IKEA has recently launched Sinnerlig, a collaboration with London designer Ilse Crawford from Studioilse, on a range of cork and natural-fibre homeware products prominently featuring neutral colours that were chosen to fit into any home. In Crawford’s words: It’s supposed to work in a bathroom in Mumbai as well as a kitchen in Neasden, it has to fit into people’s lives. It is quite low key but we deliberately designed it like that, we see it as background, it’s not trying to compete with these fantastic icons of design — it’s a different thing. Set against the beautiful backdrop of Ett Hem hotel, also designed by Studioilse, the collection contains a range of around 30 products, from larger furniture pieces such as cork-covered tables and a daybed down to hand-blown glass bottles. The collection was unveiled during Stockholm Design Week and will be available in stores in August.
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.
Japanese designer Tokujin Yoshioka continues to fascinate us with his simplicity in design and in particular his remarkably minimalistic work with glass furniture. His latest creation is the Prism glass chair for Glasitalia. Prism glass chair is a chair made from thick (19mm) high-transparency glass. With the cutting technique on the glass surface, it produces a clear sparkling effect like a prism. The glass is embellished with special bevelling which reflects and refracts the light, lending the object a rare preciousness. Despite its extreme lightness of form, the seat has considerable weight bearing capacity. Yoshioka writes: This creation is a chair like a shimmering sculpture in a space that miraculous expression is brought by the refraction of light. This chair may not exude comfort, but I’m full of admiration for Yoshioka’s work. Not only do his designs often have a beautiful minimalist aesthetic, but there is something wonderfully poetic about his work with glass.
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.
In 1958 Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni designed the Babela Chair for the Milan Chamber of Commerce. The brothers created a light-weight chair with minimal clearance. One can easily move the chair, stack it and create long, straight, rows. The Italian contemporary furniture brand Tacchini adopted the 1950’s design in 2010. Unlike the original chair the frame is not made of iron but of Ash timber, available with a white, black, grey, walnut or natural finish. The seat features a removable cover and may be upholstered with fabric and leather. The Castiglioni brothers playfully explored new possibilities for form and created highly functional objects that are as aesthetically satisfying as they were practical. A timeless classic!