When The Rhombus Table Trivets popped into our instagram feed, just a few weeks before heading out to Melbourne…there was no question we had to learn more about the lady behind Steller Atelier. There might not be a single other product out there that better represents the cross over of practical dining needs, exceptional design and interactive community building for the table.
Fun, functional, fabulous!
We were pleased that creator Lauren Steller took us up on a coffee date at her local cafe Journal to chat with us about her exciting concept of play at the dinner table. She is a highly creative, soft spoken gal filled with exceptional ideas and a promising future creating provoking objects sure to inspire interactivity and conversation.
Trust us, you’re going to want to keep an eye on this one and get yourself a set of these trivets ASAP!
Name: Lauren Steller | Steller Atelier
Stomping Grounds: Melbourne, AU
Your table trivets are such an incredible concept, where did the initial idea come from and what made you focus on creating something that doubled as a functional item and interactive game for the dinner table?
I always find that ideas come from new experiences and being resourceful. The more that I involve myself in new things the more ideas pop-up, even the most clumsy of places. I had some square Laminex samples lying around the dinner table that were more aptly used as coasters. They were colourful. I loved rearranging them and loved watching others play with them too. When I came across the rubber material a little lightbulb tinged above my head, and, after experimenting with different tessellating geometries, I put two and two together. A coordinated accident I guess!?
You focus a lot on the concepts of play, where did this theme stem from and how has it evolved through your work over the years?
Oh no! this is a challenge to keep brief! Well, it actually came from the Australian Rules County Football League. My architectural thesis was based on this subject, but it wasn’t until the year after it was finished until I realized a fundamentally significant seed in my design pursuit. On the country football field, the architecture is simple, purely functional and is often treated as insignificant. But I was really taken by how poetic these places are. It is almost like there is an invisible architecture, and it’s materials are memories and experiences of all people that pass thought the site, good and bad. It became very clear that the game (or play) was the catalyst for this invisible construction and for significant place making. This interest transcended from place into objects. Game (or play) as catalyst for bringing people together. I’m interested in how experiences map themselves onto objects, increasing attachment and value which I think we need more of in such a disposable society.
How do you stay inspired and keep the work coming out of your studio fresh? Is there a particular soundtrack or type of caffeinated bevvy that keeps you on track while getting down to business?
Well I can say that coffee has a significant influence on productivity, but music would have to be a greater friend, who sways me to dance to new ideas. I am often always thinking. Ideas often form outside of the studio and the studio helps to resolve them and it manifests them into made things. I stay away from magazines and “who’s who’s” and prefer intelligent, talented, good looking friends and the great outdoors. I also really like visiting factories.
Where’s your favorite spot to take a creative break? What should we order?
I just had a rippa meal at the cafe near my home/studio today actually. Red Door Corner Store served a really lovely soba noodle salad topped with a seared tuna steak AND a crispy poached egg on top of that. Compliments to the chef.
What’s next!? Is there any current inspiration or theory of community that you see shaping upcoming tabletop products? Is there a dream project you would love to collaborate on?
Honestly, Its a mad scramble at the moment. I’m very fortunate to be working with friends of mine at March Studio. That’s a great collaboration. But moving from the architecture field to product design is new to me, so I feel as if I am a student to this. One great thing about shifting from Architecture to designing objects is that these objects can be enjoyed by so many different people. I enjoy the feedback from this, and having great conversations and interactions that take you to new places and ideas. So, I don’t know exactly what is next. Im just passionate about ideas and enjoying the ride.
Head over to Lauren’s Etsy store to get your hands on your own set of wildly addictive Rhombus Table Trivets.