“I have about 30 to 60 seconds of time to bend a strip of wood into the desired shape before it cools and becomes unbendable,” says furniture designer and builder Matthias Pliessnig (@matthiaspliessnig), who lives in Brooklyn, New York. “It’s a hectic, yet focused, series of movements.” Matthias was experiencing creative malaise after years of studying and practicing the rigid rules of woodwork. 

It was a chance opportunity to fabricate a boat that sparked Matthias’ desire to rebel. “In order to build this boat, I needed to teach myself how to steam bend wood. I was also taking a course on 3-D modeling, and these ingredients came together like an adrenaline shot.” The synthesis of digital and analog has become central to Matthias’ process, where each piece is designed for a specific space and can take more than 1,000 hours from concept to creation. While each work may be unique, Matthias says it also becomes a chapter in a larger story: “It’s an evolved version of the previous design.”

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