With Brutalist designs of stained oak and marble, Vaust produces hard-edged, dramatic pieces that transcend traditional boundaries between furniture and fine art.
The concept of Vaust arose in 2015 when three friends, Joern Scheipers, David Kosock, and Bart Navarra, decided, over coffee, to direct their combined passion for art and design towards the creation of furniture. They had been friends for over a decade, having lived together in their early adulthood, when they bonded over a shared interest in interior decoration, frequently trawling through flea markets for vintage pieces. Schiepers had studied architecture, and Kosock fashion design–with an inclination towards haute couture–while Navarra had a background in branding and communications. The friends developed their ideas over the next three years, and their complementary disciplines form the foundation for the resulting Berlin-based showroom and experimental design studio, which launched its first collection in January 2018. With dramatic, provocative use of materials, their pieces are arrestingly Brutalist, and strongly rooted in ancient Greek mythology.
The differing backgrounds of the three collaborators allow them to view their work through a variety of perspectives, and they have embraced the genre-defying possibilities thereby presented. Bartosz takes care of structural and organizational issues, while Scheipers and Kosock, with their respective focuses on spatial precision and holistic attention to aesthetics, tend to the design development. Certain materials, and a desire to make use of them, are often at the core of their ideas, and Vaust crafts its pieces from oak, marble, and brass. Central to their practice is the belief that their items should enrich their surrounding environments; distancing themselves from traditional furniture vocabulary, they prefer to view their output as “furniture-inspired” objects, as pieces that transcend traditional boundaries between furniture and art. With everything manufactured in Germany, the studio pays careful attention to the production process, while allowing their artistic inclinations to guide their design intuition.
Keenly appreciative of marble, the studio showcases the natural material’s mesmerizing beauty in their series of Slab pieces. Derived from a selection of pre-used marble tables, each is re-contextualized as a wall object. The geometric precision of its circular shape frames and emphasizes the marble’s visual effects, its varying veins and color gradations resembling an intricately rendered oil painting, or the mystifying cartography of a distant planet. The ritualistic connotations of the material, meanwhile, are elaborated upon in their larger items. Their V/33 Collection, inspired by Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty, seeks to assert the forms of cultic and symbolic objects through a contemporary scope. Utilizing the stark, Brutalist formal language of flat spatial planes, the collection’s Chaiselongue is dominated by black stained oak and features an elongated marble cantilever, reminiscent of a sacrificial altar. The Servant side-table, meanwhile, takes these straight-edged planes and delves further towards abstraction; comprising of black stained oak, Michelangelo marble, mirror-polished brass, and acrylic glass, its functional purpose is transfigured into a much more sculptural, multi-faceted form.
A relatively young studio, Vaust launched V/33, their first collection, at Der Berliner Salon in 2018. They have also worked with a variety of clients on workspace interior design, including brand agencies Gooqx in Düsseldorf, and Navarra in Berlin.