Soft Baroque

London, United Kingdom

Soft Baroque is a design studio established in London in 2013 by cofounders Sasa Stucin (born in Slovenia in 1984) and Nicholas Gardner (born in 1988 in Melbourne). The duo specializes in works that blur the lines between furniture typologies and conceptual, representational objects. The practice creates objects with conflicting functions and imagery, while still maintaining a sense of aesthetics and consumer appeal.

Standout projects to date include Lenticularis (2014), an oval mirror that emits a water particle cloud; and New Surface Strategies (2015), a series of pine wood furniture pieces created for an exhibition of the same name in Milan; the latter’s pieces’ architectonic construction reference Dutch De Stijl architect Gerrit Rietveld, and the simple, DIY materials nod to the iconoclastic work of Italian architect-designer Enzo Mari.

Stucin and Gardner first met as students at the Royal College of Art in London. Stucin graduated Cum Laude from the Academy of Fine Art and Design in Ljubljana in 2011, earning her Bachelor’s degree in visual communications. She went on to earn her Master’s degree from the RCA, also in visual communications, in 2013. Gardner, meanwhile, studied furniture design at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, earning his Bachelor’s degree in 2010, before going on to earn his Master’s degree in design products from the RC, also in 2013.

In 2012, Gardner worked as an assistant at designer Jerszy Seymour’s Berlin studio. After school, in 2013, he began working as an assistant at designer Max Lamb’s studio; he still holds this position today. In 2011, Stucin participated in a workshop at the School of Visual Arts in New York under Milton Glaser’s direction. In 2013, she participated in a research project at Amsterdam’s Sandberg Institute, the Think Tank for Visual Strategies. Together, they were artists-in-residence at Villa Lena in Tuscany (summer 2015).

Soft Baroque’s work has been included in several exhibitions at respected institutions, including, but not limited to (as of this writing): Pavillon de L'esprit Nouveau at the Swiss Institute in New York (2015); Extra Ordinary at Aram Gallery (2015) in London; 19 Greek Street in London (2015); and Selected Works at Christie’s in London (2013).