For our annual salute to craft and creativity, we bring together the best designers, artists, and manufacturers to make one-off wonders. Here, browse all the fruits of Handmade 2017
‘Holy Handmade!’ signet-ring seal
Regarded as a potent symbol of divinity, the signet ring carries a talismanic charge, delivering its message by way of an emblematic seal. To make a suitably mighty mark on this year’s spiritually elevating Handmade, we worked with signet-ring maker Rebus to create our own. The seal itself was specially designed for us back in 2011 by illustrator Kam Tang and graphic designer Darren Wall, for that year’s Wallpaper* Handmade exhibition and special issue.
Having painstakingly engraved the seal from a wax imprint, Rebus took a symbolic approach to the 18ct-gold jewel’s ample form: ‘The two triangular cut-out sections echo the negative space in the Wallpaper* W,’ says Rebus’ director and master engraver Emmet Smith. ‘The ring’s inner curve is enamelled in white, which alludes to the interior of a modernist building.’
Established in 2005 as an offshoot of RH Wilkins engravers, Rebus operates a jewellery studio beneath its shop in Leather Lane, the heart of London’s jewellery quarter. Its skills are rooted in traditional gold-working techniques – die-stamping, hand-engraving and wax intaglio. Rebus’ reputation as a maker of note proves that the desire for jewelled symbols is as contemporary as it is traditional. rebussignetrings.co.uk
Photography: Paul Zak
RDAI and Lanserring
Inspired by the minaudière, a bag with dedicated compartments invented by Van Cleef & Arpels in the 1930s, this box displays a level of craftmanship as exceptional as its intended contents. ’We wanted this to be a piece you’d take to a desert island. Inside you would have everything you consider essential,’ says Julia Capp, director of design at RDAI. Sculpted from a single piece of sustainable ironwood, the box has been plated in 24ct gold to achieve a geometric pattern with metaphysical illusions – a circle circumscribed in a square. A circular clasp lifts to reveal a lining of pink goat suede, and an inlaid mirror with an elegantly bevelled edge. It comes with a removable concertina pocket, created in the same suede, for storage of smaller jewellery.
Parisian interior architecture studio RDAI was founded in 1972 by Rena Dumas, and is today led by her long-term collaborator Denis Montrel. Its prodigious output includes offices, workshops and stores for Hermes, flagship stores for Elie Saab, the public spaces of Les Bains hotel, Paris, and the interiors of Renze Piano’s Eighty Seven Park, Miami. rdai.fr
Founded in early 2017, Lanserring specialises in kitchen designs and lifestyle products that stretch the possibilities of material and form. It is led by a London-based collective that includes former design duo Andrew Hays and Kimm Kovac, and the founders of joinery specialists Interior-iD Bernd and Johann Radaschitz. Their workshop sits as the foot of Riegersburg Castle in Austria. lanserring.com
Still life: William Bunce. Interiors: Olly Mason
Paul Helbers and Smallbone
A nod to the daily ritual of getting dressed, this transparent wardrobe is built on a pedestal, exhibiting and elevating the clothes held inside like pieces in a museum. Crafted in oxidised English oak, the timber is cut in different directions, its veins resembling a textured fabric. Taking inspiration from British brutalism and its creation of church mouldings using unconventional materials, the doors are made using Perspex. Aluminum angled lighting strips and bevel-cut Perspex boxes inside the wardrobe add further emphasis to the clothing within.
Paris-based designer Helbers launched his eponymous menswear label in 2016. The former head of menswear at Maison Margiela and ex-menswear at director at Louis Vuitton cites artists’ uniforms and the coast as inspiration for his hybrid designs. helbers.fr
Founded in England’s West Country in 1975, Smallbone is a leader in fitted furniture design, for kitchens, throughout the home and even the odd yacht. Its joiners craft all of its pieces by hand and personally inscribe their name on each piece they have created. smallbone.co.uk
Photography: Leandro Farina
‘Dig Deep’ offertory bag
Jamie Fobert Architects and Studioart
Taking inspiration from velvet-lined offertory bags, the handle of this bag lies deep within a long sleeve, turning the act of reaching inside into a sensory journey. It comes in three leathers: velour-effect Watersuede; chiaroscuro-like Waternatural and Rodeo, featuring alternating sections of leather and fur. We suggest you dig deep.
