When one thinks of incorporating nature into one’s home, that thought often involves trees. However, Amsterdam-based studio Formafantasma by Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin has a different direction for that thought. Specializing in designs that fuse tradition and local culture, while regarding sustainability and the objects’ significance, their products incorporate the most unusual materials—such as the Fossilium series. Made from cooled lava rocks from the eruption of Mount Etna in November 2013, these volumetric sculptures are the work of a collaborative effort that involves special processes. While minimal in form, the porosity and grain of these products propose a complexity in material execution. The elegance of simple geometric silhouettes is highlighted with accents of brass against the monochromic base of the basalt colors. These tables and tools are a part of a greater collection that includes clocks, bowls, and mirrors that are available at Gallery Libby Sellers in London. I find a fascination in the loyalty of Formafantasma to their philosophy of locality. Not only they were able to produce an amazing array of minimal sculptural furnitures, the sustainability aspect of material transportation also speaks about the work ethics that created Fossilium.
Categorized “Coffee table”
Zeren Saglamer’s Grill is a beautiful combination of lines. The materiality and the expression of its composition, is beautiful. Described as a half solid surface and half cage-like table, this piece is available in both a carrara marble and wooden surface. The metal bands that accompany the solid surface also act as a hanging surface for reading material. Saglamer is located in Istanbul and has a background in Industrial Design and Fine Arts. Her works are a combination of furniture, industrial design products, interiors and lighting. She heads up XS Design studio with an ethos to create products and interiors that integrate form and function in harmony. Grill is available through Selectivism. Photography courtesy of XS Design.
Berlin based design studio New Tendency is an outstanding interdisciplinary endeavour following a deeply holistic approach towards furniture and accessories. The collection is a mix of original products and collaborations with selected designers. It is united by clear aesthetics and functional form as well as a consistent production strategy: Every product is crafted regionally. Most of our products are modular and/or stackable, therefore enabling efficiency in wrapping, storage, and transport. We also really care about the production of our products. We consider our products carriers of these values and believe that they also transmit these ideas. — (FvF Interview 13.01.2014) I love the conceptual context in which Sebastian Schönheit and Manuel Goller manage to combine super normal design with a very sensual impression. It is a great pleasure to touch and work with objects like the floor lamp December or the side table Meta.
Dutch design office Oato., who’s work we have previously featured, recently introduced me to their latest design — Shift — a minimalistic set of tables with a playful design with many different sides and subtle bending details. The Shift tables are laser-cut from a continuous rectangular sheet of 3mm steel. We strategically left small segments of a few millimetres connected so it becomes possible to fold the table into the desired shape merely by hand. The outcome is a playful setup, which was created by balancing the desired structural and visual effect. The tables, which are available in two sizes — a side table & a coffee table — are finished with a slightly textured matt white coating to give maximum expression to the shape with all the different angles and edges in various shades of white. Oato.’s lead designer Stefan Tervoort explains: We think that this table’s aesthetic and details of the hand bending sets it aside from many other cold, straight folded sheet metal furniture. There is a certain softness/emotion in those corners, something unpredictable that brakes with the industrial nature of the design. We think we made a transition from displaying a technique into using a technique...
Furniture manufacturer Vitsœ and German industrial designer Dieter Rams are likely to be familiar names to our readers. It is a wonderful collaboration between these two that I have the pleasure of sharing with you today — the 621 Side Table. Originally designed by Rams in 1962 for Vitsœ, it has been re-engineered in 2014 with the addition of adjustable feet, satisfying Rams’s wish that was never fulfilled by the original. 621 has many uses for a simple table — not only a side table, coffee table or bedside table, 621 is excellent as the there-when-needed table. Vitsœ writes: Its simple design allows it to stand alone or be combined as a group to satisfy a surprising range of uses in the home or office. Turned on its end it can slide over a sofa — almost any sofa. This beautifully designed table will soon be available in two sizes (36cm and 45cm) and two colours (off-white & black).
