Dwell 24: Ian Cochran

In 2018‚ Ian Cochran burst onto the scene with his first piece‚ Plump Table‚ a playful coffee table made from sinuous molded slabs of resin.
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Ian Cochran is a designer with the eye of an artist and the mind of a scientist. Trained as a sculptor at the Kansas City Art Institute‚ the 29-year-old has always been interested in materiality‚ which is evident when you look at his bulbous resin furniture.

"The works I’ve produced so far all stem from the same interests that influenced my art—science and material reality." 

Dwell 24: Ian Cochran - Photo 1 of 4 -

In addition to Plump Table, Cochran made Dew Drop‚ a side-table-meets-footstool that looks like a gem-hued gumdrop. He plans to continue experimenting with material and form in his next body of work. "One might be more candy-like‚ another inspired by honeycombs‚" he says.

The Dew Drop by Ian Cochran.

The Dew Drop by Ian Cochran.

Read about Cochran's earliest memory of design—a house his family moved into when he was four—along with his other responses to our Q&A, below.

Hometown: Brooklyn, New York

Describe what you make in 140 characters. I creatively chase after the imagined objects in my head whether that be furniture or installation or sculpture.

What's the last thing you designed? A shelf

Do you have a daily creative ritual? I constantly have ideas buzzing in my head. I think it's my daily responsibility to at least jot them down or sketch them out.

How do you procrastinate? By scheming about how I might produce future projects even though they are way far off

What everyday object would you like to redesign? A mirror

The Plump Dining Table by Ian Cochran.

The Plump Dining Table by Ian Cochran.

Who are your heroes (in design, in life, or in both)? Olafur Eliasson

What skill would you most like to learn? Chemistry

What is your most treasured possession? I don't hold to objects like that.

What's your earliest memory of an encounter with design? It's the house my family moved into when I was four. It had an addition put on it that was designed by a local artist who was in her 80s. The upstairs bathroom and master bedroom shared a big curved wall which had all these long vertical cubbies for staves and spears she had collected.

What contemporary design trend do you despise? Overly "ergonomic" handles on products, or maybe wood-slab tables with blue resin between them

Are you left-handed or right-handed? Right

Finish these statements: All design should...be who you are. That's the unique part of making.

I sketch with a…computer.

I work best with…silence.

I do my best work...sometime in the evening.

My studio is…a hive of productive clutter.

Instagram is...an amplifier for design ideas.

The Plump Side Table by Ian Cochran.

Choose one: Bauhaus, Memphis, or Brutalist? Memphis

Choose one: Past, Present, or Future? Future

Choose one: Less is More, Just Enough is Enough, or More is More?Just Enough is Enough

If you had to pick a favorite material, what would it be? Resin

Rank the following: (1) Form, (2) Function, and (3) Fun.  

What’s in your dream house? Every seam between materials would be neat and easy to clean. Like a counter that flows into a sink basin made of the same material with a dip in the center for a drain hole, there would be no way for things to get caught in places and no areas that need to be visibly caulked.

You can follow Cochran on his website or on Instagram.  

Want more?

Return to the Dwell 24 homepage and check out the other designers

View "The Design Life" infographic to see how this year's Dwell 24 compare.

See advice from 10 of today's biggest designers. 


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