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April 23, 2012

John Arndt and Wonhee Jeong Arndt named their studio after the made-up word “gorm,” an invented antonym to the real word “gormless” (meaning stupid or dull). The Eugene-based duo creates products that are sustainable, pared down, and pragmatic: easy to carry, repair, recycle, compost, or collapse.

wooden Peg Frame series by Studio Gorm

Studio Gorm’s pieces—including the new Peg Frame series—are smart, elegantly simple designs.

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Flow 2 portable kitchen by Studio Gorm

“Interactivity is something we play with a lot—we like objects that offer a lot of flexibility.” —John Arndt

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pink Milk Bottom glass lamp by Studio Gorm

Milk Bottle lamp by Studio Gorm.

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Studio Gorm portrait by Bernd Schifferdecker

“We try to design with an understanding of what a material is capable of,” says John. Their Plug/Lamp is an extension cord wreathed with a simple metal shade and hook that users carry around and hang as they wish. Similarly low-tech but high-functioning, their Peg system—a series of modular, swappable legs and tabletops—offers building blocks for small spaces. The minimalist Flow kitchen relies on simple components that work together to support complex natural processes: Water from the drip-dry dish rack flows onto edible plants, while a built-in waste bowl tips food scraps into a worm-bin composter below, generating fertilizer used to feed the plants.

wooden Peg Frame series by Studio Gorm

Studio Gorm’s pieces—including the new Peg Frame series—are smart, elegantly simple designs.

John’s nomadic life—he’s lived in Milwaukee, Mendocino, India, and Eindhoven—means he values portability and material economy. Likewise, living on three continents has given Wonhee an appreciation for the routine aspects of daily living. They also take cues from the present-tense appreciation of people, objects, and rituals inherent to the Japanese tea ceremony, which both study. “Simple objects offer flexibility of use,” John says. “There is a lot of busyness and complexity in life, so we try to make things that can do a lot but don’t say too much.”

Flow 2 portable kitchen by Studio Gorm

“Interactivity is something we play with a lot—we like objects that offer a lot of flexibility.” —John Arndt

pink Milk Bottom glass lamp by Studio Gorm

Milk Bottle lamp by Studio Gorm.

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