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With a giant candle holder Upside down, Smelik literally turns design upside down. Co-creation between designer and nature produces absurdist work.

Upside down

Hatseflats media

A (3m) ‘walking’ candelabra reminds us of physical processes; like solidifying lava,it has the same natural growth, but has been created with human interference. It unifies the cultural and natural approaches of designing - not by imitating nature, but by including nature as part of the designproces

The candelabra is modeled by hand and placed upside down in an aquarium. This is done using a method by which the designer injects hot wax into cold water. The designer steers the wax in the shape of the candelabra, which leads to a surprising spectacle. The naturally designed details make each object unique. The solidified creation is taken from the water, turned over and scanned three dimensionally, after which it is digitally sculpted to become the desired design.
Whether this work by Smelik comes across as absurdist is up to the beholder, but one thing is certain - by letting the shapes do what they should do Smelik creates a design that is anything but within the lines, and therefore stands contrary to the majority of contemporary sleek design.

Smelik will exhibit the Upside down virtually at the Dutch Design Week from 21st -25th of October 2020 and is currently working on a new generation of Upside down objects, which varying in shape, size and function. A cupboard growing out of the wall, walking salon tables, you name it, all kinds of site and context specific objects . Smelik can be contacted through his website

Pascal Smelik

Pascal Smelik was born in 1983 in Oegstgeest, The Netherlands. He studied Product Design at The Utrecht School of Arts and founded his studio in 2010. Smelik’s exploratory work aims to expand the contemporary notion of design. His objects are characterized by his fascination for the growth, distortion and fusion of natural phenomena and their processes. Navigating between art and design, his processes lead to peculiar design methods.