The Dwell 24: Dana Arbib

With her organic glass vessels tinged with Mediterranean motifs, Arbib is sharing a story that spans generations, with the hope that these works will become part of others’ stories, too.
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Dana Arbib had been running a successful fashion line called A Peace Treaty for 11 years when she decided she was exhausted by the pace and consumerism of the industry. So in 2019 she took a break and decamped fromNew York to her parents’ house in the Caribbean.

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There, she met an Italian glassblower who invited her to learn about the craft in Venice, where Arbib discovered family roots: Her great-great-great-uncle had once owned a glass blowing furnace in the city.

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The history is fitting given that the organic, oversize glass vessels that Arbib now designs, and that Murano blowers produce, are filled with the influences of her Jewish Libyan culture. "I think that any designer on some level is painting a picture of their heritage through their work," she says. 

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With her organic pieces tinged with Mediterranean motifs, Arbib is sharing a story that spans generations, with the hope that these works will become part of others’ stories, too. 

Read the full Q&A with Dana Arbib below.   

Hometown: Hard to define.

Describe what you make in 140 characters. I design sculptural glass pieces that are produced in Murano, Venice.

What’s the last thing you designed? A footed bowl.

Do you have a daily creative ritual? I research images daily and also edit my collection of images daily. I am an organized and manic image researcher. I amass thousands of images before starting a new project.

How do you procrastinate? I'm not much of a procrastinator.

What everyday object would you like to redesign? Why? A candelabra (Is that an everyday object? ) because I love candlelit environments.

Who are your heroes (in design, in life, in both)? My parents, my brother, Peggy Guggenheim, Walter Gropius, and Josef Hoffmann.

What skill would you most like to learn? This is completely unrelated to design, but I have always been very jealous of people that can just flip in the air.

What is your most treasured possession? My gold cartouche pendant from my mother. She bought it in Egypt the year my brother Stephen was born and it says my dad and my brothers name on it. I wear it everyday.

What’s your earliest memory of an encounter with design? Growing up my parents had a figural floor mirror by Claudio Platania for Pierre Cardin. I adored that mirror as a child and still do when I see it in their room. We moved around a lot and that was one of the few pieces that remained.

What contemporary design trend do you despise? Instagram design spaces.

Finish this statement: All design should... feel timeless.

What’s in your dream house? A massive library with a rolling ladder.

How can the design world be more inclusive? More funding, grants, and accessible education.

What do you wish non-designers understood about the design industry? That they are holding a piece of design while reading this interview.

You can learn more about Dana Arbib on her Instagram.    

Top photo by Sean Davidson, courtesy Dana Arbib.

View the 2022 Dwell 24!


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