Christopher Boots to Debut Scintillating Cabinet at Salone del Mobile

Elizabeth Inglese
Boots with his lapis-encrusted creation. Oak, pyrite, bronze, bornite, industrial diamonds, japan black resin, polished brass, and glass were all incorporated as well.
Photo: Courtesy of Christopher Boots

Australian industrial designer Christopher Boots has always delighted in flipping paradigms. “I like the way the unexpected opens the mind,” Boots tells AD PRO. Next week at Salone del Mobile, he’ll fittingly debut a curio cabinet built to display itself. (The cabinet will be showcased at Rossana Orlandi, beginning April 8.) Encrusted with hand-laid lapis lazuli tile and pyrite appliqués, his Curiosity Cabinet wears its treasures like a fine robe. This robe’s lining? Solid sheets of brass illuminated by quartz crystal lights. You won't see sundry knickknacks in this cabinet.

The opulence of Boots’s aesthetic draws from a childhood spent collecting antiques, religious artifacts, and geological samples. “This furniture is simply a grown-up version of these ideas coming to fruition,” explains Boots, whose deep reverence for the stones and metals that make up the piece is at the heart of his design. “In a way, the formal arrangement of the materials was dictated by the material itself,” says Boots. Once the cabinet took shape, it drew members of his team—glassblowers, coppersmiths, ceramicists, sculptors, and bronze casters—to run their hands along its textured surface.

A look inside the Midas-worthy cabinet.
Photo: Courtesy of Christopher Boots

“I’ve always been attracted to the deep, saturated color of this mineral on a visceral level,” says Boots, who explains how lapis was once mined from the mountainous outcrops of Afghanistan and traded to Egypt, where it supplied royalty with the blues still adorning ritual objects like Tutankhamun's funerary mask. That enduring marker of import, brilliant blue feathered with delicate traceries of white and gold, is a through line connecting Boots’s work to ancient design traditions. While his newest piece may be a personal exploration rooted in boyhood hobbies, it’s also what Boots calls “a cosmic reflection on the perception of time.”

In conjunction with the release of the Curiosity Cabinet, Boots—who apprenticed with lighting innovator Geoffrey Mance following his graduation from Australia’s National School of Design—will also be unveiling a new lighting series at Spazio RT. His new works promise to be anything but predictable. Says Boots, “Curiosity is a stance I aim to maintain; it appears to be my antidote to life’s drudgery.”

A detail of the cabinet's exterior handles.
Photo: Courtesy of Christopher Boots

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