Robb Report (USA)

Arielle Assouline-lichten


• Though Arielle Assouline-lichten earned her master’s in architectu­re from Harvard and worked for some of the most prestigiou­s firms in the world, she never seriously contemplat­ed making furniture until a chance visit to Sight Unseen Offsite, a New York City design fair, in 2015. Inspired to try her hand at “imagining anything I wanted to and just making it,” she submitted the idea for a collection of recycledru­bber pieces to the fair the following year—and it was accepted. “My pitch was ‘everything from a tassel to a table,’ ” Assouline-lichten says of crafting her initial capsule from the type of flecked material you’re likely to find cushioning a gym floor.

It was the beginning of her furniture and product line, Slash Objects, an offshoot of Slash Projects, the multidisci­plinary design firm she launched in 2013 to work with clients on exhibition and interior design, apps, and web interfaces.

Looking back, Assouline-lichten believes Slash Objects was a long time coming. “I always thought that I would be making things and seeing them out in

“It seems like it’s not complicate­d to do, but if you know, you know that it’s the most complicate­d thing in the world to distill

parts into a singular entity.”

the world,” she explains. “I didn’t think much about what the details would be, but I knew that would be the underlying force that drives me forward.”

Born in Philadelph­ia to a Moroccan father and a Danish mother, Assouline-lichten traveled regularly growing up, learning to appreciate the value of “the dialogue between cultures through art and design.” An undergradu­ate degree in critical theory and visual media from New York University was followed by the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a slew of positions with heavy-hitting firms such as Snøhetta and Kengo Kuma and Associates, in Tokyo.

“Japanese and Scandinavi­an design definitely remain a strong point of reference,” Assouline-lichten says of the minimalist angular tables, lamps, and seating made from materials such as marble and brushed aluminum that define her sensibilit­y now.

“I’m fascinated with this idea of being able to simplify,” she adds. “It seems like it’s not complicate­d to do, but if you know, you know that it’s the most complicate­d thing in the world to distill parts into a singular entity.”

Assouline-lichten is passionate about working with glass and stone—onyx and travertine, specifical­ly. The idea of recycling a cracked slab that was “once relegated to the trash pile in the marble yard,” she says, “is a beautiful thing.” For her most recent show,

Unbroken, which ran at Nycxdesign last year, cracks, fractures, and irregular, raw edges were the heart of a duo of pendant lights and a side table.

Currently based in New York and Paris, she hopes to bring her business to the European market (“Paris, especially, is really having a moment in the design world right now”) while also expanding her range of furniture and home decor to include dining tables, storage units, and additional lighting styles. “As I try to level up this year,” Assouline-lichten says, “I ultimately want to widen the breadth of my work to have pieces in every category.”


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