This visually laconic and multifunctional table, called Cargo, has been created by French designer Frédéric Saulou. The beauty of the idea lies in the expandable surface of the piece, achieved by sliding or swiveling its main frame and drawer. The alluminium powder coated components are attached to the wooden base and move freely among it thanks to the clever joint mechanism. I love the functionality of the object. It expends, changes shape, accommodates demands of its surroundings. It also incorporates quite a bit of storage space, that could be both open and concealed.
We recently featured the work of Italian industrial designer and architect, Alessandro Di Prisco, with his SILK design. Today, I’m introducing you to another beautifully simplistic creation by the Napoli based designer. It is Cubico – a minimalist cubic furniture item that can be used in a variety of ways. Di Prisco explains: The Cubico design is produced by the subtractive process, progressively removing material from an accomplished figure, the cube, introducing voids, fissures in its linearity. Cubico does not have an exact position or even a specific function, as the position of the object can determine its function. Whether you use it as a magazine rack, a coffee table, a stool or even a decorative addition to your living space, Cubico is an attractive and practical piece of furniture.
As a fan of New York-based practice Snarkitecture ever since their collaboration with fashion designer Richard Chai, I have been looking forward to their new installation in Chicago’s Volume Gallery, a series of everyday objects ‘confused’ in their original function, typical context and familiar materials, producing a collection of Fun. A lamp whose globe melts away from leaning onto another lamp. A coffee table frozen in collapse under the weight of a marble that ‘pours’ its heaviness out. These objects are kept in minimal colors and forms to convey the artists’ intention. Funiture reconsiders our reality, often centering on creating confusion – whether with familiar objects in unexpected contexts, or the dissolution of recognizable volumes into irrational forms. Snarkitecture, comprising of Alex Mustonen and Daniel Asham, has often brought the fields of topography and geography into a smaller, human scale. Shelves, smooth on the top surface to function as, well, shelves, are made out of fiberglass and wood while they resemble rock excavations on the underside. Consistent in their philosophy of making architectural sense in their work, what I like most about the collection is that it serves its purpose by reminding us that sometimes it is ok not to take architecture...
Viña del Mar based design studio Elemento Diseño (Jaime Zuñiga and Emmanuel Gonzalez) have created Vic – a minimal coffee table for Quattria – a Barcelona based design company of contemporary furniture, who’s focus is developing the ideas of young designers. Made from plywood and lacquered in white, the Vic coffee table, comprising of just three pieces, is assembled without any tools and would literally take seconds for one to do so. Vic measures 1150 x 700 x 402 mm, and is described by Quattria: Environmental performance is the best definition of this coffee table. In manufacturing there are few losses so that all parts are utilised to build a harmonious whole. Functional and practical with an attractive simplicity.
Osko+Deichmann, the product design studio founded by Blasius Osko and Oliver Deichmann, created a minimalist family of tubular steel furniture named “KINK”. While normally tubing used in furniture is bent the Berlin design duo rather functionally folded, dented and kinked the tubes in their furniture pieces. The traces that come with the steel process are now integral to the furniture’s design. The family consists of a table, chair, writing table, cantilever chair, sideboard, shelf, coffee table and floor lamp made exclusively of tubular steel, pine wood and clamps.
Tray is the new coffee table collection by Spanish design studio Estudi Arola for furniture company Kendo. The collection is constructed around a central concept: a matt lacquer metal base is combined with mobile trays. These trays, available in a matt lacquer metal or walnut finish, allow you to personalize the object and add a fine touch of color. Kendo has been somewhat struggling with its brand image, but Tray might well be the start of a fresh future. We’ll see!
Without friends where would we be? My good friend Sonia of Area22 dropped us a line about Silva/Bradshaw, a small design studio based in Brooklyn, New York. Apparently, they have something good to offer – and yes they do! Silva/Bradshaw, founded in 2010, is the combination of Sergio Silva and Matthew Bradshaw. Their portfolio spans furniture, jewelry and industrial design – and they’re also working on the design and branding of a restaurant. As wide as their focus is, I’m impressed by the elegance and freshness of throughout their work. It’s just a pleasure to look at, isn’t it?! (Pssst, they actually sell their jewelry online – and it’s quite affordable!)