Furniture design seems to be Levi Christiansen’s destiny. Not only does his work history include stints with Crate & Barrel and Tuft & Needle, but also his mother revealed that an oracle once told her that Christiansen came from another realm. This idea clicked for Christiansen, who has vivid recollections of lucid dreams he’d had as a child. Whether Christiansen believes these are memories or dreams is up for debate, but the claim did spur him on to turn those images into his latest collection, “Shapes From Home.” Encompassing a chair, sofa, table, shelf and side table, the otherworldly collection is crafted from decidedly terrestrial materials, such as walnut, wool bouclé and marble. Next up? A spring collection that will feature new product categories and explore a broader range of shapes, materials, colors and textures.
Your work is both aesthetic and functional. Your role is both entrepreneur and artist. How do you reconcile these innate dichotomies? I find the collision of the subjective and objective endlessly fascinating. I think the objective nature of functionality is liberating. It gives the project a direction. If the chair is comfortable, it’s comfortable. If it’s not, it’s not. I like the honesty that comes with that.
What are your favorite materials to work with? I love working with natural materials. I feel like they root humans to who we are and where we came from. We’ve been using wood, stone, alloy and leather for eons, so I believe we’re inherently connected to them, and experiencing them enriches our lives. That being said, I think each material has its own value because of its capabilities and limitations.
What would be your dream project? I’d really love to do a full-scale design package for a boutique hotel and to make the hotel itself a destination. I’d also like to do a public art installation in Iceland or Mexico City or the desert. And I’d be interested in working with a brand like Hem. I like its approach to manufacturing and materials.