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Twist and swirl this decorative beech wood tree or keep it super-flat—all ways, we’re sure, Mother Nature never intended. But it's in nature that Swedish-born designer and mathematician Johannes Molin found inspiration, specifically the Golden Ratio, the universal proportional system that plays a role in the human perception of beauty.
Johannes spent his youth in a forested countryside and fell in love with wood; later he went on to become a teacher, furniture maker and interior designer. He built his own home and found great joy in constructing a twisted staircase from the climbing ash tree of his youth. The Infinite Tree is made by New York-based Areaware, and is a strikingly graphic alternative to the Christmas spruce tree during the holidays.
From Williamsburg's cobblestone streets, Brooklyn-based Areaware straddles the line between functional and humorous in a standout range of products for everyday life. Founder Noel Wiggins comes from a long line of artists but ultimately found he himself going a different way. "I come to it from a kind of problem-solving idea. Painting, honestly, wasn't collaborative enough for me," he says. "You have to be a really kind of solitary person to be an effective painter."
With his roster of contributing designers, Wiggins nurtures both emerging and established talent with an eye for realizing objects that are both thoughtful and practical. And Areaware is always on the search for new voices, sponsoring student initiatives at New York's Parsons The New School of Design and Rochester Institute of Technology. Recognized by the likes of Fast Company, Dwell andVanity Fair, the collection includes signature items from Harry Allen, Brendan Ravenhill and David Weeks, among others. "We believe that appreciation for beauty is central to what it means to be alive," Wiggins says. "And we want to embody this principle in even the simplest things."