Churba collaborated with other young designers until founding his own practice in 2008. Soon afterward, a Buenos Aires store featuring B&B Italia and Flexform inquired about selling his work, and he challenged himself to stand out from the Italians. "I decided to look for my identity in my city," he says. In small towns on the fringes of Buenos Aires, he photographed concrete water tubes being used as flowerpots, tables, and containers. They inspired his Pluvial tables, made using molds he discovered in a spun-aluminum factory. The series of convex and concave shapes can be configured in many combinations, echoing his countrymen’s makeshift use of the aforementioned tubes.
More recently, the designer has been preoccupied with folding and bending sheets of unlikely materials. He created his Hanoi lamp while experimenting with scissors and rubber. He used thin slices of Corian for the prototypes, but Prandina now produces the lamp from PMMA, more commonly known as Plexiglas. "I love looking for simplicity, but I wouldn’t describe the search as one of freedom and plasticity," Churba says. "I do a lot of research and development in details, materials, and proportion. Maybe one day I will be more relaxed."
Caroline Tiger is a Philadelphia-based writer who covers design and culture. Her columns, Making It and Consumed, appear each month in the Philadelphia Inquirer. She blogs at design phan and The Objectorialist, and tweets at @carolinetiger.