soft Baroque, one of our favorite up-and-coming design studios of the moment. We thought we'd take a moment to introduce you to their work.

Australian designer Nicholas Gardner and Slovenian designer Saša Štucin, who met as students at London's Royal College of Art, founded Soft Baroque in 2013 and ever since then, they've been exploring ways of blurring the boundaries between actual objects and their digital representations. Their perception-bending work includes furniture made from a mix of physical materials and photos of those same materials printed onto textiles, creating a confusion between soft and hard surfaces; they once made a collection designed using Photoshop's hard round paintbrush tool, translating its chubby curves into lamps, shelves, and chairs. And in one of their earliest works, they made bright-colored furniture that served as a kind of green screen for projecting patterns onto in a digital space.

As exciting and experimental as their practice is, we love that they could also create an object as beautiful and understated as the Brass Curl incense burner, which is made by hand, so no two are exactly alike. We're really looking forward to living with their work, in addition to admiring it.