Trend Alert: Brutalist-Inspired Furnishings Are Having A Moment


Marked by the use of block-like forms, geometric principles and humble materials, these Brutalist-inspired furnishings are sparking a new wave of modern designs.

Brutalist-inspired furnishings made by Jialun Xiong

Photos by Lesley Unruh

Poetic Perch Of Form 


The Building Blocks Side Lounge Chair, made of walnut, stainless steel and bouclé upholstery, plays host to conversations of opposites—warm versus cold, hard versus soft, and thick versus thin. Made by Jialun Xiong, a Chinese designer based in L.A., the chair’s juxtapositions also represent her experiences living in the U.S. The collection as a whole is inspired by honesty of material and purity of form; an ethos shared by the Brutalist movement as well as the James Rose Center in New Jersey where it was photographed.

Brutalist-inspired furnishings made by Dumais Made

Ceramic Screen Time 


Dumais Made, the Connecticut-based ceramic studio that got its start crafting lamps in 2017, is expanding its repertoire once again with the debut of their Tall Cassette Folding Screen. The individual glazed ceramic panels can be stacked and arranged to any liking and slotted into four blackened steel frames to create a true scene steeler. (The reverse side of the panels is hand-painted an electric shade of ultramarine blue.) According to founders Charlie and Kevin Dumais, the collection pays tribute to art and design greats Anni Albers, Eileen Gray and Josef Albers.

Brutalist-inspired furnishings made by Volker Haug Studio

Dual Brutalist Roles


Volker Haug Studio’s first-ever table lamp Tableton, which was shown at the Galerie Philia, seemingly glows. Borrowing from the unadorned and raw approach of mid-20th century Brutalist designers, the cast aluminum light is fabricated from a single piece of cast metal and shown here in a polished aluminum finish in two sizes. Encouraged to be moved and touched, the light can be positioned with the soft opal glass bulb at the forefront for directional light or turned away for more ambient light.

Clamp like chair made by Jessie Nelson

Sculptural Rebel Rouser


Designer Jessie Nelson was studying post-war Eastern European architecture (noting its oppressive, yet fascinating sculptural perspective) when he began working in concrete—the primary material of his Side I table. In his Brooklyn studio, each pour of the industrial building material results in a unique finish with air pockets dotting the furniture’s surface. As functional as it is sculptural, with nods to Art Deco, Brutalism and Japanese wabi-sabi, the table’s walnut wood drawer is lined in a Fortuny fabric and features a secret compartment accessed by a hidden latch.

Tan and brown chairs by Apparatus

Futuristic Seating Forms


Meet the Episode Chair and Armchairs, the latest from New York City’s Apparatus. With seemingly classic lines, references to Rosie the Robot and the Lunar Rover are evident in elements like its slim aluminum armature base and button depression upholstery that embodies a robot-like familiarity, bringing past ideas of the future to present day. The chairs are shown here from left in bronze, taupe and tobacco wool sateen.

Brutalist-inspired furnishings made by Arteriors

Bold Reference Point


Brutalist architecture greats like Marcel Breuer and Paul Rudolph were known for using stacked, layered and repeated forms in their building plans, and it is that specific rhythmic effect that Arteriors sought inspiration from when designing the Waylon Chandelier. Bold and commanding, the drum silhouette boasts an irregular arrangement of soft rectangular forms made of hand-forged iron suspended by a pipe-and-chain link.

All photos by Lesley Unruh