Randy Rollner

U.S.A. (1971)
“It’s all in the details,” says Randy Rollner, in part referring to his team of true craftsmen with artisan sensibilities – whose medium happens to be industrial metal.

With his grandfather an architect and his mother an art dealer, Rollner grew up surrounded by design. “Thanks to my mother I was exposed to art at a very young age. Sculpting and painting were something I always did, and I idolized Calder and Serra. Then I started working with metal in high school.”

When he was just 18, Rollner met artist and designer Sy Ross and custom motorcycle builder Lawrence “Indian Larry” DeSmedt and began welding and fabricating metal in their Brooklyn studio. “Back then custom bikes were nothing like the big business it is today. To pay the bills we all fabricated furniture and architectural elements. Sy was very creative and sculptural with his work, which had an organic feel. Some pieces defied what you could do with metal. Both Sy and Larry were my mentors. Without them I would know nothing.”

Rollner went on to study industrial design at Parsons School of Design in New York, and in 2007 he founded Planterworx, a line of modern landscape products – planters, planting beds and retaining walls – with the clean, balanced lines one might associate with modern architecture. “Planterworx was born out of doing architectural metal fabrication. I prefer having a connection to the outdoors, and I was asked to do more and more outdoor metalwork. There seemed to be a real need for designer outdoor products.” Planterworx’s materials are suitably functional and weatherproof: Corten steel, stainless steel and powder-coated aluminum. Something else that’s in the details: Rollner is committed to sustainability, using a high percentage of recycled and recyclable materials in his products, including the Arena and Thornton Planters (2011). All design and manufacturing for Planterworx began and remains in Brooklyn, and Rollner’s designs have been included at NYC’s High Line elevated park and the United Nations complex.