Rafael De Cardenas First Furniture Collection

The main reason why we are huge fans of Rafael De Cardenas is because one small glimpse at his designs is like a  giant bolt of energy!

A few months ago KNSTRCT sat down with the designer for an interview in Soho.  De Cardenas has the wonderful ability to keep mum about his future endeavors; never giving  away too much, and yet always piquing your interest. That day in Soho was no  different. When I asked him what was next for his design firm, Architecture At  Large, he nonchalantly mentioned a new…(seemly minuscule) furniture line and then  he suddenly changed the subject. We should have taken that as a hint that his new furniture line was going to be loud, full of color, and epic!

De Cardenas’ furniture collection was unveiled for the first time last  Friday at the Johnson   Trading Gallery in New York City. We had the pleasure of  experiencing each piece up close and  personal over a few liquid  libations. Plywood,  neon gradients, and veneered  cypress were used in the collection, staying true to  the designer’s signature aesthetic and penchant for bold lines, color  and contrast.

Rafael finds beauty in simple materials, like plywood, and gracefully  dresses  them in high style. This unique ability has helped launch his  career during a  time of lesser means. During our last interview, the  designer was optimistic  when discussing the economic recession, as he  is confident in his ability to create with  or without funds. He  explained, “I don’t think that money is the thing that prevents design  from happening, it presents challenges…and you always  need some  resistance in the design process or you are kind of operating in a   vacuum.”

De Cardenas went on  to list some of his favorite design materials,  namely tape, paint, and plywood. Two out of three are abundant in his  furniture collection, which he describes as “a homage to  Bruce Goff and  Frank Lloyd Wright, the furniture in this collection takes the  cube as  the underlying structural form. Through rotation, mirroring and   multiplication, each piece is composed from an uncomfortably simple set  of relationships  – cubes fastened by triangular or semi-circular forms–  that are both  decorative and essential structural elements.” We’re  dong our best to stay focused  on his design concept, but we’re lost in a  daydream about The Hulk Cabinet (see  first image). It would be the  perfect piece of eye candy for the office!