Living between Ojai, California, and Pavones, Costa Rica, American designer and artist Ian Collings creates a singular body of work, halfway between sculpture and functional object. Heavily influenced by his immersion in the natural world and an intellectual inquiry into the nature of things, this industrial design graduate of Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, co-founded the furniture design company Fort Standard in 2011. A company he left in 2018 to focus on his sculptural work. After living in the Central American rainforest for three years, his new ideas then synthesized into a wide range of new works that are both industrial and organic.
Through his latest series, “Refigured,” he evokes the metaphysical connection between earth, stone, and our common existence. How does our experience of an object change when we reconsider our relationship to its material history? Formed over billions of years and having already undergone countless changes, some dull and unassuming rocks are pushed through the ground in distant and total silence. Stones that in Collings’ hands display a polished surface from which an orange glow seems to emanate, revealing a confusion of material boundaries and uses.