Jamie Fobert Architects
London based-architect and designer Jamie Fobert established his practice in 1996. Inspired by functionality, ease and the interplay of light, the award-winning practice has won three public cultural commissions, including the Tate St Ives extension. jamiefobertarchitects.com
Set up in 2006 by Nadia and Gianfranco Dalle Mese, Italian leather expert Studioart specialises in creating custom-made textured leathers for interiors, which are produced at the family tannery founded by the pair’s father, Giuseppe Dalle Mese, in Montebello Vicentino in 1967. studioart.it
Photography: Máté Moro
‘Immaculate Care’ case
Matteo Thun & Partners and Ermenegildo Zegna
Constructed in Ermenegildo Zegna’s Pelle Tessuta, an innovative fabric woven from fine strips of nappa calf leather, this case has been designed to organise and manage tools for the rituals of cleaning, maintaining, repairing, caressing and caring for everything in a gentleman’s wardrobe. It encourages mindfulness of precious, noble materials and high craft.
Founded in 1910 in Trivero, Italy, as a wool mill, Ermenegildo Zegna is now a global powerhouse in the menswear arena, with a fully integrated vertical production process that starts with the Merino sheep. Artistic director Alessandro Sartori oversees a collection of men’s tailoring, sportswear, shoes and accessories. zegna.com
Matteo Thun & Partners
Matteo Thun opened his Milan-based practice in 2001. Known for exacting standards in environmental sustainability, the firm works across architecture, interiors and product design for both Italian and international clients. A leader in the hospitality area, the practice is developing a hybrid concept combining wellness, healthcare and hotels. matteothun.com
Photography: Máté Moro
‘Time Capsule’ clutch
Cutler and Gross and Doshi Levien
Crafted to hold precious items, this clutch case was inspired by the ritual of dressing up. A piece to be passed down through generations as a ceremonial offering, it is made from the same Italian acetate, hinges and rivets used to make Cutler and Gross spectacles. It also features two circular peepholes that reference the initial stages in the production of a pair of sunglasses.
Cutler and Gross
Founded in 1969 by Graham Cutler and Tony Gross, British eyewear brand Cutler and Gross handcrafts its products in Cadore, Italy. Its frames offer a timeless, elegant style with only the discreetest of branding. cutlerandgross.com
Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levien launched their multidisciplinary London-based design studio in 2000. The award-winning duo have since created work for the likes of B&B Italia, Kettal, Kvadrat, Moroso and Swarovski. doshilevien.com
Photography: Paul Zak. Interiors: Maria Sobrino
‘Taking Care of Wild Relatives’
Sebastian Herkner, Lobmeyr and FAO
Approached by Wallpaper* to embrace our Holy Handmade! theme, designer Sebastian Herkner and Lobmeyr’s Leonid Rath wanted to create a vessel to hold and celebrate something special – and what could be more precious than nature? The result is five glass containers, each holding a precious seed. ‘We use the characteristics of the glass, its transparency and sophistication, to celebrate the power of nature,’ says Herkner. Rath and Herkner worked with FAO (the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) to select five crop wild relatives (the close or distant cousins of the crops we grow our food from) that are threatened by climate change, in order to raise awareness about the importance of protecting them.
Herkner opened his design studio in Offenbach am Main, Germany, in 2006 and has designed products for the likes of Nodus, Moroso and Rosenthal, as well as working on interior design projects. sebastianherkner.com
This family-owned crystal glassware company was founded in Vienna in 1823. Today, cousins Leonid, Johannes and Andreas Rath head the business, which works with traditional glass-blowing, cutting and engraving techniques to develop timeless pieces. lobmeyr.at
FAO works to eradicate food insecurity and malnutrition and to manage natural resources sustainably. The organisation considers seeds and their genetic diversity to be key to reducing world hunger. fao.org
Photography: Philippe Fragniére
‘Pocket Ocean’ bowl
Mathieu Lehanneur and Gérard Pigault
After mastering his liquid effect in marble, Mathieu Lehanneur has applied the technique to ceramic, creating a basin with a surface that mimics the movement of water. His large bowl is made from enamelled ceramic, and is intended to serve either as a domestic centrepiece or as a container for holy water in an ecclesiastical context.
French designer Mathieu Lehanneur has successfully blurred the boundaries between sophisticated furniture design and technology (he has been chief designer at Huawei since 2015). His style has been applied to everything from a church altar to a café for the Louvre. mathieulehanneur.fr
French artisan Gérard Pigault is an expert in transforming polyester resin, plaster, ceramic and brass into impressive artworks. Based in Fontainebleau, he uses his sensibility and expertise to create unique and beautiful pieces in collaboration with a wide range of renowned designers and artists.
