spring 2012 $12.99 US / $12.44 CA
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behind the lines
Rock Paper Tree Design Nature-inspired premiere furniture from Vancouver-based design studio Rahim Tejani has always been fascinated by the dramatic juxtaposition of permanence and pliability found in nature. Growing up in Vancouver, an area surrounded by nature, Tejani spent long hours as a child exploring the forests, often collecting rocks as mementos. While getting his master’s degree in Architecture, he became intrigued by concrete, and the organic quality it could take on, particularly in the hands of icons like Frank Lloyd Wright. When he made his industry debut at the Interior Design Show West in Vancouver in September, he created concrete holders for his business cards, and received enough requests that that he is now producing these as part of what will be a growing line of desk accessories.
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“What I find most appealing about concrete is its perennial and fluid nature. It has the strength of stone yet can take on virtually any shape or form,” Tejani says.
His studio, Rock Paper Tree Design, pays homage to his favourite materials, – “where ideas first take shape” – but allows clients full customization.
Studying Wright’s landmark Fallingwater design in Pennsylvania helped strengthen Tejani’s resolve to create things – whether homes or furniture - that hold a profound sense of belonging to the spaces they inhabit.
“Each piece is handcrafted and built to order – to accommodate the specific needs of each client and their space,” Tejani says. “The aim is to steer clear of mass-production in hopes of creating unique, beautiful objects that will last beyond our lifetime.”
“Seeing something that was nestled into nature and really had to fit into the landscape, that made me realize this is really what I want to do,” he says. After stints in other design fields, including illustration and animation, Tejani returned to his roots and, with the reassurance of his wife, launched a venture that reconnects him to his childhood muses and encourages clients to connect to their environments.
His two creations, “Cubed” and “T4,” consist of concrete that can be tinted nearly any colour and slabs of solid wood that can be nearly any species, with the option of using either a mix of several types of wood, or an engineered reclaimed wood product. With individuality in mind, Tejani designed each piece to have an intentionally ambiguous
Photos: JESSY PLUME
by Amy Howell Hirt
behind the lines 01
CUBED Wood slabs can be removed and reconfigured so that “Cubed” can function as a bench, coffee table or entertainment unit. Felt bottoms allow the 250 pound, 18 inch by 18 inch concrete blocks to be moved with ease.
purpose and style –that can either be clean and contemporary or classic and elegant. The wood slabs can be removed and reconfigured so that “Cubed” can function as a bench, coffee table or entertainment unit, and “T4” can be used as a shelving unit, entertainment unit or display for artwork. And although the 18 inch by 18 inch concrete blocks of “Cubed” weigh 250 pounds each, felt bottoms allow them to be moved to support the slabs from the end or sides. Although he hopes to begin introducing a new piece once or twice a year from his Vancouver studio, the idea has to come about organically. The concept for “Cubed” rolled around in his head for years, and went through about a year of revisions and refinement. “It’s a bit of a process. I’m not trying to rush anything,” he says.
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