Refractory Holotype

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Sustainability

Refractory-a new, Chicago-based studio founded by creatives Angie Westand Alberto Vélez-is preparing to make its international debut at Alcova during Milan Design Week. FromJune 5-12, Refractory will present “Holotype”-a multi-sensory exhibition at Alcova’s new E/Spacebuilding, located at Via Simone Saint Bon, 1.Inside the building’s concrete-enveloped attic space andadjacent terrace, visitors will experience an immersive, contemplative exhibit containing Refractory’srigorously crafted furnishings amidst imagery of paleontological specimens and frontiers by Americanphotographer and documentarian Sarah Wilson.Each year, during Salone del Mobile, Alcova brings together the people and institutions defining designculture today through ground-breaking work on living environments, products, systems, materials andtechnological innovation. For the 2022 edition, Alcova will return to the same spectacular site as 2021-acluster of historic buildings immersed in a large, urban park in the Inganni district of Milan-with a newbuilding that is a former psychiatric hospital. It is within this context that Refractory, an American studiothat isquietly punctuating boundaries in international collectible furniture and fabrication philosophy, willintroduce new work while encouraging visitors to reflect upon the struggles and nurturing that took placein this location as well as the notion that decay has a beauty that is a comforting antidote to perfection.“Makers and artisans dig into a collective dilemma, a reverence for materiality, a desire to be durable, andthe drive to enhance livelihoods that have been historically suppressed,” statesRefractory co-founderAngie West. “Distinctly within the grit of these creative industries and dilemmas is mentalhealth and itskaleidoscopes, spectrums, and journeys that weave through the talented teams and lives of modernfabricators.”Refractory is the creative brainchild of two design industry veterans who aredeveloping a distinctive newlanguage in contemporary design with the support of anunparalleled consortium of talent working in thestudio’s sister fabrication company, West Supply.The studio’s inaugural collection, which softly launchedin the fall of 2021, includes consoles, dining tables, occasionaltables, benches, lighting, and objectsrendered from cast bronze, cast glass, solid black walnut, white oak, and cast resin in a muted palette ofpatinas that evoke natural phenomena and earthen pigments. Their work draws from a deep reverence forthe terrain of the frontier with sculptural forms and elevated textures emulating arid formations, tectonicforces, and the rugged honesty of erosion. Each work is one-of-a-kind; a result of heat, of chemicalinteraction, and of the hand, giving rise to variationand imperfection, as well as an identifying code forpurposes of authenticity and provenance.Alcova is hosting a press preview on Sunday, June 5 from 9am until 12pm. Afterwards, the venue will opento the public until Sunday, June 12. Daily viewing hoursare 11am-7pm except for Thursday, June 9 whenit will close at 4pm

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