Darya Bing's favourite things

Darya Bing on taming gardens, finding inspiration and the everyday objects that surround her.


Designer Darya Bing photographed at home. Photo / Babiche Martens.

Darya Bing's life has a habit of running in circles. Growing up in an artists' village, her childhood was spent in the workspaces of master artists, particularly her father, who ran a burgeoning multidisciplinary sculpture-ceramic-architecture studio.

A life in the creative realm was always a given, and Darya went on to a classical education in fine arts, followed by years working as a set designer and art director in London. Enter Gidon Bing, Darya's artist and ceramicist husband, and the circle is complete. Life is now very much about the pair's two studios for ceramics and plaster sculpture, their three daughters and a quarter-acre rambling edible garden which is threatening to take over their house.

In the midst of several projects, including garment designs, a series of small sculptures and adding a wild flower meadow to her backyard offerings, Darya's inspiration arrives in all forms, from the serendipity of chance encounters, to admiration of another's craft and the boundless creativity of a child's mind. She approaches her work with playful irreverence, guided by the aesthetic principle that the best design is accomplished when nothing can be taken away or changed, except for the worse.

Utilitarian canvas sneakers. Photo / Babiche Martens.

Utilitarian canvas sneakers 
Everything a good product should be, this pair is sensible, well-made and timeless. 

Sculptural Marquette by Gidon Bing. Photo / Babiche Martens.

2. Sculptural Marquette by Gidon Bing
Part of a studied series, this is one of my favourite forms. I love it for its simplicity and asymmetry.

Sugar cane press. Photo / Babiche Martens.

3. Sugar cane press
Despite its brutal appearance, our sugar cane juicer-cum-press is one of our most prized appliances. It produces litres of sweet, fresh sugar cane juice, which is great mixed with fresh lime and mint.

Collection of my father's pencils. Photo / Babiche Martens.

4. Collection of my father's pencils
Despite their modest appearance, these pencils were once used to create a prolific range of great works, from calligraphy to architecture.

Orchard. Photo / Babiche Martens.

5. Orchard
When we moved into our house we inherited a quarter acre of heritage fruit trees, which over the past 10 years we have lovingly pruned and trained using traditional Japanese methods that have resulted in beautifully structured as well as productive trees.

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