Whether imagining a strategy, a textile, a chair, an adornment or an interior, he applies the same limitless approach, finding tailor-made solutions without being held back by disciplinary hierarchies. “I draw inspiration from everything, including philosophy, anthropology, science fiction and cooking,” he adds. “Honestly, I see everything as a new kind of lens.”
This agility has allowed her to stay afloat and remain independent in an industry that has not always been in search of stable jobs or opportunities. It does not focus on specific mediums, but rather is driven by concepts, client briefs and personal fascinations. Bowers tries to learn just enough from the artisans he encounters to shape his own interpretations. In doing so, he avoids the pitfalls of cultural appropriation. Zapotec is a series of rugs that the designer has designed using ancestral weaving techniques from Oaxaca. Rather than re-enacting traditional patterns, he created parametric patterns that reflect a similar but entirely new type of composition.
Combining the latest virtual and digital innovations with revamped craft traditions, Bowers is constantly developing new concepts while playing on function. Created for the inauguration of the Emma Scully Gallery Melting exhibition last fall, cala is a planter cast in iron using 3D printed molds. And Moire is a collection of optical illusion wallcoverings that the designer has designed using digitally generated algorithms. It aimed to evoke different interior moods by calibrating various patterns and harnessing the power of color.
Halo is a series of crinkled cotton paper lanterns that won Bowers Design Miami/ 2021’s Best in Show award. Presented by The Future Perfect gallery, the various iterations recall the designer’s early material experiments, but are ultimately studies of shadow and light.
“Craftsmanship is not dead, but what artisans traditionally produce is no longer in demand,” concludes Bowers. “Longstanding traditions honed over centuries are being erased. If we can learn their languages, we can also think of a new way to express them. Technology is a track. It is not only CNC milling, laser cutting or 3D printing, but also Whatsapp, a tool that can provide resources to isolated communities that would otherwise remain in solitude and disappear. The designer formalized this socially and culturally responsible methodology in a way unlike any of his contemporaries.