Photography: Paul Zak. Interiors: Amy Heffernan
Rising sun and tea cart
Isabelle Stanislas and Mauviel
The Japanese tea ritual is perhaps the ultimate expression of slow living, where the process of preparation becomes a meditative part of the experience. Taking inspiration from a typical ceremony and its tools – in particular, the traditional furo used to heat water – and combining it with the conveniences of the Western hostess trolley, a 1970s entertaining essential, we came up with the idea of a tea cart that incorporates a water heater. Isabelle Stanislas brought her exquisite brand of minimalism to the form, while Mauviel, which has centuries of experience moulding copper into highly coveted cooking utensils, brought one of its master craftsmen out of retirement to realise the design in a blend of copper and mirrored stainless steel.
Architect Isabelle Stanislas launched her agency So-An (Japanese for ‘design and composition’) in 2003. Stanislas uses her eye for minimal compositions, a palette of natural colours, and a careful consideration of light to create refined spaces that unite past styles with contemporary tastes. so-an.fr
Since 1830, Mauviel has created cookware beloved by both domestic cooks and world-renowned chefs. Begun in a Norman village known as ‘the city of copper’, Mauviel uses knowledge garnered from generations of copper craftsmen to create products of unrivalled quality and elegant design. mauviel.com
Postcard Teas, Pietro Russo and Ichendorf
Timothy d’Offay of Postcard Teas has developed Ambient Tea, made for pairing with fine foods, and serving in stemware. It is infused at room temperature, capturing more facets of the leaves’ flavours than a cold brew, while displaying the balance of a hot brew. For us, d’Offay created two blends: London Sun, a roasted black tea with a sweet, nutty chocolate flavour, which pairs with meats and smoked fish; and High Green, a blend of Darjeeling and Taiwanese tea with elderflower and tropical fruit notes, which pairs with white meats, fish, salads and cheese. To create a preparation kit, we introduced d’Offay to designer Pietro Russo, who took his cues from Japanese functionality. The brass scoop is inspired by a leaf, while the brewing and serving vessels, brass caddy and strainer, and glasses play with the same flattened dome. Ichendorf handcrafted the glassware using borosilicate glass and the lampworking technique.
Italian designer Russo taps into his fine arts background to create exquisitely crafted objects and spaces. He works with artisans to translate age-old techniques into contemporary pieces. pietrorusso.com
Timothy d’Offay is a leading purveyor of tea. His Mayfair store, Postcard Teas, was the first to sell teas exclusively from small-scale farmers and to identify the provenance of each blend. postcardteas.com
Initially a German house specialising inglassware ornaments, Ichendorf moved to Milan in 1990. It now produces elegant hand-blown pieces with an emphasis on clean cuts and pure materials. ichendorfmilano.com
Photography: William Bunce
I’m A Kombo and Anne Brandhøj
In Victorian times, wrapped funeral biscuits displaying biblical verses were traditionally handed out to mourners. We approached Danish food design studio I’m A Kombo to develop a modern rendition. Riffing on the phrase ‘To the bitter end’, its biscuit takes you through the five basic tastes, from salty (salt crystals), via sour (lemon rind), sweet (rainbow sprinkles) and umami (meat fibres), to bitter (green leaves). Fellow Dane Anne Brandhøj created a wrapper that helps tell the biscuit’s story on white waxed paper.
I’m A Kombo
Lasse Askov and Bo Lindegaard set up I’m A Kombo in 2010 to reinvent the way we dine out. The pair’s creative approach to food is realised in formats including a magazine and book store called Nibble, and pop-up restaurants such as one where guests licked fake grass off the side of a barn. imakombo.com
Designer Brandhøj’s passion for food and design has been channelled into an array of innovative projects, including the Kobenhavns Fodevarefaellesskab food co-operative, and Madfællesskabet, an organisation dedicated to entrenching a more thoughtful food culture. annebrandhoej.dk
Photography: William Bunce
Ten Commandments of Science
Yves Béhar, scribed by Paul Antonio Scribe
‘A political climate too often guided by fear, demagogy and post-fact distortions is creating uncertainties for the world. Is belief rather than science guiding us into this uncertain future?’ So ponders Yves Béhar. Inspired by this Handmade’s spiritual quest, he drafted a new set of Ten Commandments guided by science. Calligrapher Paul Antonio then scribed the text, a take on traditional bible layouts.
