It was a journey to India in 1989 which influenced Michael Aram’s craftsmanship. The American designer discovered the rich tradition of the nation’s metalwork and subsequently set up a workshop and home in New Delhi, turning his efforts towards creating handcrafted objets d’art.
Michael Aram's Objets D'Art
The designer’s latest West Coast flagship boutique in Los Angeles presents the designer’s signature collections from tableware and decorative objects to furniture and jewellery, with a showcase of his limited edition art and sculptures
Currently based between his studio in New York City and his workshop in India, Michael recently launched his second retail store in the US, a 6,000-square-foot boutique situated on North Robertson Boulevard in Los Angeles. The West Coast flagship store offers Michael Aram’s selection of gift, table top and decorative homeware collections including furniture, lighting, jewellery with an array of limited edition art and sculptures. The objective of the new retail space is to encapsulate the warmth of a home while fusing a retail store with the showcase effect of an art gallery.
“Our aim is that our customers can imagine the pieces as they might be featured in their own homes,” says Aram on the incorporation of furniture, lighting and sculpture vignettes displayed throughout the boutique. “The gallery feeling of the space comes from a sense of respect which we have for our visitors and for our work. We like to share the story of our brand, and talk about the inspiration behind the pieces and also explain how they are made. The rear space of the store has soaring ceilings which also helps to make the space feel like an artist loft and atelier. Above all else, we hope the space feels like a comfortable and welcoming place to shop.”
The West Coast flagship store in Los Angeles features an interior of sandblasted oak, onyx and Carrara marble.
The materials which were selected to embellish the interiors comprise a neutral palette of Carrara marble, sandblasted oak and onyx which resonate with the design aesthetics of the brand. Michael says, “I have a lifelong fascination with natural materials and handcrafted elements. I feel that both are a reflection of the world around us and our humanity. The beauty of objects from nature which are perfectly imperfect is the root of my design philosophy. Expressing organic forms through the handmade process is very powerful, as it reflects the world around us and echoes with the vibration of the hand of the maker.”
His latest collection continues to draw inspiration from nature, characterised by integrating elements including wheat, olive branches and leaves, including sculptures which manifest Greek mythological figures such as Pegasus and Icarus. “I am inspired by subjects, stories, and elements which have symbolism and carry meaning,” he says, “things which I have personal associations with or which have inspired me in one way or another in my life. Each collection I make is rooted deep within me and reflects my culture or personal experience.” The influence of nature and the sentiments which objects withhold is also rooted in his childhood. “As a child, I loved spending time in our garden exploring things,” he reflects. “I used to collect branches, twigs, shells, and stones. I was fascinated with nature in all its forms. I was also fascinated with the way objects captured family memories, marked rituals, and how objects could carry meaning.”
Aram’s interior design philosophy centres on objects rather than their role as mere accessories to the home. As he states, “I call my design approach ‘object driven.’ I choose objects and art for how they touch or inspire me. The interior is almost secondary – a backdrop for that which I love.”
Michael Aram is available at Bloomingdale’s Dubai and at michaelaram.com