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!
Categorized “Furniture design”
Up in the air is a striking occasional table for home and contract use, developed by Ramón Úbeda and Otto Canalda for the Spanish company Viccarbe. The white lacquered cylindrical table is also made from a patented environment-friendly resin that contains handmade fish replicas, therefore no need of additional decoration than themselves. The designers explain: Fish that aren’t fish. That seem to float in water that isn’t water. They seem to be suspended in air that isn’t air. Like a dream. A wonderful mixture between minimalism and poetry is the result of this charming project, that is available in different versions of fish compositions and table sizes.
Pedrali, an Italian multi-disciplinary design firm established in 1963, has recently launched their newest furniture collection that showcases their collaborative ethics with innovative thinkers. With a series of wooden and upholstered products, the functionality gives rise to designs that are both fun and simple. With notable seating items such as “Snow Junior” by Odo Fioravanti; “Log” by Manuela Busetti, Andrea Garuti, and Matteo Redaelli; “Tivoli” by Cazzaniga, Mandelli, and Pagliarulo; and “Zippo” by Pedrali R&D; they apparently show the way of integrating technology into craft, quality, and materiality. “Parenthesis” by Claudio Dondoli and Marco Pocci consists of three different coffee tables with quirky shapes and a tongue-in-cheek set of round brackets. “Flag” By Pio and Tito Toso is a variety of coat hangers that are both sleek and unconventional. All of the objects mentioned above combined to be a colorfully minimal collection and adds a punch of personality to one’s home, while still maintain an exuding elegance. Minimalism doesn’t mean simply black and white, but it means functionality over aesthetic; this 2014 furniture set of Pedrali proved that effectively. And the way these products are displayed is just a cherry on top to this wonderfully curated showcase.
Thaw sofa is one of the latest works launched by the Japanese design studio Junpei Tamaki Design during this year’s SaloneSatellite in Milan. It is a reference to images of thawed fluffy snow, producing a wonderful feeling of softness and comfort. The curved silhouette of Thaw is accompanied by a rounded oak detail that frames the whole piece — a continuous line to serve the seat, arm and backrest in one, resulting in a great formal simplicity. I particularly like how the wood is integrated so well on this kind of design, achieving a sense of quality and warmth. Photography by Takumi Ota
Armada armchair has been created by Croatia-based designer Zoran Jedrejcic. The base of the piece is comprised of a steel frame covered in wood, and the seat features a thin steel layer covered in high quality leather. This combination gives Armada the structural integrity it needs while preserving the weightless appearance. I love how sculpturesque and beautifully balanced the piece looks. Additional elements, such as cushions, upholstery and back support, can be added to Armada via magnets. Different types of leather and wood are available. The chair can also be made to order and accommodate custom measurements.
Menu has just launched the Chair #01 at the Salone Satellite in Milan this week. Designed by Stockholm studio Afteroom, the beautiful chair has a minimal solid-steel structure with three legs and back support and seat comprised of oak. Afteroom’s Hung-Ming Chen explains: The Afteroom Chair is an homage to Bauhaus and functionalism. The simplicity of its design combined with the quality of materials is what’s important. It is based on the concept of reducing the amount of materials to the minimum and by doing so pushing the aesthetic appearance to the maximum. The chair is available in black and white, and the collection also includes a stackable side table and a stoneware caddy.
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...
It is now our third feature of the work by Takuro Yamamoto Architects. However this time, it is not an architectural structure, but rather a complement to the living space. With an eye and a mind for minimal designs, the firm recently launched a series of lamps under the name of Minimal Green, consisting of Twig, Blossom, Bud and Flower. While the former two elegantly stand tall with their elongated thin bodies, Bud and Flower are more modest, acting as the younger siblings of this collection. It is in the details that one can differentiate the four from one another: on the trunk of these lamps, branches sprout out of the body to imitate the rustic feeling of plants, as the designer put. Not only do they act as an aesthetic communicator, but they can also be functional — used as a hanger for lightweight accessories and outerwear. I especially find Blossom the most provocative. Its straight body extends up to then flourish into a white mass, supported by a bent brach that plays with the eyes. The structure’s offset is what makes it interesting and intriguing, while its simplicity helps put it on the top of my wish-list.
22 year-old Josef Lang of Many Hands Design brings a Scandinavian edge to modern American industrial design. Inspired by functional, materiality and the fine arts, there is an overt emphasis on rendering quality, imaginative and appropriate responses to needs of modern design. CR stands for the cantilevered rod and 45 is the area code for calling Denmark. CR45 was initially conceived during Lang’s study abroad period in Denmark in 2013. The studio in which this piece was conceived, involved being split up by material, meaning each student was allowed only one specific material for the structure of their pieces. This exploration and understanding of materiality is obvious in the beautifully articulate execution of CR45. Structurally the biggest and most obvious exploration with this piece is that of cantilevering elements. Comprised of a high-carbon cold-rolled steel alloy space frame, the seat component is made with a sash cord, which has a nylon core and cotton exterior for both strength and comfort. Josef Lang is one to watch. Photography courtesy of Robert Bingaman.
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).
REN is a beautiful laconic creation of Japanese studio Karimoku New Standard. Inspired by traditional Japanese seating, this chair has a square frame and a low backrest. Designers claim that this shape and the position of the back promote healthy posture. I love how well thought out the piece is. Each part of a wooden frame is assembled using the traditional Japanese woodwork technique tomegata sanmai tsugi, or Triple Tenon. This principle allows to achieve a sturdy construction without the use of toxic adhesives. REN comes in two different frame colours and offers three choices of upholstery – paper yarn, textile and leather.
In February Noon Studio launched their latest iternation of the steel stool we have featured in the past. I did like the previous edition, the simple construction and use of honest materials, but I like the latest iternation even better. The founders of Noon Studio, Gautier Pelegron and Vincent Taiani, have worked on a few important details in the construction and decided to powder coat paint the high grade steel sheet. I love the contrast of the oiled European ash and the black steel. Pelegron and Taiani say the stool is influenced by traditional English craftsmanship and Provencal (southeastern France) rawness. The stool tries to express the direct simplicity found in real traditional antique Provencal furniture and the know-how of British craftsmanship which still holds today. The stool is not just a stool. One can easliy use it as a side or coffee table, book holder or shelving system.