Virtual Studio is equal parts office and atelier, and as a result, is both a prolific design house and industrial developer of ultra-contemporary objects, as well as an experimental laboratory for advancing industrial design culture. In deftly combining theory + practice with commerce + culture, Virtual Studio places a particular emphasis on the important social and cultural dimensions in today's objects, in order to determine new understandings that support the human spirit, and foster meaningful relationships through today's sophisticated mass-produced environment.
From its inception, Virtual Studio was established to work with clients in an altogether different way. Entrepreneurial in its structure, it engages with companies and vendors worldwide as a true collaborator and equal stakeholder, with compensation based on success or failure, thus fostering an intensely creative and synergetic environment of shared risk and shared reward. Because of this, we follow our projects fully, from conception–to–consumer, and typically oversee all aspects of design, development, engineering, and production.
Projects encompass a wide range of products, furniture, and lighting, and in recent years, Virtual Studio has become recognized as at the forefront in the US with its research and development of cutting-edge LED lighting technologies, resulting in numerous ground-breaking new products. Some collaborators in these, and a wide variety of other types of projects, include; Amazon, Artecnica, Bernhardt Studio, Doug Mockett & Company, Dwell Magazine, Humanscale, Knoll Studio, MoMA Store, Nambé, Monsoon Multimedia, NYNEX Science and Technology, Pablo, Peter Pepper Products, Steelcase, Swatch, Swarovski Crystal Palace, Switch Lighting, and Umbra.
Peter Stathis founded Virtual Studio in 1990 as a design and development, licensing venture. He began his career in New York upon graduating from Pratt Institute in 1981, working in various design fields for many of the city's leading studios. Upon receiving his MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1989, he subsequently returned to New York as a researcher for NYNEX Science and Technology, and senior designer at Smart Design.
Relocating to San Francisco in 2000, his designs have been widely published — from The Wall Street Journal to Wallpaper magazine — have earned numerous awards, and have been exhibited internationally. His work is included in the permanent collections of several major museums including The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and New York's Museum of Modern Art.
Alongside professional practice, for over the past twenty-five years Peter has taught within and led many of the country's leading academic design programs, including as the Chair of the Design Department at Philadelphia's University of the Arts, and as Director of the world-renown graduate 3D Design Department at Cranbrook Academy of Art.
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Awards & Honors
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt, National Design Museum, New York
Denver Art Museum, Denver
Kirkland Museum of Fine and Decorative Art, Denver
The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture & Design, Chicago
Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills
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