Elisa Strozyk was in graduate school when she came across a photo of a water-warped parquet floor. “I thought, my God, the wood came back to life and is frozen in motion,” she says.
Inspired by the fractured planes, she began cutting strips of veneer wood in geometric shapes and attaching them to a textile base. One year later, her wooden textiles—hybrids between parquet floors and fabrics—earned Strozyk the prestigious 2010 German Design Award for Newcomers. She began experimenting with different shapes and angles, producing Wooden Carpet and a crumpled, translucent pendant lamp. “You know how wood is supposed to feel when you touch a tabletop or a shelf, but the concept of wrapping it around your body is a new experience,” she says.
Strozyk applied a similar technique to a collection of cabinets featuring accordion pleats. Working with German artist Sebastian Neeb, she nabbed 2011’s Premio Salone Satellite Award in Milan. A foray into using Fendi leather to modify 18th-century furniture for a Design Miami exhibit last year piqued Strozyk’s interest in other materials, but she’s not ready to ditch the veneer yet: “I love how wood ages without losing its beauty. Somehow it just grows old in a nice way.”