Organization is the main objective. Marie Kondo may have forced us all into an existential crisis just for owning things, but we can push back on the purging. Designers Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu have an elegant answer for keeping it together: their Zhuang collection for Italian furniture brand Poltrona Frau.
A system of four stackable containers, the minimal designs are all about concealing the goods and looking smart while doing it. Both two styles—circular and oval—make a play for curves, which is a new take on storage. We’ve seen a sea of valets and leather-clad trays, but nothing that holds its own (literally and figuratively) with a handle.
The “boxes” are crafted from Canaletto walnut and wrapped in saddle leather in a choice of either carbon or camel. They can hold jewelry, watches, even sunglasses. A sleek aluminum base in a dark gold matte provides a discrete foundation for all the layers. Each one is finished with fine stitching—a furniture detail and nod to Poltrona Frau, a century-old company which is as Italian as it gets in the luxury furniture realm. These accessories are part of the brand’s new Gli Oggetti series, a collection of highly detailed and carefully fashioned objects that put an emphasis on texture and shape.
Neri and Hu take objects seriously. Their Shanghai-based practice, Neri & Hu, is intensely research-based. Which means every single choice is considered, refined, and considered again. The studio is known for a variety of architectural projects and product collaborations, like a recent one with Spanish company Gan that yielded a set of rugs, seating, and dividers upholstered in indigo fabric. While word “Zhuang” has a few meanings in China, in essence it suggests the keeping of a treasured object. Drawing that inspiration further, designers created the handle as a riff on the everyday stacking crates that are so familiar in Asia.
Regardless of how they’re put to use, these containers offer a respite from the mini chaos erupting on the desk, in the bathroom or closet. The rest is up to you.