Vivian Beer is a furniture designer/maker based in New England, where her studio, Vivian Beer Studio Works, is celebrating its tenth year.
"In my studio form follows imagination, and function is a script for where and how we interact with the things we live with."
Her sleek, abstracted metal and concrete furniture combines the aesthetic sensibilities of contemporary design, craft, and sculpture to create furniture that alter expectations of and interface with the domestic landscape. With a strong foundation in contemporary furniture design, her recent research into the history of American industry, architecture, and transportation—supported in part by a 2014 Research Fellowship at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum—adds intellectual rigor and specificity to her work. Her Infrastructure, Streamliner, Anchored Candy and upcoming aeronautic series are physical manifestations of the cultural and industrial history of her materials even as they serve as intellectual bridges for their users, bringing them to a new way of conceiving the built world through a luxurious deployment of the senses.
"To me, design in its most INSPIRING sense is not a market, job, skill or even a process. It is the patterns that interconnect things. Whether formed by nature or nurtured by culture, it is these connections that most interest me in making work... And one of the reasons I find myself endlessly fascinated by the subtle and powerful relationship between ourselves, our environment, our culture and the things we make or use within it."
Her work is included in the collections of the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, The Metals Museum, The Currier Museum of Art and the Museum of Arts and Design, NYC and public art in the cities of Portland, Maine and Cambridge, Massachusetts. She holds an undergraduate degree from Maine College of Art and a Master’s of Fine Arts from Cranbrook Academy. Beer has held numerous residencies including at the Penland School of Crafts, the State University of New York at Purchase, and the San Diego State University. She was a 2014 recipient of an Artist Research Fellowship at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.