23 Jun Innovative Design with THISLEXIK

The designers behind Thislexik are always pushing the boundaries of traditional design! The unconventional design studio finds use for materials in a way most typically wouldn’t.  They think outside the box through technology, aesthetics, and humor. Thislexik offers a fun range of coffee tables, side tables, seating, lighting, and other accessories. We spoke with Vedat Ulgen, founder and designer of Thislexik, to learn more about their work and processes!

Describe Thislexik’s work and describe your process.

I started Thislexik to make a definitive break away from traditional contemporary design principles and enter a realm of experimentation where aesthetics, science, and humor intersect. There’s something beautiful about a product blending seamlessly with its surroundings, but I find it more pleasing when a piece makes you stop in your tracks and ask, “How is that made?” I like to think there’s a certain “wow” factor to my pieces, not only in the way they look, but how they are put together, what materials are used to create something unexpected. I let the material guide my designs. Every material has its constraints and restrictions. I like to push the boundaries of what a material can do–and eventually become. Most of our creations are inspired by products that people are used to seeing and how they are constructed and flipping that concept on it’s head. What you see is not what you get.

In terms of the Worn Collection, we source denim and other natural fabrics from thrift stores in and around Brooklyn. Then we saturate the material in an eco-friendly resin, EcoPoxy, and drape the fabric by hand on a custom mold. Once fully cured, the fabric maintains its shape without a substructure, making all of the pieces extremely lightweight, yet sturdy. Because each piece is individually made by hand, every product is a one-of-a-kind work of functional art.

How long did it take for you to learn your craft?
I’ve always loved to invent and as I got older, I realized inventing was designing. I was constantly building things and taking things apart to see how they work. As I got older, I began to become more and more drawn to designing products and furniture but science and scientific processes always inspire my designs. It was not until I went to university where I studied Industrial Design that I really began to develop my love for innovative and experimental product design. I graduated from Pratt Institute in 2012 where I began to experiment with resin and really began to understand its capabilities. Since earning my degree, I’ve continued experimenting and really learned to hone the skills necessary for this type of work.

How does curiosity drive you and the pieces that you create?
Essentially, creativity is driven from curiosity. I’m shocked that some people don’t know how things they use everyday work, like a light bulb, or an elevator. When I learn something new, or how something works, I can implement that knowledge and technology in my life by reifying or deconstructing its meaning and applying it to the process of designing new products. It’s all about taking that information and looking at it from a different perspective.

What inspires your work?
I find myself most productive and creative in my studio—I designed and built it studio myself, so my environment is an extension of me in a way. The two-story structure is constructed out of five very brightly colored shipping containers, so it looks like Lego blocks! Because of its childlike essence, if you will, it really sparks my creative energy. I feel a kid’s imagination is the strongest power we lose over time. You give a kid a pen and it can be anything they desire—it doesn’t matter what the shape, or the material. It can be anything they want it to be—a spaceship, or a racecar, flower, or a plane. As we grow up, some part of our brain loses that ability to imagine.

At Thislexik, we are attempting to preserve a child’s imagination in an adult world. I’ve also always been inspired by science, in all of its forms. Through observing the structure or behavior of the physical or natural world, I am able to make connections to the intangible world, something not yet created. And then I create it.

What’s next?
While Thislexik will continue designing and producing our own collections, we would like partner with interior designers to work on custom furniture and large scale projects for the hospitality, corporate, and healthcare sectors. We will never stop experimenting with materials, but we will begin to cater to a wider audience—not everyone wants a stool made from something they’d find in their laundry bin!

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