San Francisco-based designer Yves Béhar founded his company Fuseproject in 1999, and the studio’s output emphasises sustainability and humanitarian impact. His most recent projects include a new home entertainment system for Samsung that displays a rotation of artworks when not in use, and a redesign of the Super 8 camera for Kodak. fuseproject.com
Paul Antonio Scribe
London-based calligrapher Paul Antonio trained as a scribe and heraldic artist, and went on to study archaeological illustration; his works on Egyptian hieroglyphs are kept at the Metropolitan Museum, New York. Antonio’s calligraphic work has been applied to shop windows, invitations and large-scale bespoke projects. paulantonioscribe.com
‘Airplane Mode’ vessel
Branch and Concreteworks
‘Airplane Mode’ is designed to contain a mobile phone, so its owner can switch off and instead focus on the more tactile things in life. It’s the brainchild of San Francisco-based creative agency Branch, whose extensive experience in designing consumer electronics made it all the more sensitive to the importance of going technology-free from time to time. The case is cast from high-grade concrete by Concreteworks, shielding its contents from Wi-Fi and phone signals. Meanwhile, the rough-hewn exterior is left unpolished to evoke natural stone and a padded leather interior creates a textural contrast and a sense of refinement.
Nick Cronan and Josh Morenste founded Branch in 2013 to solve industrial design and branding challenges. Output includes the modular ‘Ara’ phone for Google, a skin analysis system for L’Oréal, and the first self-optimising Wi-Fi system, Plume. Branch launched a lighting collection, ‘Dusk Dawn’, for Ghidini 1961 at this year’s Salone. branchcreative.com
Californian design and fabrication studio Concreteworks specialises in new manufacturing technologies for cast concrete and other cement-based materials. In addition to a range of outdoor furniture and fittings, it also creates original, site-specific works for architects and designers. concreteworks.com
Martin Brudnizki and Pemberton & Sons
The Giant’s Causeway, a series of basalt columns on the north coast of Northern Ireland, is said to have been built by the giant Fionn mac Cumhaill in an attempt to bridge the channel to Scotland. Inspired by this folk legend, Martin Brudnizki designed a series of candleholders formed of polygonal columns. One candleholder is in black nickel, while the others are in materials that represent different stages in its production – tulipwood, wax, unfinished bronze and polished bronze.
The go-to interiors man of the London restaurant scene, the Swedish designer has also created striking hotel spaces, such as Miami’s Soho Beach House. He founded his product design studio in 2015. andobjects.com
Pemberton & Sons
Founded in Birmingham in the 17th century, this firm uses traditional artistry and modern technology to produce fine architectural hardware. pembertonandsons.co.uk
Tijmen Smeulders and Olivier van Herpt
Collaborating as designers (as opposed to a designer and a manufacturer), Smeulders and van Herpt explored 3D printing techniques to create a series of clay vessels whose shapes were informed by the elements of religious architecture. The modular objects they created can be stacked to make bigger volumes, serving as containers or as decorative totems.
Based in Rotterdam and a member of design collective Dutch Invertuals, Smeulders eschews conventional forms, and his pieces are never strictly informed by function. His objects include lighting, seating and domestic accessories, created using different materials and techniques, most recently CNC-milled polyester. Later the year, Smeulders will spend three months in Arita, Japan, to learn about traditional porcelain manufacturing. tijmensmeulders.nl
Olivier van Herpt
Design Academy Eindhoven graduate van Herpt explores the manufacturing possibilities offered by 3D printing techniques, and his main focus has been the design and development of a 3D printer capable of making functional ceramics. Awarded with numerous accolades, his work has been on display at the likes of London’s Design Museum, New York’s Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian and the Pompidou in Paris. oliviervanherpt.com
Stairway to Heaven
Snøhetta, Erik Jorgensen Mobelfabrik and Everything Elevated
An esteemed trifecta of design and manufacturing have come together to create ‘Portal’, our very own stairway to heaven, a ‘never-ending’ ladder designed to change the viewer’s perspective. Using wood and leather crafted by Erik Jørgensen Møbelfabrik, the design approach of award-winning studio Snøhetta and the strategic acumen of design practice Everything Elevated, Stairway to Heaven is an illusory mix of mirrors, monolithic scale and finely finished materials. It’s also a physical expression of the spiritual experience.
