Kiki Goti creates "neo-futuristic" dressing room embellished with Balkan motifs

Kiki Goti creates "neo-futuristic" dressing room embellished with Balkan motifs

Kiki Goti with her Neo-Vanity modular mirror, photographed by Chelsie Craig

Greek architect and designer Kiki Goti has created Neo-Vanity, a collection of hand-made furniture pieces that celebrate the ritual of dressing up and was on show at Milan design week.

Goti wanted to create a dressing room filled with objects that not only facilitate the process of beautification but also embody it.

Neo-Vanity dressing room furniture collection by Kiki Goti, photographed by Chelsie Craig
Neo-Vanity is a collection of furniture objects for the dressing room

Her one-off designs are "dressed up" with hand-painted patterns derived from traditional Balkan textiles.

By combining these motifs with abstract shapes made from aluminium and acrylic foam, Goti aimed to create "a neo-futuristic environment that expresses exuberance".

Neo-Vanity pendant light by Kiki Goti, photographed by Chelsie Craig
The designs are hand-painted with patterns derived from Balkan textiles

"The dressing room is a place where the past and the future come together," Goti told Dezeen.

"It's a beautiful moment of celebrating yourself," she said. "When you're getting ready, you have your background and your culture, but you're also thinking about who you want to be."

"These objects are wearing their full costumes to accompany you through this process of transformation."

Neo-Vanity dressing table by Kiki Goti, photographed by Chelsie Craig
Each piece is made from aluminium and acrylic foam

Originally from Thessaloniki but now based in New York, Goti presented her Neo-Vanity dressing room at the Alcova exhibition during Milan design week.

The collection includes a dressing table, a side table, a pendant light and a trio of wall mirrors that double as handhelds.

Neo-Vanity modular mirror by Kiki Goti, photographed by Chelsie Craig
Designs include a trio of wall mirrors that double as handhelds

Goti worked with New York-based metal fabricator Mark Malecki to produce each object.

Aluminium plates are cut into curved shapes to form the flat surfaces of each piece, while the sinuous elements are made by shaping rectilinear tubes of foam.

This is achieved by feeding the foam tubes onto thin metal rods that have been bent to the desired shape.

Goti paints her patterns directly onto the foam. By taking cues from the textile techniques of traditional Balkan folk costumes, she creates a reference to her Greek heritage.

Neo-Vanity side table by Kiki Goti, photographed by Chelsie Craig
Concealed metal rods give shape to the foam elements

"The colours and patterns of this collection refer to the traditional textile techniques of the Balkan region, such as stitching, weaving and lacing," she said.

The designer hopes to show how decoration can be a tool for empowerment.

"Although ornaments have been heavily criticised as redundant, unnecessary and distracting, they traditionally manifest deep cultural bonds and individual expressions," she said.

U+II furniture
Goti also used painted foam in her earlier U+II furniture collection

Goti trained as an architect but made the jump into furniture during the pandemic.

Bold colours and hand-painted foam elements have become a signature characteristic of her designs to date, which include the geometric U+II and I+UU collections.

She is set to unveil more new work at NYCxDesign later this month, including her OO+II pendant lights and wall scones, which look like abstract face masks made from sheet metal.

Kiki Goti with her OO+II pendants
The designer will present her OO+II collection at NYCxDesign

"I'm trying to do something that is just as exuberant and funky, but this time with raw material," she said.

Other designs launched at this year's Alcova include a compostable injection-moulded chair and a bio textile made from waste bricks.

Neo-Vanity was on display at Alcova from 17 to 23 April 2023 as part of Milan design week. See Dezeen Events Guide for more information about architecture and design events around the world.

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