OAO Works: Lessons in curated glassware
Less design brand, more a ‘loose portfolio of objects, curiosities and ideas’, is how founder Omer Arbel describes OAO Works.
Based between Vancouver and Berlin, Arbel works between the fields of architecture, sculpture, invention and design; with the exploration of light as a medium acting as the common ground.
The brand‘s latest collection, Polygon Glassware, was a standout at London Design Festival, and taps into growing consumer interest incustomisation in the home.
The collection’s 31 individual glass elements are designed to be arranged by the user, providing the opportunity to curate an individual aesthetic.
The beauty of the colouring derives from ancient formulas dating back to Czech glassmaking traditions from the 1600s. This unique process cannot be replicated by contemporary glass producers anywhere outside of the Czech Republic – it’s something that makes the collection feel truly bespoke. It’s not just the process that makes OVO feel unique, but ingredients used in the glassblowing itself, too. Arbel includes bones of a rare species of cattle bred in a remote region of the country.
Elements of OAO Works’ process of working can be applied to all levels of design, from start-up studios to the high-end market. Adopting materials that are close to the maker’s location, exploring ancient craft techniques, or creating collections that play off the effects of light – these are all valuable directions for building a strong narrative, and provide attraction to both local and international buyers.
This year the glassware showcased at NY Design Week and the London Design Festival. To read further coverage of the shows, WGSN Lifestyle & Interiors subscribers can click here.