Milan 2017 – Singaporean designer Olivia Lee created Athena, a smart furniture collection that investigates women’s new digital habits. The new designs explore materiality colours and textures by injecting warmth into internet of things.
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“The Athena collections an ode to the Contemporary Woman — a figure of intellect, fierce independence and discerning standards.” Says Olivia Lee to Archipanic. “The collection references Athena, the ancient Greek goddess of knowledge and war, mistress of philosophy and craft, and patron of heroes. In our Age of Information, Athena is by extension a goddess of technology.”
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The ALTAR vanity cabinet is the beauty and communication focal point of the bedroom. The design features a ring-shaped lamp and a smartphone holder that provides balanced illumination for taking a selfie, grooming, teleconferencing.
SCEPTRES is a set of interchangeable table accessories for technology and beauty rituals, functioning independently as table objects or as extensions for ALTAR.
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Other technology related designs respond to the smaller urban apartments we live in today. DAIS is a set of mobile tray-tables for work and leisure with secondary storage for laptops or magazines.
EMBLEM multi-functional wall grid with storage works as an acoustic buffering and a temporary seating as well.The sound dampening elements convert into seating pads and the grid doubles as wall storage.
ARENA is a rug with tactile details and borders to demarcate virtual and physical space. While virtual entertainment becomes a norm, tangible objects and surfaces of the home continue to obstruct and work against the virtual experience. “ARENA serves as a sensory bridge to reconcile the limits of the real world with the limitless nature of the virtual world.” Says Olivia Lee.
What would the goddess Athena make of our adoration of new media or fetish with the Internet of Things? What new rituals and habits would she sanction? “Resisting the urge to turn all objects into devices, this collection is a smart home concept that prioritises materiality and reimagines analog objects for digital habits through simple twists, design interventions and multiple-functions.” Adds Olivia Lee.
All photos: courtesy of Olivia Lee.