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The intricate wing structure of the dragonfly served as a study in material and technical possibilities for architect-turned-designer Yi-Hsiu Yeh. For these dramatic dangling earrings, the Pasadena-based designer hand forms photo-chemically machined stainless steel.
The design of each bracelet, bag or shoe is carefully considered in the hands of Yi-Hsiu, who founded Yeh Design Lab in 2010 to explore the creative, technological and expressive possibilities between architecture and fashion. For Yi-Hsiu, it’s about examining ways to challenge collective intuition and perception, while exploring the possibilities advanced technology and traditional fabrication. As a college teacher and parent to a toddler she shares with her architect husband, the Angeleno has also realized the need to feel unburdened by what a modern multi-tasker wears. She accomplishes this beautifully.
YEH DESIGN LAB
Trained as an architect, Los Angeles’ Yi-Hsiu Yeh came to realize that buildings are really only meaningful to the people who use them. Yeh Design Lab was founded so she could explore smaller wearable objects as a vehicle for her ideas. “I imagined the creation of products as art-in-disguise,” she says, “clandestinely infiltrating and transforming the lives of the people who use them.” Her awakening came after reading the 1884 novel Flatland by Sir Edwin A. Abbott, a parable about limits of perception. She saw it as a cautionary tale about modern-day complacency.
“Ever since then, I have been interested in challenging common sense, collective intuition and perception.” says Yeh. For her jewelry, bags and leather goods, she works with natural materials such as leather, wool felt, metal, rubber and wood. An array of techniques—rubber casting, leather forming and 3D printing among them—achieve “a tense and sensual intersection between these primitive materials and the advanced methods through which they are produced.”