With an exceptional knowledge of industrial techniques and processes, Lara Bohinc works frequently with steel and brass, exploring the versatility and sustainability of metal as a material. Fusing modernity with function, the designer embraces the tenuous space between fine art and everyday practicality to bring art into everyday life.
Lara Bohinc’s illustrious career, which spans more than a decade of creative consulting for clients such as Montblanc, Gucci and Cartier, and includes the launch of her eponymous design studio in London, is a testament to the designer’s versatility. Trained in industrial designer with an MA in Metalwork and Jewelry, Lara Bohinc works fluently across different mediums in her signature aesthetic language. Drawn to the deconstruction and reconfiguration of pure geometric form, the designer juxtaposes geometric shapes with soft linear forms to create her signature style of complementary contradictions: bold yet light, graphic yet fluid, angular yet feminine. Our exclusive collaboration with Lara Bohinc reflects a shared interest in material sensibility and the poetics of form and function, to bring you timeless objects of beauty.
Below, the designer discuss her creative process, fascination with shape and form, and the impact of design on our overall well-being.
A mark of your work is versatility – playing with contrasting shapes, materials and textures to bridge the divide across different mediums. Tell us about your creative process. To what extent does form influence your approach?
I always begin with shape, considering both its two-dimensional and three-dimensional application. Size, texture and other expressions have a secondary importance. Whether the final object is very small, such as a piece of jewelry, a vase or a box, or very large such as an armchair or a sofa, shape is at the forefront of my process, applying material interest and connecting different textures around it.
How did your interest in pure geometric form, or rather, the deconstruction and reconfiguration of these forms, come to play such a large role in your work?
I’m most interested in objects that not only have an interesting shape, but have some sort of slightly unexpected twist or proportion to them. It’s not to say that I don’t like color and texture, which I really do, but that I’m drawn to the aesthetics of shape as the basis of design.
What made you decide to move away from jewelry design and into different mediums?
Jewelry is beautiful in that it is imbued with personal and symbolic meaning, but it is very limiting in terms of functionality. It has a single function, which is to decorate the body and that function has a limited means of expression – a ring around the finger, a chain around the neck. There are restrictions around size and scale, for example to ensure an earring won’t be too big, or that a bracelet won’t restrict the ability to slip into a coat. And then from a material perspective, the inherent durability of metal makes it optimal for designing jewelry, yet it also restricts the use of color and other experimental expressions. Aside from these limitations, ultimately I wanted to design objects that could transcend the test of time. Objects that aren’t influenced by fashion or attached to the season, but are truly timeless all on their own.
Where do you like to see your pieces?
That’s always the most interesting part as a designer – discovering how people with different taste in terms of color, texture and tones will interpret your pieces. Personally, I like interiors with lots of contrast that make the pieces stand out. Though that’s how I would present them, it’s exciting to see what environment they end up in.
Can you share your take on how your home (or surroundings) impact your overall well-being?
Massively. If you are in a place that you enjoy spending your time in, you will ultimately want to be in that environment more which can help enhance everything from your mood to your productivity. Color and natural light are important to me in creating a suitable space, but I also find great pleasure in the simplicity of beautiful materials.
If the objects in your home could speak, which would have the best story to tell?
The dining table. It would share the stories told over meals from family, friends and gatherings. My dining table is actually from my Lunar collection, which comfortably seats up to eight, which I love because I enjoy hosting dinners and gatherings.
We are always curious about how artists and designers keep their spark and creative drive while running a business. What’s your process for working on yourself while you’re working on your business? In what ways do you choose to invest in yourself?
I believe, especially as a creative, that you have to be happy in your free time and in your personal life before you can be enthusiastic about your work. I enjoy attending shows and exhibitions, traveling, listening to music, dining out, I have a family, I’m a mother and of course I think it’s important to enjoy healthy food, exercise and get good sleep. It sounds like a lot, but when I make time to prioritize these activities and time with family, the balance comes more naturally.