One of Norway’s most famous exports, Snøhetta is a collaborative and integrated design studio with offices and projects around the world. Encompassing architecture, landscape, interiors and brand design, the studio has realised many highly acclaimed buildings, including the Oslo Opera House, New York’s National September 11 Memorial & Museum and the Calgary Central Library. snohetta.com
Erik Jørgensen Møbelfabrik
Founded in Svendborg, Denmark in 1954 by upholsterer Erik Jorgensen, the furniture company’s collection includes classics from Hans J Wegner and Poul M Volther, as well as collaborations with contemporary designers. erik-joergensen.com
Based in New York and Oslo, this Norwegian design practice crosses disciplines and continents. Happy to stay behind the scenes, the company’s work mixes modernist cues with new digital technologies. everything-elevated.com
Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec and Lesage Intérieurs
For this project, executed in Lesage’s workshops in Chennai, India, six metres of Kvadrat’s ‘Time 300’ fabric were stretched on a giant wooden loom, held in place with straps, allowing more than ten men to work at once. Oversized pixels, in the form of custom-made frosted blue PVC paillettes in three sizes, were hand-stitched in blue cotton mouliné, a task that took more than 1,000 hours. Traditionally, fabric is embroidered on one side only, but the Bouroullecs requested that both sides be visible, so the thread is finished on both sides. For the mini veil, ‘Divina 3’ by Kvadrat is embroidered with a ’point riche’ stitch in five shades of green. Talking about the project, the Bouroullecs say, ‘Embroidery is an amazing language, full of diverse expression and manner. In a way, it’s like the origin of pixels, with each point making a part of the picture while also conveying its own weight and magic.’
Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec
Paris-based brothers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec have been working together for about 20 years, producing designs for everything from furniture to jewellery. They have collaborated with the likes of Vitra, Kvadrat and Artek, as well as producing limited editions for Galerie Kreo in Paris. bouroullec.com
Jean-Francois Lesage is descended from three generations of embroiderers and his father was the legendary haute couture embroiderer François Lesage. In 1993, Jean-Francois opened his own embroidery workshop in Chennai, producing exquisite handiwork on a bespoke basis for the world of interiors.
Karen Chekerdjian and Grandinetti
Inspired by Japanese Zen monk Sengai Gibon’s painting of the universe, this geometric table features three protruding shapes: a triangle, a square and a circle. The Lebanese designer Karen Chekerdjian worked with Grandinetti’s Art 118 Bianconera terrazzo stone, finding that its speckled effect was a way to express the notion of infinite possibilities.
Chekerdjian started out in advertising before studying industrial design at Domus Academy in Milan. Having set up her studio in Beirut in 2001, she creates furniture, jewellery and textiles, and works on special projects and interiors. karenchekerdjian.com
Founded in San Severino Marche, Italy, in the early 20th century, this terrazzo company specialises in grit marble chips that are compressed to create flooring, wallcoverings and accessories. grandinetti.it
Tino Seubert and Pibamarmi
Seubert’s robust receptacle nods to both Constantin Brancusi’s Sculptural Ensemble at Târgu Jiu, Romania, and postmodernist forms. Its four cylindrical legs and sharpedged vessel were created by Pibamarmi using Travertino Romano Classico. The piece’s sturdy shape contrasts with its refined spiritual aim, which is to evoke ultimate calm from the flowing stream of water.
London-based Seubert studied in Bolzano and Paris before working for contemporary art galleries, which helped shape his conceptual and interdisciplinary approach. His products include barrel-inspired traysfor H Furniture. tinoseubert.com
A specialist in natural stone since 1967, Chiampo-based Pibamarmi collaborates with the likes of Michele De Lucchi to produce bathroom furnishings, as well as tables, seats and architectural surfaces. pibamarmi.it
Giacomo Moor and Emmemobili
We approached designer Giacomo Moor, known for his mastery of wood, to upgrade the tabernacle, or religious ‘dwelling space’, that traditionally exists in gold and is ornately embellished. Moor translated the concept into an intimate ‘spiritual cupboard’. The magnificent piece of micro-architecture, crafted by manufacturer Emmemobili, open up to reveal a functional desk and shelves, with storage to accommodate revered personal items, such as books, sketches or photographs. Rich Canaletto walnut veneer contrasts with more humble fir and straw, creating a dynamic, enveloping space for contemplation.
Moor started out as a carpenter before setting up his studio in 2011. The Milanese designer uses his artisan background to create bespoke fittings and products for the likes of Post Design. Last year he won the award for Best Young Designer at Salone del Mobile. giacomoor.com
The family-run manufacturer has been creating quality wood furniture since 1879. At its Cantú factory, skilled craftsmen utilise rare woods to create pieces conceived by architects and designers such as Matteo Thun and Rodolfo Dordoni. emmemobili.it
Thierry Dreyfus and Koleksiyon
The sublime work of French light artist Thierry Dreyfus has illuminated many a Wallpaper* project, so it was only fitting that we worked with him again to show his designs in a spiritual context. His lamp, which takes its name from the Greek word for matter, was developed in collaboration with Turkish furniture company Koleksiyon. It features a wood shell with a gold-painted interior, giving a discreet nod to religious icons.
