Divide by Nolen Niu

After visiting ICFF 2011, and meeting the amazing Jaime Derringer of Design Milk for the first time (Editor’s note: that is ridiculous, but I will take the compliment!), I thought I would do a special post on who I thought was my favorite designer from this convention: Nolen Niu. I actually had the chance to speak with him directly, and he was not only passionate about his designs and future plans, but he was also down-to-earth and an overall great conversationalist.

Nolen Niu is a graduate from ACCD, and opened up his company in 2005. Ever since, he has been producing cutting-edge works ranging from casegoods, sofas, beds, and chairs. His newest line, without giving any spoilers, is some of the best designs I have seen by him or any designer. While I was speaking with him, there was one word I kept hearing him repeat: quality. His focus on quality has him constantly going to the factory to make sure production is up to his standards, which is a main reason he keeps his manufacturing within the United States.

I first found out about Nolen Niu from the Divide collection a few years back. I decided to talk about these pieces because, although it has been half a decade, the sofa and armchair are just as relevant as the day they were conceived. I believe his furniture will be iconic, and his newer pieces will follow suit. The angles, contrasts between light and shadow, and simplified form amalgamate perfectly into works of art.

Leo Lei translates his passion for minimalism into his daily-updated blog Leibal. In addition, you can find uniquely designed minimalist objects and furniture at the Leibal Store.