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Anvil Dust Studio: Where Design Becomes Ritual

Anvil Dust Studio, a design haven born in Taipei in 2023, is the confluence of industrial and interior design expertise. Founded by the visionary trio of Jesden Tang, Neo Tseng, and Violet Tao, the studio isn’t satisfied with merely creating functional products. Their mission is to craft innovative objects that seamlessly blend practicality with aesthetic delight, transforming everyday routines into experiences imbued with a touch of magic and imbued with a sense of ritual.

For Anvil Dust Studio, design goes beyond aesthetics. While the final product undoubtedly holds a certain glamour, the studio places great value on authenticity, meticulous attention to detail, and the unwavering pursuit of creative solutions. They acknowledge the design process as a journey rife with challenges and intricate details, often overlooked by the outside world. This awareness underscores the importance of perseverance and resilience in their practice, qualities that translate into exceptional design solutions.

Anvil Dust Studio aspires to transcend the realm of the ordinary. Their creations are not just objects that serve a purpose; they are carefully crafted companions meant to elevate the everyday. By infusing a hint of enchantment and a touch of ritual into daily routines, Anvil Dust Studio strives to weave a little bit of magic into the very fabric of our lives.

Anvil Dust Studio
Jesden Tang, Violet Tao, and Neo Tseng, Founders of Anvil Dust Studio

Our curiosity piqued by Anvil Dust Studio’s captivating approach to design, we sat down with Jesden Tang, one of the studio’s founders, to delve deeper into their design philosophy and work ethic.

Q: Who is Anvil Dust Studio? How did your design journey begin?

The very name “Anvil Dust Studio” is steeped in the captivating mythos of craftsmanship. The image of a blacksmith shaping fire and raw materials on an anvil, transforming them into tools and everyday objects, has long been revered as a magical process. Legend even imbued the dust itself with a touch of magic, symbolizing the luck and ritualistic nature of creation. We, at Anvil Dust Studio, see ourselves as the embodiment of this spirit – creators who forge magical experiences through design.

Our design journey is fueled by a unique fusion of expertise. We bring together the worlds of industrial and interior design, harmonizing the visions and design principles from each realm. United by this shared ethos, our team collectively pursues innovative solutions that leave a lasting impact and achieve a sense of unity in our creations.

Anvil Dust Studio
Reindeer Night Lamp by Anvil Dust Studio

Q: Which core values and design concepts define Anvil Dust Studio?

At the heart of our design philosophy lies the concept of “reinterpretation” and a deep appreciation for the power of “ritual.” We believe that by fusing functionality with cultural and behavioral insights, we can address everyday challenges in creative and innovative ways. Our ultimate goal? To elevate even the most mundane routines with a touch of magic, imbuing them with a sense of ritualistic significance. Exceptional products, in our eyes, are not simply utilitarian; they have the power to transform the ordinary into something extraordinary.

Q: How do you select the types of projects and clients you work with?

We find true fulfillment in fostering collaborative partnerships. Ideally, our clients share our vision for their brand and possess the same unwavering drive to excel in a competitive market. We value partners who are enthusiastic about embarking on the design journey with us, actively participating in the creative process from the initial spark of an idea to its final realization. This collaborative spirit is essential to the success of any project and ultimately leads to exceptional design solutions.

Anvil Dust Studio
Lumina desk by Anvil Dust Studio

Q: What is one aspect of your job that is often unseen but crucial to your design practice?

While the creative spark and final product may grab the spotlight, there’s an often underappreciated aspect of our practice: communication. Years of experience have shown us just how essential clear and open communication is, particularly during the product development phase. Many clients may not have a fully formed vision at the outset. Our role involves guiding them through each step of the process and engaging in deep conversations to uncover their challenges and hidden frustrations. By fostering open dialogue, we ensure that every project is meticulously tailored to meet our client’s unique needs and exceed their expectations.

Anvil Dust Studio
Egge by Anvil Dust Studio

Q: Which designers/architects inspire or influence your work? What other fields spark your creativity?

Our inspirations transcend the typical design world. We admire Thomas Heatherwick, whose innovative approach bridges the gap between everyday objects and grand architecture. His distinct style and willingness to push boundaries constantly remind us of the limitless possibilities within design.

Beyond the design sphere, we find inspiration in the work of Satoru Iwata, the visionary former president of Nintendo. Iwata dedicated his career to crafting genuine experiences for players, prioritizing user-centric design and authenticity. His dedication resonates deeply with our mission to create objects that function beautifully and add a touch of magic to everyday life.

Anvil Dust Studio
Lumina webcam by Anvil Dust Studio

Q: How does social media play a role in your design practice?

We see social media as a double-edged sword. On one hand, it’s a fantastic window into our creative process. We can share glimpses of our design journey, showcasing how we collaborate as a team to bring ideas to life. This transparency allows us to connect with people who share our design vision, preferences, and sources of inspiration.

However, the “real world” interactions we have with clients and collaborators remain irreplaceable. Social media fosters a community, but it can’t replicate the depth of connection and understanding that comes from face-to-face interactions or hands-on prototyping. The real world is where the magic truly happens, where ideas are refined and products take shape through tangible collaboration.

Anvil Dust Studio
Boolean Lamp by Anvil Dust Studio

Q: For ambitious design students facing the classic dilemma – “Should I get a job or start my firm?” – what advice can you offer?

We understand the burning question in every student’s mind: to get a job or take the leap and start your firm. While the entrepreneurial spirit is admirable, we often recommend gaining experience through a job or internship first.

Working within an established company offers invaluable insights. You’ll witness firsthand how companies operate, how diverse teams collaborate, and how different departments contribute to a project’s success. This exposure to the real world is crucial. Students brimming with creativity and fresh ideas benefit greatly from merging those qualities with practical knowledge. It’s by applying both that individuals can truly craft unique and innovative solutions.

Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. If you have a clear vision and a strong support system, then starting your firm might be the right path for you. But for most, gaining experience within the industry will provide a solid foundation for future success, no matter which path you ultimately choose.

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