An Intimate Moment with Material Lust and Their Extreme Furniture

Lauren Larson and Christian Swafford open their sharply outfitted apartment to photographer Ryan Slack.

Kat Herriman

Lauren Larson and Christian Swafford. All photos by Ryan Slack.

On a Friday morning at 9am, Lauren Larson and Christian Swafford are wide awake and pattering around their Gramercy one-bedroom. The creative couple work together under the moniker Material Lust and their apartment acts as living model for their extreme furniture. We visited them at their live work space to get a more intimate understanding of their designs and how they can function in the home.

The sunny space is outfitted from top to bottom with prototypes as well as finished products.

Every table is chock-a-block with razor edges, whips and books. Swafford and Larson would like more space, but they plan on staying for another year.

Their monochromatic bookshelf is a testament to their sharp aesthetic. (I spy John Berger, Yayoi Kusama and Carl Aubock. )

Looking through their industrial library, Larson pulls out a monograph on designer Ingrid Donat, an inspiration for Material Lust’s upcoming series.

She shows us their model for a new sconce. “Geometry is over, it’s about decoration and pattern.”

One of the few soft surfaces, a velvet couch provides refuge. The piece was first show at The Annex, their downtown gallery, as part of a Viennese inspired salon.

To solve the issue of the staircase, the duo wrapped the columns in black rope. The fishtails bring to mind the knotted fiber work of artist Françoise Grossen.

Ryan asks them to try the Von Trapp thing, and it works.

Before we go to the diner around the block, we ask Swafford for a pull-up. He politely obliges.