Shark & Diver by Matt Cavanaugh for Kontextür

View all 7 Photos

A new collaborative partnership with Brooklyn designer Matt Cavanaugh of Death at Sea studio brings table objects to life with the Shark and Scuba Diver puppet-like kits. Kontextür PLAY kicks off with these two concepts that transcend the age gap between children and adults, and delve deeply into the ingenuity of minimal design.

When we talk about design, we often ask what purpose the object is serving or is meant to serve, and look to this as the sole driver of the creative process. But every real designer knows that the fastest way to discover new and innovative products, no matter the field, isn’t to brainstorm around a specific problem but to constantly experiment in an unstructured, unraveling way. Some may call this fidgeting, doodling, screwing around or even killing time, but the most accurate descriptor is a term many of us are (wrongly) conditioned to grow out of after early education; the notion of play. This notion not only led Brooklyn designer Matt Cavanaugh to create two fascinating and whimsical puppet-like objects, it also is embedded deeply into how you interact with his creations, elevating them far above being mere novelties. The Shark and Scuba Diver kits Cavanaugh has designed in are difficult to describe because they transcend conventional product typologies. On one hand the two pieces are lovely minimalistic toys, made of flexible vinyl and incredibly articulable for children to play with (complete with razor-toothed jaw and flipping flippers). On the other hand though they offer an important lesson in creative thinking, as the user assembles each one from flat sheets and binding posts in a way that retraces the steps Cavanaugh took to create them. The way the planes of each object gracefully define an image of a shark and scuba diver respectively recall the joy of origami, and ask the all important question of exactly at what point does the paper become a figure? When does the vinyl transform into a shark? The answer is whenever you open your imagination up to it, and the products joyfully show the kind of deft moves one can make when they aren’t afraid to tinker risk and inevitably fail, only to try again in the pursuit of a great idea. Playing with ideas lets a designer or artist tweak and try out things that a strict prompt or assignment may inhibit, and throughout history has been the catalyst for some of our most brilliant designs, from penicillin to the slinky. Cavanaugh’s Shark and Scuba Diver evoke an unseen world of play often lost on “serious” adults, and offers them a beautiful path back into it, for all ages to follow.

Nathaniel Barlam

Nathaniel

Amid the unrest of earning his Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from RISD, Nathaniel manages to find the time to read, write, hang out with friends, play drums, and listen to music. Nathaniel has learned a lot about architecture firsthand thanks to opportunities to live and work in Rome and Brooklyn during the past year. Coming from a family with strong roots in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Nathaniel has always maintained a strong love for NYC especially, and after his studies finish up in Providence he may move there for a while. He hasn't decided yet. You can connect with him via Linkedin or by visiting his Portfolio page.

Featured Products Explore new arrivals at the Gessato Shop

Take me there

  • Design Destination: Melbourne

    A complete travel guide to Melbourne, your next design destination. The cultural capital of Australia,…

  • An Eco-stylish Retreat Concept

    Glamping in Quebec for both nature and design lovers. Designed by Bourgeois / Lechasseur architects,…

  • A Beautiful Hotel in Oia Greece

    A 19th-century home transformed into an elegant hotel. Located on the gorgeous island of Santorini,…

  • 72 Hours in Oslo

    A complete Oslo travel guide to make a short trip to the city memorable. Founded…

More for you

                array(5) {
  ["post__not_in"]=>
  array(1) {
    [0]=>
    int(156104)
  }
  ["tag__not_in"]=>
  array(2) {
    [0]=>
    int(16203)
    [1]=>
    int(9208)
  }
  ["posts_per_page"]=>
  int(12)
  ["caller_get_posts"]=>
  int(1)
  ["cat"]=>
  int(677)
}
            
  • The Villa Chair

    An indoor/outdoor chair that brings together classic and contemporary design cues. Originally presented at Salone…

  • Plateau Suisse By Alain Gilles

    A modular cheese platter that celebrates the Swiss cheese-making tradition. Designed by Alain Gilles for…

  • Introducing Monos Luggage

    Discover the most elegant way to travel. Based in British Columbia, Monos draws inspiration from…

  • The Dulce Lamp

    A lamp that marries Art Deco influences with contemporary design. Distinctive and refined, the Dulce…

  • The Pure Minimalist Collection

    A line of ultra-minimal furniture for serene living spaces. New York-based Australian designer Ameé Allsop…

  • Chromosome X & Chromosome Y

    The next evolutionary step in interior design is Italian. In 2017, renowned company Baleri Italia…

  • The Gota Sustainable Lamp Family

    A lamp collection designed with sustainability in mind. Created in a collaboration between Brussels-based OGSB…

  • The Köllen Eget Desk

    A smart and multifunctional work desk. Designed by Spanish studio Köllen Design, this innovative desk…

  • The Nebl Planter

    A minimalist design that brings the tranquility of a foggy day indoors. Designed by Berlin-based…

Close Cart