DMTV Milkshake: Mana Sazegara on Making Furniture That Feels Like “Living Creatures”

“Unfortunately, the current furniture market is oversaturated with minimalistic beige objects,” says interdisciplinary designer Mana Sazegara, who joins us from her studio in New York City. “And the reason for that is to attract more customers and more users. And [the powers that be] see bringing novelty and color to the object, and to the furniture, as a risk factor.”

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If that’s true, Sazegara’s furniture design is risk defined. Take her new Wanderland collection, which recently debuted to considerable acclaim at Manhattan’s International Contemporary Furniture Fair: three wall objects and three seating objects, all crafted in a vibrant mix of colorful, rounded shapes and reflective surfaces. As she puts it: “Wanderland is an exuberant collection of seats and mirror pieces. They invite you to experience fresh sensibilities through their reflective geometric surfaces, through their rounded – versus sharp – angles, and also through their playful thicknesses.” It’s the opposite of the one-size-fits-all design so beloved of furniture buyers who want low-profile luxury with little to say.

colorful mirrors

colorful mirror

colorful mirrors

In this week’s Milkshake, we talked to Sazegara about this new body of work and how she chooses her dynamic color palettes: “I always start with one segment of the design,” she says. “I apply the color to that one. Then I move forward to the neighboring segments and then the neighboring segments until the object is colored. Then I take a step back and look at the object as a whole.” We also asked her why she gives her furniture pieces names like Henry and Alice. “To my view, my objects are living creatures, and I would like their users to feel close to them as much as I do,” she says. “I don’t want my objects’ users to feel intimidated by a cold piece of furniture.”

Trust us – Mana’s work is anything but cold. To see more of it, tune in!

colorful stool

colorful mirrors

colorful table

mana sazegara

Diana Ostrom, who has written for Wallpaper, Interior Design, ID, The Wall Street Journal, and other outlets, is also the author of Faraway Places, a newsletter about travel.

Milkshake, DMTV (Design Milk TV)’s first regular series, shakes up the traditional interview format by asking designers, creatives, educators and industry professionals to select interview questions at random from their favorite bowl or vessel. During their candid discussions, you’ll not only gain a peek into their personal homeware collections, but also valuable insights into their work, life and passions.

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