Based Upon : A design Company Like No Other


Based Upon is the design studio founded in 2004 by twin brothers Ian and Richard Abell focusing initially on designing lightweight metallic surfaces and then expanding into producing limited edition pieces of furniture, collaborations with top interior designers and recently even public sculpture installations. Their one off furniture pieces and design art commissions are all made using the finest liquid metals and each bespoke piece tells an individual story or more accurately a specific journey of the client who commissioned the piece. These one off editions inspired by natural and urban landscapes all blur the boundaries of art, craft and design and Based Upon takes the material and handcrafts it, adding resins and other substances to its designs, creating textures and marks, sanding and polishing.

Their first commission was to design the staircase of the Nobu Berkeley restaurant in London working closely with interior designer David Collins and since then the talented duo started working closely with many luxury brands and eventually ventured into public installations which are an incredible stepping stone for any artist. Their first public sculpture was their 10 metre high " A grain of rice " in Hong Kong, followed by "The Lost Fragment" : a harmonious marriage of bronze and rock located in Berkeley Square in London.

I first heard about Based Upon from my close family friend Giorgio Armani who introduced me to their magnificent work whilst he was designing my house in St Tropez . I then met the incredibly talented Ian a few years ago when I visited his studio in South East London : an imposing huge airport hangar style studio where they create and manufacture all of their unique pieces. Since then I started working with the talented brothers introducing their unique pieces to my friends and clients .

Today we sat down with Ian to get a better insight into the fantastic world of Based Upon.


How did you get into art?

I got into art very late in life – at the end of my twenties, having had no real experience before that point, at school or otherwise. I was thrown out of my art class when I was 12 or 13 for asking too many questions and hadn’t had any involvement since that point.

When was Based Upon created?

Summer 2004.

What inspired you to create these pieces?

We are inspired by nature and by people. We travel the world to gather narratives, memories, textures and histories. Our works look at notions of entirety and separation, the natural and the manmade. We work synergistically - with the forces of nature and as a team - to arrive at an artwork. Our creative process moves and grows in the way you might expect a piece of music to be written or a film created.

What is the vision behind Based Upon?

We do things our own way. We inhabit the worlds of design, art and craft but we don’t quite fit in any of them – we challenge categorisation. When creating commissioned work, we aim to make pieces which are really going to have a lasting impact on people’s lives: creating a work that they will hand down and leave behind for the next generation.

Talk to us about your incredible studio and the materials you work with?

Our space covers 25,000 square feet, and we are a team of fifty people. We work with a whole range of metals and resins, and have developed new materials over the 12 years, including Tramazite. We use ancient techniques in conjunction with the latest in creative technologies – from traditional bronze casting and stone carving to the use of the most advanced 3D scanning technology and our own five axis CNC machine.

Can you talk us through some of your recent public installations?

In 2015 we launched our first public sculpture – ‘A Grain of Rice’, which sits at over 10m tall on Queens Road Central, Hong Kong. This summer we launched our second public sculpture ‘The Lost Fragment (a prosthetic fallacy)’ in Berkeley Square, London. More information on both works attached.

Where would you like to see based upon going forward ?

By our nature, we are continually evolving. We hope to create more public work and continue to innovate in the way that we have over the past 12 years.

                                To discover more of Based Upon's pieces please visit

No comments:

Post a Comment