NYC Design Week 2015 saw the Rhode Island School of Design alumni Farrah Sit and Anna Lynett Moss from Chiyome, both New York-based product designers, collaborate on a beautifully light and elegant furniture collection. Rooted in an analysis of planar relationships and with a nod to design elements borrowed from fashion, the collection is a study of weightlessness and balancing opposites — line vs volume, bright vs muted, transparent vs opaque. Both designers became friends in the NY design scene through a mutual deep admiration for each others’ work and share a focus on thoughtful, considered and sustainable design with community engagement – this collaboration was an opportunity to explore such design philosophy on a larger scale. The collection was exhibited during NYCxDesign2015 at Colony, a furniture showroom that celebrates and showcases the community of independent designers in New York City. Photography by Christopher Saunders.
Beller’s Equal seating ensemble personifies minimalism, emphasizing a sense of delicate sensibility. The collection is a set of chairs and stools all made from retracting wood in a tight grip of a single, seamless piece of cast metal. The philosophy of the strength between the relationships between objects, and people, is the basis for material selection and composition. The ash wood and the cast aluminum stand as these opposites, united in the Equal chair. Norway-based Lars Beller Fjetland studied at the Bergen National Academy of the Arts focusing on furniture, interiors and lighting, and his Norwegian coastal roots are clearly overt in his work. It is typical of the beautiful Scandinavian tone of combined considered tradition, restrained form and impeccable and seamless detailing. Equal is the spawn of this fascination with detail and a timeless aesthetic. Photography courtesy of Magne Sandnes.
The Italian furniture company, Kristalia, fast becoming a Minimalissimo favourite, recently introduced to us the beautiful OXO family of chairs, designed by Xavier Lust, which will be on display at Milan Design Week later this month. Oxo is the outcome of both ongoing research by Kristalia to find new production technologies and Xavier Lust’s in-depth knowledge of aluminium. In this design project, the designer highlights the hallmarks that have made him famous: curves created by his innovative process of bending metal surfaces. A long time admirer of Lust’s work, this is Kristalia first collaboration with the designer, which has resulted in an exquisite and minimalistic collection of outdoor stackable chairs where the beauty lies in the details, such as the twist that is seen on the base, the torsion of the aluminium tube. Wonderful.
Switzerland based studio Kind of Design launched earlier this year their debut collection of furniture, called M°1. The collection consists of a table, taboret, lamp and fruit bowl but I would like to highlight the chair: Chaise M°1. As seen from the front there is a nice contrast between the slim legs and solid backrest and seat. From the side one can see the graphic lines I like so much about the M°1. Look for instance at how the back chair legs are shaped. Like the other collection pieces the Chaise M°1 is made out of thermo lacquered aluminium. The chair is available in a set vibrant matte colours: white, black, red and yellow.
String Series is a work in steel developed by the London based designer Dean Edmonds, with it also being an homage to the string chair. Without doubt, an interesting experiment that uses the resistance of the steel to create a minimalist and light chair design, contrasting with the appearance of the steel. The designer explains: By using an all steel construction the string has become a structural element, in turn, reducing the structure itself. Although at first brutal in appearance I hope to show the beauty and fragility that steel can possess much like the string of the chair that was at first the inspiration.
Dutchman Cees Braakman was head of the Pastoe design team from 1945 to 1978 and was responsible for the development of the first modern furniture line. It was in 1958 that Braakman designed a chair that was to be entirely fabricated from steel wire — the SM05. One of the first of its kind. The classic, minimalistic design of the SM05 is accompanied by the KM stool series, all of which have been adapted to fit current sensibilities and brought back into production. Its wire design gives the KM & SM05 a spatial effect and the cushion and the shape of the backrest ensure a comfortable sitting experience. The KM stool, with its aesthetic and timeless design, is available in three heights: table (45cm), kitchen (63 cm) and bar (70cm). A quite incredible collection that deserves to be continually celebrated.
