Karen Lee

is a designer who focuses on materials and object design. She has previously worked at Nike as a Materials Designer for both Performance and Sportswear footwear product. She holds a BFA in Textiles Design from the Rhode Island School of Design and is currently a graduate student in 3D at Cranbrook Academy of Art with expected graduation in May 2020.

Her current body of work engages in the language of vessels by redefining its role within the domestic landscape. She leverages traditional vessel making processes and unexpected material combinations to explore new forms of systems. Because vessels serve as loaded social and cultural objects that typically act as an intermediary between people and space, what happens when their intended use becomes obscured or reconfigured?

Email: klee@alumni.risd.edu
Instagram: @bodegadog

Resume and professional practice portfolio available upon request.

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Culture Club v2

Wood, Glass, Ceramic
40” x 14” x 34"

Culture Club v2 leverages traditional vessel making processes and unexpected material combinations to explore nested systems within objects.

Exhibited at ICFF 2019, International Contemporary Furniture Fair, Javits Center, NYC, May 19th - 22nd, 2019.
This exhibition was awarded ‘Best School’ in the annual ICFF awards.

Exhibited at Detroit Design Week 2019, SUBSTANCE by Form & Seek, Detroit Center of Design + Technology, Detroit, Sept 6th - 30th, 2019.

Featured on Cranbrook 3D Projects website here.

23/12/2019

Filtration Tests 1, 2, 3

Glass, Steel, Assorted Rocks

What if the infrastructure for filtering water could be revealed to us through our day-to-day objects? The transparency of process empowers us to take control of systems that affect our physiological needs. How can we elevate the importance of water as a resource through the vessels that contain them while simultaneously addressing skewed value systems inherent to the commodification of water? As we embrace for a future that is depleted in natural usable resources, how will this situation effect appliances of our domestic landscape?

Filtration Tests 1, 2, 3 are studies into different approaches to filtering water. All vessels are made through a series of different glassblowing techniques capturing forms that allude to ways filtration can be expressed through the natural and manmade.

Exhibited at the 18th annual “Experiencing Perspectives” sponsored by the Mercedes Benz Financial Services, Farmington Hills, 2019.

17/12/2018

Culture Club v1

Wood, Glass, Ceramic

Culture Club v1 aims to explore ideas of use-value through stacked radially symmetrical vessel forms.

Exhibited at Detroit Design Week 2019, SUBSTANCE by Form & Seek, Detroit Center of Design + Technology, Detroit, Sept 6th - 30th, 2019.

This year’s theme of “Substance” centers around the processes of material exploration as a driving force of design. Much like the designers of the Bauhaus, Detroit designers are returning to craft-based practices in a post-industrial climate, finding ways of bridging the gap between machine-made and hand-made.

Featured on Form&Seek's website here.

Define: Material

Define: Material is show curated by Laura Wade and Karen Lee exhibited during Portland Design Week 2018.

This show investigates the role and language of material.

Projects on show span materials ranging from fiber, clay, paper, aluminum, wood to written word. Each piece is a response to how we define the materials we work with and how they are inextricably linked to both process and practice.

Designers include:

Parsha Gerayesh
Karen Lee
Jacqueline Lefferts
Georgina Kerr Mcdonald
Frank Mcgovern
Sam Newman
Laura Wade

26/09/2018

Pipeline

Glass, Steel, Wood

Pipeline brings formal elements of manmade infrastructure into the context of the interior object.

Exhibited in Proximity Gallery, an online gallery founded by Tim Zarras which seeks to be an accessible platform and space for artists and designers, independent of a specific location, or scene.

Design Week Portland Chair 1

Exhibited during Portland Design Week 2018.

Chair is in collaboration with Caleb Ozer.

19/09/2018

Design Week Portland Chair 2

Exhibited during Portland Design Week 2018.

Chair is in collaboration with Amber Simpliciano.

04/09/2018