The Rhode Island designer creates experimental pieces and reconfigurable furniture.

Growing up in Rhode Island, Amalia Attias struggled with conventional ways of learning. “I am extremely dyslexic and had to teach myself a lot about understanding visual language,” she says, which eventually led her down a creative path to studies at RISD, from which she graduated this year. To process language on her own terms, Attias engages in experimental “mark making” on canvases and objects and develops parameter-based constructions of “repetition and accumulation,” as she describes it. 

Photo courtesy of Amalia Attias

These techniques have led to pieces like the Marked chair, a combination desk and chair methodically covered with red splotches and rub-on Letraset letters, and the Tessellation chair, which is composed of connected triangular pillows that can be reconfigured by the user. “I made it interactive because I want people to talk to it,” says Attias, “the same way that I talked to it when I was making it.”

Sketches of upcoming products by Amalia Attias

Sketches of upcoming products by Amalia Attias

Photo courtesy of Amalia Attias

Learn why Attias treasures a necklace made of jade, plus read more of her responses to our Q&A below.

Hometown: North Kingstown, RI

Describe what you make in 140 characters. My work translates our incorporeal relationship to consciousness, asemic by nature, into the universally accepted language of materiality.

What’s the last thing you designed? A shelving unit for my father’s LP collection.

Do you have a daily creative ritual? I typically start my day in bed attempting to recite my dreams. This recollection gives me a topic to digest throughout the day.

How do you procrastinate? Surprisingly procrastination turns out to be a productive endeavor for me. In the process of avoiding the task at hand I end up distracting myself by completing a dozen other. It is exhausting.

An installation by Amalia Attias

An installation by Amalia Attias

Photo courtesy of Amalia Attias

See the full story on Dwell.com: The Dwell 24: Amalia Attias
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