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Distant Symphony

Written by Fiona Le Brun
Photography by Adrianna Glaviano / 2DM Management

Tbilisi Duo Rooms Studio’s New York show invokes both inner life and collaboration.

If you’re in New York, there’s still time to check out “Distant Symphony,” a collaborative show curated by prolific Georgian design duo Rooms, on view at Emma Scully Gallery until November 20, 2021.

Co-founded in 2007 by artists and friends Nata Janberidze and Keti Toloraia, Rooms is the first Georgian product design studio, putting the country on the global design map. Keti and Nata, who came of age in post-Soviet Georgia, explore Soviet brutalist aesthetics and traditional Georgian motifs through objects and furniture. Growing up in a culturally shifting environment significantly influenced their design language, at the crossroads of the Western and Eastern worlds. The duo explores and experiments with unique techniques and raw materials, using traditional carving techniques to create sophisticated and symbolic shapes. Over the years, kickstarting Tbilisi’s burgeoning design scene, the multidisciplinary studio has created nine equally remarkable independent collections, all distinguished by a unique human-made feel, no stranger to wabi-sabi principles.

This fall, the studio is presenting Distant Symphony, its largest U.S. exhibition to date. In light of the global circumstances, Janberidze and Toloraia emphasized both inner life and collaboration, hence the title. As they explain, “the pandemic challenged us to take our time, to do some experiments, while awakening a desire to connect and exchange with others.” Janberidze and Toloraia invited three artists—Shotiko Aptsiauri, Salome Chigalashvili, and Mariana Chkonia—to participate in the show. As the designers put it, “they were a part of the whole symphony as well.” 

If you cannot attend the duo’s New York show, catch them in Paris, where their work will soon be presented at Galerie Frank Elbaz.

Distant Symphony by Rooms Studio
On view at Emma Scully Gallery

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