UK-based Industrial Facility introduces the Branca Chair and its younger brother, the Branca Stool. Conceived together with the well-respected Italian Mattiazzi as their client, the brief was to design a chair that turned to nature, where complexity thrives on reason, where beauty is simply a reason for constant growth. Available in black, white, green and a natural ash, both pieces are a collaboration on dedication to craftsmanship. The stool features a low back, a subtle element, together with a metal footrest for durability. Industrial Facility is a firm that works with international companies of all sizes in a wide ranging set of industries. Their portfolio extends beyond the original plan of industrial design products, and now reaches to collaborations in interiors, public furniture, medical devices and exhibitions. Formed in 2002, their work is based on exploring the junction between industrial design and the world around us. The resulting pieces are beautiful, clean and express function but in a quiet unassuming way. I like this. Photography courtesy of Industrial Facility.
Swedish design studio, Form Us With Love, who’s incredible studio space in Stockholm we featured a few years ago, have recently designed this beautiful stool with clean-cut lines, interrupted by a recess that serves as a footrest, which brings to mind the cutting of a tree trunk, ‘fura’ in Swedish. Designed for Italian furniture and lighting brand, Plust, the Fura stool is matched with the Fura table, both of which express rational, clean and geometric forms. The Fura furniture, comprised of polyethylene, is available in a variety of colours that include white, rosemary, sandy, ashen, and pearl black. Brilliantly simple garden furniture.
From one of Japan’s luminaries of simplicity, Tokyo-based design studio Nendo, comes a delightfully ethereal furniture collection created for Italian company Desalto, known for their metal furniture. The wonder of the collection lies precisely in the fluid, light way the hard steel is worked, bent as naturally as if it were paper, as described by Nendo. By adding flipped, bent and wrapped details to metal sheets and rods, the ordinarily hard material gains new functionality and a light, flexible feel, as though the metal has become paper or cloth. The collection comprises three benches, a chair, a family of small tables, a coat rack and a family of wall shelves. Imagery courtesy of Desalto.
HALE is a part-design, part-production firm, founded by American industrial designer Jonathan Nesci. Having been previously featured on Minimalissimo back in 2010, you may already be familiar with the work of Nesci and HALE. If not, I am delighted to share this remarkable industrial furniture with you. Designs of pure simplicity and functionalism, each of these pieces are robust, and also appear to have a certain unfinished or unrefined appearance, which I personally find incredibly beautiful. From the honest, simple structures of the wall and floor shelves, to the superbly sleek bar stools, to the straight-edged form of the hall chair, each of these aluminium and steel pieces integrate the fundamental principles of good design reminiscent of Dieter Rams and Naoto Fukasawa’s work. I really admire HALE’s entire furniture collection and as I continue to design my own interior space, hopefully there will one day be one or two Nesci designs in there.
P-11 is a minimalist, polygon shaped chair designed by Maxim Scherbakov. A beautiful chair for a modern interior. The main goal was to create a chair with complex polygonal shapes simple to manufacture without using any fasteners. The white lacquered metal frame gives a solid and reliable base for the plywood triangle shaped segments that form the seat and back. The plywood segments are glued together. Between each segment there is a narrow opening that continues to the armrests and legs. The lacquered metal gives a nice contrast with the plywood emphasising the lines cutting across seat and back. Maxim Scherbakov is one of the founders of Plan—S23, a St. Petersburg based design studio focusing on furniture, product and interior design.
Beam armchair is a minimalist design created by the Netherlands based studio Oato in collaboration with woodworking company Kuperus & Gardenier. The piece has been inspired by stacked beam structures used in many cultures. Designers explain their process: All the structural elements are squared, like wooden construction beams. All parts that involve sitting or touching are rounded and have different profiles accenting their own character and role. The price of the chair is quite approachable, especially considering the fact that it is mostly handmade. Another important achievement by the designers… The piece is made of oak with natural oil finish.