MATERIAL LUST (American b.1981,1986)
Lauren Larson and Christian Lopez Swafford in their loft in Soho, New York City.
Dark horse disciples of art and design, Material Lust (Christian Swafford and Lauren Larson) abide by a Solitarian philosophy, wholly independent of trend, trajectory, or corporate system. Though their work draws on myriad influences—the guidance of their artist mothers; the old-world methods of the master artisans with whom they partner in Florence, Italy; and a will to upend the commercial and conventional—their intent remains sharply focused. Through preservation of time-honored technique and an uncompromising commitment to forward-thinking design, Swafford and Larson honor the dignity in the ominous, the grotesque, and the oft-forgotten; pushing the bounds of what deserves to be seen.
In spring 2016, Material Lust opened the Annex, a collaborative space that is an evolving extension of the brand’s vision to bring radical design to the forefront—and one that redefines the concept of a Total Work of Art. 2019 marked the sixth year for the studio in their work-live loft in Soho, New York.
In addition to furniture and textile design, the pair bring over ten years of experience to Creative Consulting, Art Direction, Product Design and Interiors, working regularly with clients seeking bold and unorthodox methods of developing their brands, products, or spaces.
3/2019 INDEPENDENT, NEW YORK, NY
11/2016 JF CHEN, LOS ANGELES, CA
5/2016 MATERIAL LUST ANNEX, NEW YORK, NY
5/2015 COLLECTIVE DESIGN FAIR, NEW YORK, NY
3/2015 VOLTA ART FAIR, NEW YORK, NY
4/2018 CHRYSTIE'S JF CHEN COLLECTION, NEW YORK, NY INCLUDED DERMA SKIN II, 2016
7/2016 BROOKLYN MUSEUM PERMANENT COLLECTION, BROOKLYN, NY ACQUIRED THE AMALGAM STAND, 2015
"The Dark Horses of American Design, skilled at making the unusual look chic."- SIGHT UNSEEN
"If design has a dark side, Lauren Larson and Christian Swafford are it."- ARTSY
“It was evident that the depth of their shared artistry is synced perfectly – like a sixth sense that only they can tap into... If the world hasn't already taken notice, it will soon realize that we are living amongst two design greats that will go down in the annals of history. The ultimate power couple...”- KNSTRCT
“Like the alacritous compositions of the Futurists in the context of the careful Impressionists, there is something extremist about Material Lust’s forms, and it is this unsettling effect that the designers seem to covet.”- COOL HUNTING
CHRISTIAN LOPEZ SWAFFORD / FOUNDER
Christian Lopez Swafford, (b. 1981, Washington, D.C.) is a designer whose work reconciles the traditional lyricality of European and Amerindian aesthetics with the pragmatism of the Information Age. Combining disparate styles and histories is a practice at which he is expressly adept. Raised in Washington, D.C., he spent much of his childhood in Oaxaca with his mother, a painter who encouraged Swafford to immerse himself in the rich artistic legacy of Mexican culture; meanwhile, his father, an American software engineer, was pioneering business applications of systems information storage during the early years of personal computers. Years later, Swafford went on to earn his BFA from Parsons The New School for Design in New York, where he studied the implications of art and design in the implementation of—and advocacy for—social issues. Today, in addition to his work with Material Lust, Swafford works with those just emerging into the world of design, as a teacher and lecturer at his alma mater.
Parsons School of Design, New York, Instructor, 2009- PRESENT
Studio Sofield, New York, Head Product Designer, 2011-2013
Aero Studios, New York, Product Designer, 2009-2011
Boym Partners, Freelance Designer, 2008-2009
Parsons School of Design, New York, BFA Product Design, 2004-2008
LAUREN LARSON / CO FOUNDER
Lauren Larson (b. 1986, Portland, OR) is a designer with over ten years of experience in creative consulting, art direction, product development, and interior design. Merging a fine arts background (nurtured in large part by her mother, a painter), with rigorous academic training, her work is concurrently soft and striking, assertive and enigmatic. Larson earned her BFA from Parsons The New School for Design, where she received the award for Outstanding Design Achievement in 2008.
Grey Area, New York, Design Director, 2013-2014
Marc Jacobs International / JGA, New York, Interiors Director, 2012-2013
Victoria Hagan Interiors, New York, Designer, 2008-2011
Skidmore Owings and Merrill, New York, Internship, 2005-2006
Parsons School of Design, New York, BFA Interior Design, 2004-2008