Childhood Geometries Are Elevated in the BLOC Collection
It wasn’t that long ago that we shared Caroline Chao’s work in the AAPI exhibition Upon Further Reflection, but she’s on a hot streak! The From: C designer’s inaugural furniture collection, BLOC, includes fives pieces inspired by geometric shapes associated with children’s blocks. It debuted this year at “PLAYSCAPE” at Salone Satellite during Milan Design Week 2023 before going to win big at NYCxDesign 2023. There, the BLOC Collection took home the Emerging/Independent Product Designer 2023 NYCxDesign Award.
“I wanted to create something both playful and sculptural yet familiar and nostalgic,” says Chao, founder of From: C. “Children’s wooden block sets have shapes that are instantly recognizable, and part of a common experience that many people share. There’s a playful lightheartedness, yet sculptural geometric purity, associated with the shapes that I wanted to celebrate. It brings us back to nostalgia for childhood toys and a lighthearted curiosity as people interact with the pieces.”
BLOC draws inspiration from these shapes, with the furniture pieces aptly named the Cube Chair, Wedge Chair, Tri Stool, and Cylinder Lounge and Ottoman (available in large and small variations). Lots of juxtapositions are at play with the materials Chao chose to use throughout the collection. Soft versus hard, solid versus transparent, and textured versus smooth. These elements help to elevate something long familiar to what can be viewed as a more abstract, functional form that’s comfortable.
All of the pieces in the BLOC Collection are designed and manufactured locally to the designer in New York, with the majority of the collection also being primarily designer-fabricated. Other suppliers and material fabricators are also kept local through small businesses around the New York area.
To learn more about the BLOC Collection, visit fromc.co.
Photography by Pippa Drummond.