High Vibrations | Raise the Moral

A Vessel of Wellness Resides in Los Angeles

Written by

Delaney Willet

Photographed by

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Styled by

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As Los Angeles buzzes from Frieze festivities, a hush falls over the eclectic crowd gathered in the Ziering Residence, nestled into an idyllic Palisades hillside. Renowned musician Joel Shearer leads the entranced group in a live, improvised sound experience, inciting envy in any yogi not in attendance, and coaxing the hundred-plus pound Rottweiler lounging amongst the strewn cushions into R.E.M sleep, snores and all. Such a meditation was only a portion of the fanfare cultivated in previewing artist Moral Turgeman’s Caterpillar Chair, created in collaboration with Kelsey Falter under Turgeman’s multidisciplinary, global studio, Raise the Moral.

The Caterpillar chair delivers “a sound healing experience using tactile vibration tones and frequencies that synchronize with the brain, work throughout the body, and interact with the nervous system,” (to put the complex process leading to ultimate relaxation in Turgeman’s own words). Most recently, Falter & Turgeman found tremendous success surrounding their Design Miami exhibit, “BECOMING FAMILIAR.”

Overlooking Los Angeles, with breathtaking views of the Ziering estate, FLAUNT sat down with Turgeman’s to discuss her inspiration for the Caterpillar chair and the evolving intersections between art, utility, and technology in design.

What was your inspiration to begin your international studio, Raise the Moral?

To date, my path as an independent artist has been marked by success across various commissions, from installation art to collaborations with hotels and private clients. This journey highlighted my knack for orchestrating large-scale projects, a skill rooted in my passion for collaboration and community building. Sometimes, other artists ask, ‘Why do you want to collaborate?’ They can be skeptical. I've always embraced an inclusive approach to creativity. It got to the point that I realized people want a piece of me, but this [process] is not just me. I was on the road for five years creating art— it was epic.

Recognizing that my impact extends beyond individual achievements, I founded the studio to leverage my network more effectively and cultivate a dynamic team. This decision was informed by years of global projects, assembling teams worldwide to bring visionary art to life. One of our teammates is a mathematician that lives in Tbilisi. We have an architect that lives in Portugal. The studio's inception marks a focused effort to nurture a core group that shares this journey. Our recent achievements, including a standout show in Praz-Dellavelade leading to Design Miami, signal just the beginning of our exploration across diverse mediums, driving forward with anticipation for what lies ahead. Right now, there is a lot of expectancy from the furniture and design world. You never know with me!

There are elements of health, physiology, and science involved in the beauty of your creations. What spurred this marriage?

Sensory design is all-enveloping; this is why you may see or feel themes of health, physiology, and science integrated in a deliberate and dynamic way, enhancing the beauty of each piece. This intentional fusion aims to engage viewers on a multisensory level, transcending visual aesthetics. By weaving these themes into the works, we can create an all-enveloping experience where tactile sound technology and, in this case, strategic frequencies invite active participation in an immersive journey. This intentional intertwining enriches the narrative, encouraging one to explore deeper layers of meaning within the works.

I’ve never been threatened by technology. I think AI is an incredible tool. I’ve always looked to technology as a way to aid what I’m doing and I’ve always been excited about things that can come to life. If past lives exist, I was a scientist or an engineer. It’s ingrained in me. I probably should have studied industrial design and be building robotics. I’ve been able to teach myself about these worlds, merging them with art and creation. When I experienced tactile sound for the first time in the right context— not in a 3-D movie theater, where it’s about the rumble of the dinosaurs or the car, but rather about amplifying binaural sounds and frequencies that are meant to evoke a feeling. I realized that I was going to be able to embed that technology into something that would allow a person that may not be that keen to meditate and relax to sit down and sink into it because it’s hidden within this art object. When you look at the chair you have no clue what’s inside of it. It’s a mode of self-discovery, an inward journey. It masks this profound, healing thing within an art object. I try not to use the words ‘healing’ or ‘wellness’, because I think that they’re very loaded, especially in this time that we’re in.

It can be uninviting for people that are not ready. You approach the chair thinking, ‘This looks beautiful. This looks cool.’ Then you sit in it. Even if you’re apprehensive, instantly you’re relaxed. It’s the excitement of bringing together all of the parts. I’m skilled in being able to look at something, break it apart, and put it back together. This creation combines these different aspects that were inspiring to me in my life and marries them into a single object. This is not the first tactile sound chair on the market. But, the combination of what I put together is innovative, and new, and that’s what people are really excited about. It’s the merging of the worlds. I like to call myself a connector and an executor more than anything.

Your pieces make living alongside art possible. Can you expand on this?

Last year, during the development of our 'Becoming Familiar' collection for Design Miami, my partner Kelsey Falter and I coined the term ‘lifestyle design’. What does that mean? This approach signifies more than mere coexistence with artful objects; it's about creating pieces that foster a deep, interactive relationship. Our creations are pieces that not only do you live with, but that you engage with. They have a piece of you and you have a piece of them. It’s not just another object in your house. It’s something that you may adorn, embodying a mutual exchange between the piece and its owner. Especially now, there are so many things. What do you value? What do you actually use? This philosophy responds to the contemporary dilemma of abundance, prioritizing meaningful connections and utility in design. Our mission is to seamlessly integrate these values into everyday living, making art an integral part of one's lifestyle.

What is your current mission? Where are you headed with your work?

The studio is set to delve deeper into the realm of tactile sound, expanding our exploration of how this technology can enhance private and communal spaces alike. Beyond objects, we are heavily focused on private commissions, which include embedding this type of technology into the architecture of your home. This particular project will continue to expand and grow. Separately, you will see other furniture and objects designed in completely different spaces come out of the studio. That idea of working with different mediums, of creating site-specific things that are relevant to the moment is going to be that future forward. We have a few sensory architecture projects in the works—distinctive furniture and objects, each reflecting our versatile approach to medium and context. Our aim is to continue forging unique, site-specific works that resonate with the zeitgeist, blending functional design with experiential elements that enrich the living environment. Through these endeavors, we strive to invisibly weave our creations into the fabric of daily life, offering profound, felt experiences that transcend the visible.

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Art, Caterpillar Chair, Ziering Residence, Moral Turgeman