Date of Award

Spring 6-4-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

John Dunnigan

Second Advisor

Emily Cornell Du Houx

Third Advisor

Harry Allen


Most of my memories consist of lively dinner parties. Hands moving in every direction when the food is brought out. The piano bench for the kids to sit on, the fold out table necessary to fit everyone around the meal, and always endless stacks of plates. These experiences and traditions were curated by my heritage and have a strong presence in the work I design. I intend to understand and create interlocking relationships of care, where ritual and romance lead the way to form a community; designing and making furniture and objects that reassert hospitality within the home.

Hospitality is an act of surrender and generosity. I look to welcome my guests into a warm and comfortable room not just to have them sit in interest, but to add their voice and views on what they are experiencing. I surrender my perspective to theirs and together we form a unique, unrepeatable event.

These design settings are meant to bring people close together, evoke curiosity, and as a group find joy in the details. My use of shape, line, and colour brings these sentiments together in the form of an object. Each object plays a role in a larger picture – simultaneously existing within and creating the space in which it will be found. Furniture and objects come in shapes and scales unfamiliar, but that retain more than a sense of their purpose. Each piece has been designed in parts, and only once brought together exist as a whole, to be experienced.


View exhibition online: Elana Shvalbe, In this form, together



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