June 1, 2020
Stamps alumna Erika Cross (BFA ’11) received Best in Show at the 2020 NYCxDesign Awards for Step, a modern coffee table with industrial inspiration. These awards, presented by Interior Design and sponsored by ICFF, were part of New York’s annual Design Week. The table was scheduled for exhibition at WantedDesign Manhattan, as part of the LaunchPad collection. As events were moved from physical to virtual spaces due to the pandemic, the NYCxDesign Awards were presented in a live-streamed ceremony on May 18.
Step: a coffee table inspired by tools found in the workshop. Step blocks are simple mechanical devices for clamping and holding. This new Step consists of two pieces, a wedge and a cylinder. They can be arranged with either one on top. Whichever way is up, ridges on the mating surfaces allow the overall height to be adjusted.
Motivated by the desire to elevate ordinary objects and familiar forms into unexpected delights, Erika investigates the relationships between object, scale, and user. Her aesthetic fuses sculptural forms with utilitarian functionality. Working at the intersection of product and process, she has a hands-on approach to design. The workshop becomes the source and site of her creative energy; both library and laboratory. Using research, intuition, experience, and experiment, Erika purposefully challenges limitations to develop innovative methods and objects.
Born in Michigan, Erika is the founder of Erika Cross Studio. She received an MFA in Design Products from the Royal College of Art in 2014. Prior to that she studied simultaneously at two universities, earning a BFA in Art and Design from the University of Michigan in 2011, and a BS in Interior Design at Eastern Michigan University in 2012.