Sometimes it seems like humans crave perfection above all else, trying in vain to conceal any subtle blemishes or faults. But those slight irregularities are unavoidable, serving as a testament to human experience. Product Designer Marie Liebhardt‘s “Flaws” vase collection investigates the material nature of imperfection, that which might normally be overlooked or even covered up. She is fascinated by the way “the skin of the city evolves, changes color and texture” as “evidence of passing time.” Between Copenhagen, Fanø, Milan, Montréal and New York, Hardt found inspiration in urban deterioration, the marks of wear left behind on streets, walls, bridges, and the like. Through experimental research with two materials – metal and porcelain – each unique piece aims to highlight those textures that rarely earn our attention in daily life. The series is an elegant combination of the minimal and the complex; although the series consists of uniform, modest silhouettes, the manipulation of material and surface makes each compellingly unique. Her process of pouring extremely thin layers of colored porcelain in a plaster mold, allowing some to separate from the vase in the process of drying, creates “uncontrolled textures, similar to old walls,” while her metal series incorporates aged copper and brass, the life of which will continue to develop and change over time, framed by solid, neutrally colored and unglazed porcelain. It is startling and refreshing to see the minimal, expertly sculpted form of a vase disrupted by a familiar coarseness one may associate with age and decay; “Flaws” is proof that we could all stand to see through the eyes of an artist. Hardt has managed to wed both the old and the new in a series that is beautiful, functional, and decidedly modern.