Gradient dish rack, 2005

Ransmeier & Floyd

Location: Eindhoven, The Netherlands
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The objects of Leon Ransmeier and Gwendolyn Floyd are direct, yet poetic, responses to everyday situations. The Crop bookshelf, for instance, features horizontal flaps that serve to even out the staggered skylines created by rows of books. According to these rising design stars, “If an object can present an intelligence of manufacture and design while provoking people to actually think about it, that is good design.”

Although Ransmeier and Floyd’s partnership officially began in 2004, when the pair opened their studio in the Netherlands, these two young American designers first met in a hardware store in Providence, Rhode Island, when Ransmeier was studying in the furniture program at the Rhode Island School of Design and Floyd was immersed in cultural theory at Brown University. After moving to the Netherlands, Floyd studied at the Design Academy Eindhoven.

The team’s joint design venture is creating furniture and products for Artecnica, BALS Japan, Danese, Droog, Mawa Design, Serien Lighting, Vlaemsch, and other companies. Ransmeier & Floyd’s Gradient dish rack consists of flexible polypropylene rods positioned like blades of grass, progressively more crowded from one end to the other. This arrangement accommodates flatware and thin glasses where the rods are dense, and dishes and larger items where they grow sparse.

Clean aesthetics meet informal living in other pieces as well, from the D.I.Y.M. lamp shade, which slips on and off any bare hanging bulb without the need for additional hardware, to a portable countertop kitchen hood modeled after a task lamp. The work of this remarkable design team expresses a new functionalism, one that rejects the glamour and luxury of sleek, seamless assembly to focus on the realities of human use and physical construction.