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Meet the French Designer Creating Fantastical Objects Through 3D Printing

In Audrey Large’s Rotterdam studio, a fleet of small 3D printers slowly bring her ideas from digital files into physical reality. “It’s all about how matter is fluid,” says the French designer of her practice, in which drawings on paper, images “sculpted” in animation programs, and tangible objects exist in no hierarchical order. “3D printing is just a means to bring the files I have—the images I produce—into our material realm.” Large began exploring these ideas in her 2017 graduation project at Design Academy Eindhoven. But it was her solo exhibition last September at Milan’s Nilufar Gallery that got the design world’s attention. Titled “Some Vibrant Things,” the ambitious array of tables, shelves, bowls, vases, and even a functioning fountain was printed in a shimmering thermoplastic polyester called PLA and looked like a mirage. “There’s always tension in what I do, in what the viewer is facing,” she explains of this What am I seeing? effect. “Yes, they look digital, but that’s because they look unreal.” She’s been busy ever since: A new version of her Meta (tower) shelves is now being fabricated alongside an eight-foot outdoor sculpture that is destined for the 2022 Floriade Horticultural World Expo in the Netherlands. (Large works must be printed in pieces, then assembled.) She’s excited to place one of her works in nature for the first time. “It’s a different relationship between the work and the environment,” she muses. “A new kind of contrast.” —Hannah Martin

Designer Audrey Large in her Rotterdam studio with her works, which are 3D-printed from digital files.

kasia gatkowska

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