Designers Chen Chen and Kai Williams discuss the process behind their Avocado Planter and Fruit Soaps, created exclusively for The Gift Shop.

How would you describe the two objects you produced for the Gift Shop?

Cement and soap are both used to cast objects which are normally smooth. We thought that it was a good opportunity to use these materials in textured molds. We're interested in creating visually complex objects that are made through simple processes. We arrived at using fruits because they have naturally complex surface textures.

The planter/the fruit soap: what is the molding process?

The molding process is very simple, we take the actual fruits and cover them with silicone to create the molds.

The planters and the fruit soaps give a feeling of earthy environment. Do you like working with strong different elements?

We often design an object based on the material and technique of production. We learn new things from each material and technique which leads us to a related material and technique. For example, we cast the planters using cement, cement is cut and worked with masonry techniques which are related to stone, natural stone is combined with resin to create engineered stone which is a composite material and resin composites are the basis of a lot of our other work. Each design, although arrived at independently has an underlying interplay with every other design.

How long did it take between the concept and the production?

We used the idea of a minimum viable product to create the planters. Instead of figuring out the whole product, the initial mold used a Solo cup to create the cavity. We started selling them first and then added styles and adjusted the production process to meet demand.