Leah Ring’s Another Human is a fresh take on the mergence of art and furniture design. For one, unlike many of her peers, her name doesn’t double as the brand’s name. She is as she says “just another human making furniture.” Her work, however, is unlike any other design you’ve ever seen and that’s because Ring is less inspired by trends and more inspired by versatility, organic shapes and organic materials.
The one-of-a-kind objects aren’t obnoxiously loud, or more art piece than utilitarian. One favorite is an your entry way valet called Just Can’t–inspired by Memphis shapes (the geometric pattern, not the city) and an abstract deconstruction of a valet’s purposes–there is a mirror, a shelf and hooks for keys and bags. An additional piece is the Vacation Table, that again, is practical but far from basic–composed of acrylic that carries sand and crystals (or can be opened and swapped for anything you’d like to put on display).
And then there is her Stacks Bench, made up of layered cushions in velvet gray, inspired by meditation stones. It looks easy and compact, but each facet can detach and be scattered to accommodate guests (or to meditate on, if you happen to be into that). “I’ve always been drawn to experimentation,” she says. “With the bench, I wanted something that was a versatile seating piece with urban living in mind, but I also didn’t want my place to look like a yoga studio,” she continues.
Just like the shapes Ring designs, her business was born and raised organically since it was founded all of six months ago. Another Human came to be after a stint at a furniture company and years of experience as an interior designer. While she still works full time as an interior designer, she explains that “product design is quite a different creative outlet.” Whereas interior design puts the client first, this new practice allows her to focus strictly on the product she wants to make. Ring started with a mirror wedged into a geode. “Then I made another piece and another piece,” she remembers. “Finally, I was like, ‘Alright I’m going to photograph it and put together a website,’ but I didn’t really think anything of it.”
Sight Unseen, an online design and art magazine, discovered her work and reached out. A few emails later and Ring was invited to showcase her work at this year’s Sight Unseen OFFSITE show–a NYCxDesign event well-known for launching an up-and-comer’s career–with sponsorship by Levi’s Made & Crafted. “Honestly, it was a gift from the universe.” she says. And that first mirror she created? The concept has just been reordered by hipster giant, Urban Outfitters. “It’s been good. It’s been really good.“
As for the future of Another Human, Leah is taking it one product at a time. “I’m working on some new prototypes right now. I just want to keep pushing and growing and getting new work out there,” Ring declares.