A long-time Wallpaper* collaborator, Dreyfus has produced some of fashion’s most memorable catwalk shows of the past decade, conjuring up installations and sets for Dior, Helmut Lang, Marni and Jil Sander. atelierthierrydreyfus.fr
Koleksiyon manufactures high-quality home and office furnishings. Established in 1972 in Ankara, Turkey, the company is regarded as a pioneer in design, production and distribution, both in Turkey and overseas. koleksiyoninternational.com
‘Meditation Tablet’ tray
Kostas Murkudis and Gustav van Treeck
Taking inspiration from the utensils used in meditative Japanese tea ceremonies, Kostas Murkudis’ tablet evokes the trays used to carry teapots and cups, which are more usually crafted in lacquered or unlacquered wood. This design has instead been created in coloured glass, and plays with concepts of reflection, fragility and sensuality.
Berlin-based fashion designer Kostas Murkudis worked as first assistant to Helmut Lang before founding his own label in 1994. He is also the former creative director of Ter et Bantine and Hache, while his own projects span both art and design. kostasmurkudis.net
Gustav van Treeck
Renowned for its innovative approach to mosaic art and glass painting, Munichbased glass specialist Gustav van Treeck was founded in 1887. Both a maker and restorer of glass, it launched its design collection, Edition van Treeck, in 2015. hofglasmalerei.de
Photography: Philippe Fragnière
‘Sacred Space’ pavilion
Francesco Librizzi and De Castelli
The ‘Sacred Space’ shrine is intended to express our connection with symbolic places. The painted stainless steel pavilion defines the space beneath it as sacred, giving a nod to how spirituality has been given a physical form since early nomadic cultures. We’ve added a surrealist de Chirico-esque touch to ours. What will you do with yours?
Working across architecture, interiors and product design, Francesco Librizzi trained at Facoltà di Architettura di Palermo and founded his practice in 2005. Recent projects include exhibition design for the Fondazione Vico Magistretti and an installation for the 2016 Triennale, both in Milan. francescolibrizzi.com
Known for its detailed approach to the crafting of metal products, De Castelli combines traditional techniques with advanced technology. Founded in 2003, the company has worked with designers such as Aldo Cibic and Michele De Lucchi, and launched its own De Castelli Edition brand of products in 2010. decastelli.it
Photography: Philippe Fragnière. Interiors: Maria Sobrino
AFSO and Ghidini 1961
Architect André Fu of AFSO created a sculptural lantern to hold a flame that appears to float on a shallow body of water. With its juxtaposition of four distinct components, the curved brass profile ‘expresses a spatial quality beyond its physical presence’, says Fu. The sophisticated piece was made in Ghidini 1961’s factory using polished brass cast from a 3D-printed mould.
Known for its lavish projects for hospitality and fashion brands, Hong Kong-based interior architecture practice AFSO was founded in 2000 by André Fu. Its projects include The Upper House hotel in Hong Kong and Villa La Coste in Provence. afso.net
Based in northern Italy, Ghidini 1961 was launched in 2016 by Ghidini Giuseppe Bosco, which has specialised in die-casting since 1961. Under Stefano Giovannoni’s creative direction, it has collaborated with designers such as Andrea Branzi, the Campana Brothers and Nika Zupanc. ghidini1961.com
‘Divine defuser’ and fragranced oil
Bloc Studios and Haeckels
Our calming diffuser was given ornamental appeal by marble expert Bloc Studios, and slowly releases a bespoke oil created for us by Haeckels. Inspired by old worship rituals, it’s an infusion of healing blackcurrant, black pepper, ritualistic frankincense, exotic petitgrain, bergamot and smoky clary sage.
Founded in Carrara in 2014, Bloc Studios collaborates with the likes of Swiss studio Thévoz-Choquet and the US designer Joseph Magliaro to showcase the natural aura of marble and create refined pieces with a modern aesthetic. bloc-studios.com
The natural fragrance and skincare brand evolved from founder Dom Bridges’ desire to create simple, handcrafted products that showcase ingredients local to the UK’s Kent coast. Manufactured at a clifftop lab in Margate, Haeckels’ products use organic herbs, plants and seaweed. haeckels.co.uk
Pedro Paulø-Venzon and Driade
This carbon-steel and dyed-wood bench is pared down to the most basic elements – geometric shapes, solid colours, natural materials – in an effort to evoke the purity of asceticism. Brazilian designer Pedro Paulø-Venzon and Italian furniture company Driade aimed to recreate the harmony of the cosmos on earth, and the result is a supremely elegant work of craftsmanship.
