As a finalist for Loewe’s 2018 Craft Prize, ARKO wowed the international design scene with her innovative way with straw. “Normally baskets are woven, but I was thinking about something else,” notes the Tokyo-based talent, who creates intricate wall hangings by stitching dried, untreated rice stalks together with thread. Trained as a graphic designer, she pivoted to craft in 2002 out of a desire to be expressive and use her hands. “First I started drawing, then I worked with straw. I taught myself.” Her material of choice holds special significance in Japan, appearing in ceremonial Shinto festoons. “Rice is the basis of our cuisine and our traditional culture.” Uniquely, she uses the entire plant, its parts achieving what she calls “a drawn line” as well as a feathery effect. Says ARKO, whom Loewe tapped to create a leatherwork last year: “My pieces are different.” Wonderfully so. arko.jp —Gay Gassmann
The Seattle trailblazer pushes glass to its structural limits
Growing up in Toledo, the birthplace of America’s 1960s studio-glass movement, John Hogan started making small bowls and paperweights at the tender age of 15. “I’ve always tried to break away from preconceived ideas about glass,” says Hogan, who, in his 20s, followed in the footsteps of his predecessors—letting functionality fall by the wayside to experiment with shapes, textures, and colors. Now based in Seattle, Hogan has since translated such tests into fully realized furnishings, among them lustrous shades for light fixtures, a cocktail table with a base of mirrored blown orbs, and an ethereal cast chair. Along the way, he’s begun to consider glass at an architectural scale, developing prototypes for screens, walls, façades, and even load-bearing systems, in the case of the interlocking blocks he made with MOS Architects for the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial. Innovation, however, just as often occurs at a small scale. For his most recent show with The Future Perfect, his gallery since 2017, he created more than 100 palm-size “3D sketches,” among them black beads that look like tapioca pearls and a shimmering pink knot. Many of these processes, he notes, will scale up nicely. In glass, he explains, “you can’t just do a drawing. Much of the job is convincing people that things that don’t yet exist are possible.” johnhogandesigns.com —H.M.
Architectural Digest is an American monthly magazine founded in 1920. Its principal subject is interior design, rather than architecture more generally. The magazine is published by Condé Nast, which also publishes international editions of Architectural Digest in China, France, Germany, Russia, Spain, Mexico, and Latin America.