Symmetry is traditionally one of the guiding principles of product design. There’s something about furniture and homeware that is neatly balanced that we find inherently pleasing. It comes down to a desire for order in our world, and the comfort that we feel when our things are ordered. There’s a growing trend in design, however, that’s turning this on its head and embracing the asymmetrical in order to inject a feeling of newness into our homes.
This trend isn’t about designs that are unusable or unwieldy, but rather about objects that take the expected and then put a twist on it. With minimalism in fashion in many markets around the world, it takes the smallest detail to make an impact. That’s why studios such as Alegre Design have attracted such attention in the design community with pieces such as the Ego chair, which features a single raised armrest. Similarly, the local brand Okha has followed the same spirit with the Curator couch: an update on the classic chaise lounge.
While this trend is not necessarily one for every home, it definitely shows our desire for difference in decor. This has traditionally been expressed in handmade and bespoke items – pieces that are intrinsically unique because of the way they’re made. When this same spirit is applied to more contemporary, simple design, however, the logical response is to seek items that are mass-produced but defiantly non-conformist. So for at least the next while, expect to see more asymmetrical and out-of-balance design, and embrace the off-kilter every now and again.
Words: Chris Reid
Images: Alegre Design/Okha