New Civic Rituals
Point Cloud
Soft Baroque
Project description

Supported by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and Beşiktaş Municipality.

When machines “read” reality, they create point clouds – these are digital nodes that join together to form three-dimensional shapes. With the advent of artificial intelligence, machines and software are now able not just to “read” reality but also to generate new forms and designs. These furniture pieces are inspired by such technological developments. They invite you to consider how the world looks from the eyes of a machine and also to imagine an automated future scenario where designs are created without human input. In this future, do machines create designs for their own pleasure?

Each piece of Point Cloud is an IRL low-resolution version of a point cloud, but rather than linking each point with a smooth mesh, the connections between the nodes are erratic arcs. The pieces form a strange and abstract diagram that suggests a metaphorical interlinking of datum points, ideas, bodies and systems.

Point clouds can be used to map the topography of landscapes, the anatomy of objects, expressions on faces and the movements of bodies. A new generation of programming is using this 3D information to curate artificial intelligence systems, which collect point clouds of common objects and 'learn' to model original recreations. This raises questions about digital systems in the art and design industries, and the possibilities of objects conceived without human intervention.


Soft Baroque is the duo Nicholas Gardner (Australia) and Saša Štucin (Slovenia), who work simultaneously in object design and art. Their London-based practice focuses on creating work with conflicting functions and imagery, without abandoning beauty or consumer logic. They are keen to blur the boundaries between acceptable furniture typologies and conceptual representative objects, rendering a new set of aesthetic and functional values.

Making plays a central role in their practice; they are both the designers and manufacturers of their objects. Their interest in various materials results in a diverse body of work. The refined, simplified forms of their works reflect principles of mid-century design, but the pieces also veer towards conceptual territory by evoking the malleability of how objects are seen and mediated today. Traditionally, a craftsman's practice would be in proximity to the raw material used to fabricate objects. In the same fashion, Soft Baroque produces work in the context of the metropolitan environment: processed materials manufactured for domestic interiors are manipulated to unconventional ends. These new raw materials are converted into objects that still carry an echo of their intended use.

Soft Baroque has shown work at the V&A, Christie’s and Somerset House in London, Swiss Institute, Friedman Benda, Patrick Parrish gallery in New York, A Palazzo Gallery in Brescia, Etage Projects in Copenhagen, Depot Basel in Basel, Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam, Collective Design in New York, Nomad in Monaco and St Moritz, Design Miami/Basel, Dubai Design Week, and at fairs in Milan, London, New York and Stockholm.

This project opens in October 2020.
Aykut Barka Park
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