By Mieke ten Have
Twenty-five-year-old architect David Cazso is breaking out on his own - but starting small. Though the Los Angeles-born, Mexican-educated, and Brooklyn-based architect previously worked on large-scale residential projects for acclaimed architecture group ODA, his first design for Novel Studios, his own nascent practice, is a candle. "I love so many forms of creativity, and I wanted one piece to combine that and reflect the purpose of the studio; it's not really a candle." Cazso says, sounding like Magritte. "It's about scent memory, architecture - just like a sun sets into the earth, it melts into nothing, and it disappears forever." The candle's poured concrete cylindrical base beds into a cedar wood - and palmarosa-scented soy wax of his own mélange (in addition to being an industrial designer, architect, and photographer, Cazso bills himself as a perfumer). "Concrete is my favorite material to work with," he says, predictably citing Luis Barragán, Rem Koolhaas, Tadao Ando, and Oscar Niemeyer as his most impactful influences. With Novel Studios, he is aiming to surpass a singular approach and offering more general creative direction. "The concept is really based on the idea of a creative collective, constantly designing new things in a variety of applications," he explains, adding that "designers have an obligation to create things for people to live with and in, and a lot of people compromise design for money - but I don't want to do that."