The Tom Kundig Collection, launched in 2012 by Olsen Kundig Architects is a celebration of the moments when people become kinetically involved with the buildings and spaces they inhabit. The series features a variety of differing interaction scenarios, suitably named peek, no peek, droop, pull and earless. The collection is one of stylised conscious consideration of experience. With each piece, the user is challenged to change their interaction with the hardware, as a response to the evolution of the aesthetic that is presented. I like and appreciate this immensely. Here, design is challenging behaviour, heightening experience and giving a nod to the appreciative eye of the user. The use of steel, the consideration of the line work and seamless nature of the execution are beautiful. Seattle-based Olsen Kundig Architects were also recognised in 2012 from Interior Design magazine with a Best of the Year Award. Envisioned as the first of several product lines by the firm, the focus of the collection stems from Kundig’s well-known interest in the ways people interact with their environment. The resulting collection is one that celebrates the movement of people through architecture, and the interface of that interaction is celebrated. I look forward to the...
Categorized “Furniture design”
Dutch architects Fraaiheid have created a series of tables which are assembled solely on their cross shaped joints. Available in multiple sizes, they are easy and quick to put together and the designers have made a selection of sizes and finishes available as well. Besides its clean, minimal and contemporary appearance, I very much value the fact that the design of the + Tables considered minimal waste and maximum efficiency in its production. The parts of the table are precisely cut with a CNC milling machine utilizing one sheet of laminated plywood which has been sustainably produced. Imagery and details via Fraaiheid.
Italian furniture design studio Kristalia recently introduced me to one of their latest products – The Thin-K table, which will be presented at the next international trade fair in Milan. The incredibly slim Thin-K is the result of a collaborative project between Kristalia and the great Luciano Bertoncini. One of the primary features of Thin-K is of course how thin it is. Measuring a mere 6mm thickness, its structural frame is comprised of Anodised aluminium. The legs and top can be finished in a number ways, including aluminium with white, sand grey and black lacquer. The table is also available in genuine wood veneer with brush-effect, a technique that highlights the natural grain of the wood. Stunning.
The Blackbox sidetable is an incredibly simple piece of furniture design by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Design for the Danish firm JENSENplus, and was originally created to join the Blackbox modular bench as part of a collection. The base on the sidetable is designed so it touches the base on the bench and thereby gives the perfect position and balance. Available in Corian and wood, all edges of the sidetable have been cut off at the inside of the table to create a lighter design and at the same time adding clear detail and decoration. Simple, elegant, functional. Just that. What more do you need?
In 2008 Shay Alkalay of Raw-Edges designed the Pivot cabinet. The drawers of the wooden cabinet are hinged together, which means they can both be opened at the same time. A feature of which conventional drawers do not have. Since, Alkalay has created two new additions to the Pivot line for one of Europe’s leading table manufacturers, Arco: the Pivot Desk and Vanity. The Pivot Desk lowers the Pivot unit and adds a desktop. A functional workstation, great for small spaces or living rooms. The Pivot Vanity is the same concept as the desk but the top has a recessed edge and a mirror can be added.
Kaki side table has been created by Taiwan based furniture designer Kenyon Yeh. A lightweight and aesthetically austere piece, Kaki can serve to hold a vase, flower pot, books or a lamp. It can even be used as an improvised writing desk by those of us who live in confined spaces. Kaki is made of powder coated metal and consists of only two elements - a bent tabletop, which rests against the wall for added stability, and two legs. I love the simplicity and versatility of the piece. Its neutral design and light frame make it easy to move around and apply to various tasks.
Think Black Lines by Nendo was originally conceived for an exhibition (curated by Phillips de Pury and Company) at the Saatchi Gallery in London in 2010 based on condensed expressions of meaning. Whereby the designs gently break the relationship of before and behind, and traverse at times the space between two and three dimensions. The exhibition was a series of utilitarian items, envisioned on this similar principle of lines, in particular the theme of ‘outlines’. The resulting series of coat racks, all exhibited as minor transgressions of one another, were the play on two and three-dimensional principles. The slightness of these outlines I think is quite beautiful. While the practical functions of the item are still represented in the form, it is the less-ness of the outcome that is emphasized. This series of experimentation with lines, cast in black metal, is quite timeless. The structures represent the ultimate fusion of form, diverging from its original functional aesthetic.
Purpose Inc., a furniture and housewares company based in Utah, have designed this wonderfully minimalist take on an iconic symbol that is the rocking chair. They call it Rokur. Perfect for that moment of relaxation and reflection, this attractive chair design, particularly impressive from the side, has an ease and simplicity about it that features thin straight lines where possible. According to Purpose Inc.: The design was an attempt to capture the look and feel of relaxation. By removing extraneous patterns and ornate fillers, we created a chair that is as beautiful as it is functional. Rokur, featured here in Brazilian cherry, is also offered with seat and/or back cushions, but you wouldn’t want those, right?
This elegant chair has been created by the prolific Nendo for Swedish furniture brand Offecct. The illusion of a cape spread over the frame is achieved by two pieces of plywood pressed together. The biggest concern both the designer and the manufacturer had with piece was the weight. This amount of plywood was quite a tall order for such small and delicate item. The solution came in using ultra light steel, developed originally for the racing car industry. Aside from this exciting innovation, the piece strikes with its aesthetic creativity. It is amazing how a basic, familiar shape received a new life thanks to one clever visual detail.
Milan based Italian designer Henry Timi has built some incredible minimalist furniture over recent years, designing simple and pure shapes, refusing excess and the unnecessary. I would like to share with you today a small selection of seating furniture that reflects these qualities, but many more can be found on the Henry Timi website. Timi explains his design philosophy: I summarise and I develop objects with a minimalist vision. I just think of pure products – purity as the beauty. I promote the simplicity as the depth and the refinement to give value to objects and persons. I make things simpler in order to be better. These pieces may not exude comfort exactly, but what I do appreciate is their quiet elegance, clean lines and detail.
Jasper Morrison designed his iconic Air Chair for production by Magis in 2001. I recently bought a few of these for my new apartment and it surprises me how well the design has held up over the years. Coining—in conjunction with Takashi Okutani—the term ‘super normal’ to describe the kind of work he aims to produce as a designer, these chairs certainly do seem to be nothing special on first (and second) glance, but nonetheless exude an atmosphere of quiet, grace and honesty through their simplicity. One of the first significant pieces of furniture design to apparently use injection blow moulding technology, this chair is crafted from polypropylene with added glass fibre and is stackable. The chair has several variations (the Folding Air-Chair and the Air-Chair with arms) and is accompanied by the Air-Table and the Air TV table.
A Frame is a collection of elegant linear folding tables, created by London based designer Tomás Alonso for furniture manufacturer Karimoku New Standard. Each table has a simple A-frame base (hence the name), which folds completely flat when the piece is disassembled. Designer explains: It is a proposal for a “temporary” piece of furniture that accommodates to contemporary living in cities, which implies living in small spaces, that change from time to time as we move from one flat to the next. I like the idea of a single colorful metal leg, it gives artistic individuality to each of these objects. The tables are made from Japanese oak and powder coated steel, they come in different sizes and diameters.