Best known for their sculptural wood clutches, the designers behind Tesler + Mendelovitch have progressively increased the scale of their work. Taking their innovative process to the next level, the latest product launch from the Tel Aviv-based studio provides sculptural solutions for interiors.
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When we last spoke to Orli Tesler and Itamar Mendelovitch, the duo explained how they developed their technique of making wood veneer act like a textile through a series of diagonal crosshatches.
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“In the beginning, we interfered terribly with the wood,” Tesler said, recounting how their early experiments involved weaving the wood or sanding it down and breaking it into small fibers. The breakthrough came when they tried scoring it and realized that allowed them to bend the veneer to the form they wanted. “If you go too much against the grain, the wood will not budge; it will crack or splinter,” Tesler explained. “And if you go too much with the grain, all you have are straight lines. The point of going diagonally is to cross over the soft and hard points where wood can bend without breaking.”
In making their clutches, the designers only scored the material where they had to in order to get it to perform. That materiality is expanded upon in their most recent products, which are made out of sheets of veneer that have been evenly cut by the designers to create a completely flexible wooden textile. “The flexible wood matrix we developed moves in such a way that it determines its own configuration,” Tesler told me in a recent email. “As the material pulls itself into shape, we merely ‘freeze’ the textile in place—resulting in a myriad of shapes, product applications, and concepts.”
The panels are structurally reinforced and can be customized to include integrated seating, as pictured above. (Image courtest of Tesler + Mendelovitch and Studio Maayan Golan)
(Image courtest of Tesler + Mendelovitch and Studio Maayan Golan)
Some of their most stunning recent work adapts this process to create a range of wood panels and sound diffusers for interior installations that can be completely customized depending on the project. “The sculptural nature of the wood textiles [allow] a flat wall [to] be transformed into an organic, curvy structure,” Tesler said, “creating a spatial dialogue between floor, figure, sculpture, and structure.”