By Artem Kropovinsky, Interior Designer and Founder of Arsight |
September 1, 2023

As an interior designer, I've always admired the ethos of craftsmanship and creativity that reverberates within the walls of design studios. Recently, I had the privilege of visiting the renowned Apparatus Studio, a haven for handcrafted, timeless designs and an emblem of 'Material-First' ethos. As I walked through the open studio, I was instantly swept away by the raw beauty and the tactile richness of the pieces, evoking a deep sense of connection with the natural world.

Imperfection, Completeness and the Beauty of Natural Materials

The creation of Gabriel Hendifar, Apparatus Studio, stands as a testament to the enchanting beauty that emerges when the inherent imperfections of raw materials are met with the skilled hands of craftsmen, thus giving birth to an aesthetic that reflects completeness and refinement.

Cloud Chandelier

What started as a personal project to meet their own lighting needs, Apparatus Studio has evolved into a beacon of contemporary design that challenges our preconceived notions of perfection.

Their design philosophy is both straightforward and profound: everything begins with the material. Every piece is a tribute to the tactile qualities of raw, natural materials like African wooden bowls, salvaged brass piping, leather, and horsehair. The choice of these materials is not arbitrary, but a deeply intentional exploration of their inherent qualities. Each design, then, is an homage to the beauty and unpredictability of the natural world.

A Harmonious Blend: Timeless and Modern, Old and New

The aesthetic appeal of Apparatus Studio is rooted in its harmony of contrasts. On one hand, their designs are reminiscent of a bygone era, imbued with old-world charm and historic allure. On the other, they emanate a sense of contemporary elegance and playfulness that keeps them from feeling antiquated.

Talisman Pendant

Their designs are simple, yet striking, an embodiment of streamlined sophistication and monolithic grandeur. Yet, they also carry an inherent sense of comfort and warmth, courtesy of the worn materials that lend them an inviting, lived-in feel. The dichotomy of these contrasting elements is a testament to the studio's prowess in design layering and their embrace of completeness and imperfection.

Form Meets Function: Perfect Shapes and Practicality

Apparatus Studio is widely celebrated for its ingenious approach to blending form with function. Each design radiates an alchemical blend of simplicity and elegance, bridging the gap between practicality and aesthetic appeal.

Median Sconce

Their objective is to interweave functional necessities within perfect shapes, employing the natural form of aged brass, etched glass, leather, and porcelain. These materials are manipulated into creating distinctive light fixtures, accessories, and furniture that are as functional as they are visually captivating.

The resulting designs, despite their time-worn appearance, exude a warm glow and a thoroughly modern personality, embodying a sense of truthfulness and sincerity that is often absent in mass-produced items.

A Testament to Quality and Detail

The meticulous craftsmanship of each piece at Apparatus Studio is truly awe-inspiring. Every individual fixture and accessory is assembled by hand, mirroring the brand's unwavering commitment to quality, detail, and individuality.

Episode Chair

This level of detail and devotion bears testament to the identity of the brand, making each product not merely a piece of decor but a timeless art form that tells a story of its own.

In a world that often obsesses over fast production and homogeneity, Apparatus Studio stands out with its commitment to slow design, meticulous craftsmanship, and reverence for natural materials.

As an interior designer, I found my journey through the Apparatus Studio profoundly inspiring. It was a gentle reminder that true beauty lies in embracing imperfection and in the authenticity of the materials we choose. It is a design philosophy we strive to adopt in our own projects, like Apartment in Tribeca, where we seek to harmonize natural materials and time-honored techniques with contemporary aesthetics.

Conclusion: Tactility, Timelessness, and Natural Aesthetics

In conclusion, my journey through Apparatus Studio was a revelation of a design philosophy where tactility, timelessness, and the use of natural materials converge.

Lantern Pendant

It was a celebration of the incomplete, the imperfect, and the authentically beautiful. Apparatus Studio's designs possess an inviting warmth and a refined aesthetic that are both enduring and contemporary, reinforcing the belief that in design, as in life, it is the sincere, truthful, and open embrace of imperfection that truly resonates.

Artem Kropovinsky is an author, interior designer and the founder of Arsight, a globally award-winning design firm based in New York. With over decade of experience, Arsight specializes in complex projects, including new constructions, complete residential renovations, restaurants, and retail stores.