Rafael de Cárdenas is pretty much the hottest creative force in American interior design at the moment. Inspired by the founding fathers of Art Deco and the Prairie School of American Architecture (i.e. Frank Lloyd Wright), de Cárdenas is taking the world by storm with his signature blend of saturated colors and stark geometry turning classic architecture into a common language of striking patterns and eye-popping hues. “Graphics lend themselves to a very immediate reception, which I’m very drawn to,” he recently told Cool Hunting. Whether it’s a renovation for a New York supermodel’s home, or the groundbreaking design of a Nike showroom, or an avant garde proposal for the World Trade Center (he placed an impressive 6th in the competition), de Cárdenas is clearly a force to be reckoned with. His unique combination of training in both architecture and fashion has also led to a powerful sense of color, texture and materiality which work in unison to inform his design process. This combination is also in fine form with his brand new line of furniture designs now showing at the Johnson Trading Gallery in New York until June 25.
When asked by Dazed Digital what inspired the collection, de Cárdenas replied, “The collection stems from an interest in painfully simple triangular forms and using surface treatments in various ways to adjust ‘volume’. Each form in the collection has at least one other version treated differently in terms of color and surface, suggesting various moods for each.” He also told The New York Times how the cabinets in particular turn the concept of creature comfort on its ear: “I see them as anthropomorphic features — friendly beasts.”
To read the full interview with the renegade designer be sure to check out Dazed Digital. To read Cool Hunting’s profile of the designer (including his renovation for the anonymous supermodel) visit Cool Hunting. To visit Rafael’s own practice you can check out his firm Architecture At Large.