Max Lipsey's Acciaio Series

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By Jaime Gillin / Published by Dwell
Of the many reasons I wish I could have checked out Qubique, the new furniture fair that debuted at Berlin's decommissioned Tempelhof airport last month (and which Sally McGrane reported on through a slideshow here), one of them is this exhibition of young designer Max Lipsey's work, presented by the New York design shop Matter.

Lipsey's previous designs for his Acciaio (Italian for "steel") series are priced from $800 (for a stool) to $2500 (for a lounge chair) and are currently available at Matter. But his "Stage 2" designs for the Acciaio series, which debuted at Qubique, are still in production and only available for pre-order at this point.

Max Lipsey's Acciaio Series - Photo 1 of 6 -

Some of the "Stage 2" pieces on display at Matter's booth at Qubique.

According to Matter, "the inspiration for the series is the classic racing bicycle with a geometry that is strong, light and elegant... The perforated surfaces accentuate the works' lightness and use semi-transparency to obscure contents and surrounding space. The seed of bicycle geometry also leads to faceted surfaces and new angles that break away from traditional forms."

Max Lipsey's Acciaio Series - Photo 2 of 6 - This is the Low Cabinet with Table.

This is the Low Cabinet with Table.

Max Lipsey's Acciaio Series - Photo 3 of 6 - The cabinet opens up like so.

The cabinet opens up like so.

Lipsey was born in the U.S. and is currently working in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. He graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2007, and has since pursued independent projects, collaborated with other designers on group projects, and freelanced for Maarten Baas.

Max Lipsey's Acciaio Series - Photo 4 of 6 - A closer look at the craftsmanship. Would you believe that the tan portions are leather?

A closer look at the craftsmanship. Would you believe that the tan portions are leather?

His work melds the industrial process with "elements of the human touch that are more often found in craft-based techniques," as a Matter press release puts it.

Max Lipsey's Acciaio Series - Photo 5 of 6 - Here's a side table. I find this piece simultaneously ugly and beautiful... which means I can't stop looking at it.

Here's a side table. I find this piece simultaneously ugly and beautiful... which means I can't stop looking at it.

I think the mix of tan leather with perforated metal and lightweight steel tubing (borrowed from bicycle frame building) is quite compelling. What do you think?

Max Lipsey's Acciaio Series - Photo 6 of 6 -