Based in Florianópolis, in Brazil’s Santa Catarina state, Paulø-Venzon has been crafting furniture since 2011. Using simple, geometric forms, he creates pieces that pay homage to the country’s rich history of modernist design, while maintaining a striking contemporary edge. pedrovenzon.com
Founded in 1968, Italian furniture company Driade is known for its eclectic, elegant designs. An innovative ‘aesthetic lab’, the brand produces pieces that are practical enough to be used every day, yet exquisite enough to be admired as art. driade.com
Ini Archibong and Testi
With his ‘Ritual Calendar’, Ini Archibong seeks to celebrate daily routines. His freestanding monolithic sculpture, carved from Absolute Black granite, is inspired by dolmens, altars and tribal artifacts. Produced by marble specialist Testi, the vessel holds 31 individual totems, finely crafted from Creole Beige marble and designed to fit into a pocket and be pleasing to touch. Every day of the month, a new totem is taken out of the calendar and carried in a pocket for the day, before being put back in place at night; a welcome reminder throughout the day to remain mindful. ‘Daily habits are rituals, almost like prayers to the gods of your choosing,’ says Archibong. ‘Some of these habits can be reinforced by added mindfulness, and by creating a means to facilitate this mindfulness, rituals can become effective tools to help us evolve and be more aware of our daily actions. Rituals can be paths to mastery.’
Archibong made his debut at Salone Satellite in 2016, after graduating in environmental design from the Art Center College of Design, Pasadene, and gaining a masters in luxury design from ECAL. His diverse background informs his work: the son of Nigerian emigrants to the US, and a resident of the US, Singapore and Switzerland, his work respects and acknowledges the rich cultural traditions he has experiences throughout his life. designbyini.com
Italian stone specialist Testi was founded in the early 1900s by Piero Testi, a quarry owner in Sant’Ambrogio di Valpolicella, near Verona, and it offers around 400 colours of marble, granite, travertine, basalt, sandstone and onyx. testigroup.eu
State of Craft and Ilmor
Recalling a traditional hourglass, State of Craft’s Kronolisk is designed to encourage the contemplation of the passage of time. A ball spirals gradually down the sculptural form, before begining its meditative route again when the object is turned upside down. The Kronolisk’s deceptively complex geometry has been 3D-printed in nylon, but is intended, eventually, to be machined from a high-grade aluminium alloy.
State of Craft
This interior architecture and furniture design studio was founded in London in 2012. Recent projects include Europe’s highest apartments at The Shard in London, a luxury development in Sydney and a modern country house in England. stateofcraft.co.uk
Ilmor manufactures high-performance and precision engines, and works on bespoke engineering projects from its state-of-the art facility in Northampton. ilmor.co.uk
Studiopepe and Agape
In our busy modern lives, there is rarely time for meditation. Happily, this multifaceted table helps us integrate the concept into our domestic interiors. It includes a branch of magnolia as homage to the sacred fig tree of Buddha; a ceramic jug of water for purification; and a wooden Tibetan singing bowl to calm the overactive mind. These combine for us to practise a meditative ritual on the natural tabletop of Nero Marquina marble. Three brass legs, one of which also serves as a vase, complete the piece.
Arianna Lelli Mami and Chiara Di Pinto founded Studiopepe in Milan in 2006, starting out as set designers. They have since established a reputation for product design and have realised works for the likes of CC-Tapis and Menu. studiopepedesign.it
A pioneer of bathroom design since 1973, the Mantua-based brand now collaborates with designers such as Patricia Urquiola and Konstantin Grcic. agapedesign.it
Michaelis Boyd and The Crucible Foundry
Inspired by the act of lighting a match, this candleholder transforms a banal moment into an extraordinary object. Cast in bronze by The Crucible Foundry’s master craftsmen using the ancient lostwax technique, the piece features both rough and smooth finishes to mirror the textures of a matchbox, as well as a small receptacle designed to hold the matches.
