Design The biophilic approach in Liam Lee’s design
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The biophilic approach in Liam Lee’s design

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Giorgia Massari

Increasingly, design is moving towards a biophilic approach, an inclination towards everything that is living and organic. In this sense, biophilia is being applied to design strategy, allowing architects and designers to be inspired by nature and even to include it predominantly within their projects. American artist and designer Liam Lee (1993), with a background as a stage designer and based in Brooklyn, can be placed in this ‘movement’. Lee chooses a specific natural environment, the marine, drawing mainly from the organic forms of corals and algae. His works appear as real functional sculptures, with an incredibly contemporary aesthetic but with a handcrafted flavour.

The contemporaneity of Lee’s works is undoubtedly found in the shapes, but also in the colours. Lee’s choice always falls on saturated and bright colours that give the pieces a pop and at the same time surreal aesthetic. The artist himself says that he wants to make the domestic dimension dreamlike and unreal, creating imaginative pieces that do not, however, create too much of a gap between reality and fantasy. The material in this sense plays a fundamental role. Liam Lee’s choice to use wool fibres from a small mill in Ireland makes his works cosy. The rough material is familiar to the viewer who, despite being disoriented by the unconventional shapes of the pieces, rediscovers the homely simplicity in the handmade wool. The artist himself, once he has obtained the wool and then processed and modelled it, paints it with dyes that he carefully blends.

Liam Lee’s career is growing steadily. He was recently selected as one of thirty finalists for this year’s Loewe Foundation Craft Prize, which presents the artists’ work in a group exhibition in the Studio of Isamu Noguchi at the Noguchi Museum in New York from 17 May to 18 June 2023.

Courtesy Liam Lee

Designdesign
Written by Giorgia Massari
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