Name of Work: Together (and Apart)

EVA foam, white oak / 12”w x 12”d x 20”h, 12”w x 20”d x 30”h

About the Work:
I started developing the idea for Together (and Apart) several years ago after discovering and becoming fascinated with the small, toothed, metal blocks used when clamping a metal lathe. They inspired my design of a series of modular furniture blocks, for which I filed a patent application in February of 2020. Over the last two years of developing them, I have managed to fill our apartment with a never-ending stream of prototype blocks that have become our coffee table, piano bench, laptop desks, footrest for long evenings at home during quarantine. And even, sometimes, a booster seat for visiting kids! The blocks, combined, can be seen as furniture, sculpture or toys, or all of the above, depending on the viewer’s perception and approach to them. The nonspecific and open-ended use is meant to create tension, while also encouraging play and interaction – either between the user and the blocks as they decide how to combine them, or between people, as they add or subtract blocks from a grouping to create communal furniture or separate furniture/sculpture pieces.

About the Studio:Bjarke Ballisager was born and raised in Copenhagen, Denmark and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. He has an M.Arch. from the Danish Royal Academy of Fine Arts, and has worked for architecture, digital fabrication and design/build firms in both Copenhagen and New York City. While apprenticing with a Copenhagen violin maker for several years, Bjarke developed a profound interest in fine craftsmanship, material properties, and the tactile experience of our interactions with objects and the built environment. These interests play an important role in his product, furniture, and architectural design work today, as does a strong lifelong belief in the importance of social and environmental sustainability