Established in 1995 by Alex Michaelis and Tim Boyd, this architecture firm is renowned for its unfailingly elegant and practical designs constructed using sustainable techniques. Its output ranges from hotels and restaurants to private residences. michaelisboyd.com
The Crucible Foundry
Artists Damon Rawnsley and Sam Dalton have been producing unique pieces in their west London workshop since 1993, specialising in metal casting, replication, patination and restoration. High-profile clients include the Courtauld Institute and the V&A. cruciblefoundry.com
Tom Dixon and Paper Factor
Inspired by our theme of spirituality, Tom Dixon set out to reinvent the coffin, an object he’d been trying to overhaul for 17 years. The traditional coffin, he contends, is clumsy, gloomy and expensive, while environmentally friendly alternatives lack in both quality and visual appeal. His solution takes the form of a sustainable sarcophagus made from a cellulose compound with its origins in papier-mâché. Originally used in the restoration of artworks, it has been adapted by architect Riccardo Cavaciocchi for use in making furnishings. Its organic texture evokes the return of ashes to ashes, and its sculptural form brings humanity to funerary moments. Says Dixon, ’The only thing certain in life is death, so why not give your departed ones a beautiful send-off?’
Dixon is one of Britain’s best-known creative influencers and the most successful example of an industrial designer with an eponymous brand. His clients have included Adidas, Caesarstone, Bisazza and Morgans Hotel Group. Dixon recently launched a modular bed-sofa for Ikea, a geometric timepiece, and his first collection of office furniture. tomdixon.net
The son of an accomplished art restorer, Cavaciocchi has always been familiar with the use of papier-mâché. Combining artisanal techniques ith new technologies, he has created a new micro-paper compound that is strong, durable, mouldable and extremely light. The manufacturing process uses sustainable timber sources, avoids hazardous substances and generates minimal waste. paperfactor.com
Sabine Marcelis and Made a Mano
We enlisted Dutch designer Sabine Marcelis to create an artful altar for our temple to divine design. Crafted out of lava stone and designed by Marcelis and NanaKi Bonfils, the creative director of Made a Mano, the altar is illuminated by a glowing neon light. Made a Mano used a massive, glazed lava stone, supported by a glass construction, to give the impression the altar is floating in mid-air. ‘An altar is a sacred place that brings us closer to the divine,’ says Bonfils. ‘Altars transform actions of everyday life into actions of hope, despair and love.’
Rotterdam-based designer Sabine Marcelis opened her studio upon graduating from Design Academy Eindhoven in 2011. Her work is characterised by a distinguished use of colour and materials, and an innovative approach to lighting. Recent collaborations include OMA-designed Repossi boutique on Place Vendôme in Paris and candleholders for menswear brand Salle Privée. sabinemarcelis.com
Made a Mano
The Danish-Italian art and tile company was founded in 2001 by NanaKi Bonfils, who is also its creative director. Its ambition was to create a collection combining traditional handicraft with modern techniques. Made a Mano’s products are made in southern Italy using raw lava stone that incorporates patterns and colours for a unique effect. madeamano.com
‘Tomorrow, and Tomorrow...’
Conrad Shawcross and Architectural Titanium
Conrad Shawcross’ object grew from The Dappled Light of the Sun, an immersive installation created for the RA’s Summer Exhibition in 2015. It consisted of conjoined steel tetrahedrons, piled together in patterns that replicate the algorithmic growth patterns of plants. This new piece is based on similar principles, with decreasing tetrahedrons stacked atop each other in a spiral. It has been created in crystal titanium, an unbreakable, patterned material that appears almost polychromatic under changing light conditions. The piece is intended to invite contemplation and study of growth, geometry and proportion.
The youngest living Royal Academician, Shawcross’ work unites art and architecture, nature and industry, and philosophy and engineering. conradshawcross.com
The go-to titanium consultancy for architects and designers, this Kansas firm has worked on such high-profile projects as Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Bilbao. architecturaltitanium.com
Trinity of boxes
Jacqueline Rabun and Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Rabun’s three egg-shaped nestling boxes were conceived in a conversation in Vienna on 20 January, the same day as the inauguration of the new president of the United States. Rabun sees the work as an introverted response to unsettling current events. Beautifully crafted in solid brass in the Carl Auböck workshop, the piece carries all the connotations of the egg and the seed.
The American-born, London-based designer launched her first jewellery collection in 1990. She follows a poetic approach, creating part-organic, part-architectural pieces. Rabun has also collaborated with Danish silversmith Georg Jensen since 1999. jacquelinerabun.com
Werkstätte Carl Auböck
This Viennese company is famous for the modernist designs of Carl Auböck II, the current owner’s grandfather, which include highly original objects made in polished brass. werkstaette-carlauboeck.at
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