In the frame: 2016’s standout designs from around the globe

In the frame: 2016’s standout designs from around the globe

(Image credit: press)

New home
12 October

Fulham Road's latest luxury interiors addition is the elegant Sé showroom. The new flagship takes residence in the former David Gill Gallery site and joins the ranks of international brands including B&B Italia and Cassina, which all have spaces in Brompton's Design District.

The narrow set-up exudes warmth, with designer Nika Zupanc's exotic deep green and rich blue upholstered 'Stardust' and 'Sway' seating, and a delectable mix of marble and brass spanning across the collections.

Special additions that adorn the retail space include Luke Irwin rugs and New York-based wallpaper brand Calico's latest 'Satori' metallic print, which acts as an artistic backdrop for the collections.

Writer: Sujata Burman

Geometric Yellow Full

(Image credit: Sean Lemoine)

Uncommon ground
11 October

Fascinated by the discovery that, after a certain amount of use, traditional Yixing clay teapots become so seasoned that tea can be brewed just by pouring boiling water into an empty pot, new LA-based brand UNCMMN, founded by Funi Ding and Stacy Zou, set about creating a series of modern tableware using the highly porous clay that is particular to this region in China. Zou and Ding, who grew up in LA and Shanghai respectively, plan to launch one new collection annually based on a different location in the world and an uncommon material found there.

In their first collection (pictured), produced by local artisans in Yixing, pieces include a teapot with a delicate spout and angular handles that recall the structure of bamboo branches, while a set of rounded storage containers reference Yixing’s river rocks. With recent trips including a sojourn in Iceland and a journey into the Navajo Nation, UNCMMN’s 2017 collection promises to be one well worth waiting for.

Writer: Ali Morris

As originally featured in the October 2016 issue of Wallpaper* (W*211)

In the frame: 2016’s standout designs from around the globe

(Image credit: Sean Lemoin)

Right lines
11 October

Currently making waves both at home and abroad is new Argentine design firm Ries. The studio was founded in 2015 by Marcos Altgelt, Segundo Denegri and Tasio Picollo, who initially starting working together on furniture prototypes at their modest garage workshop in Buenos Aires while holding down day jobs at design studio La Feliz. The studio’s debut collection 'Alpina' (pictured) consists of a table, a chair, a desk and a shelf, and is characterised by slender, geometric lines and lightweight forms.

It instantly catapulted the studio into the international arena, including an invitation to exhibit at Sight Unseen’s Offsite show at NYCxDesign. There, it also unveiled its new 'Bee' collection, a range of side tables fashioned from tiered hexagonal platforms, in either steel and polished brass or white Carrara and black Marquina marble, which are redolent of the tessellating characteristics of a beehive. The studio’s output has us buzzing with anticipation.

Photography: Sean Lemoine; Writer: Vanessa Bell

As originally featured in the October 2016 issue of Wallpaper* (W*211)


(Image credit: Marie Valognes)

Freeze company
11 October

Want a chance to own a Christian Marclay or John Baldessari? Fancy a Juergen Teller or a Peter Lindbergh for your mantlepiece? Moncler has built on the RCA’s renowned secret postcard project by enlisting a global network of artists, designers and photographers to envisage their own cards, with the creators’ identities only revealed after purchase.

The postcards were exhibited during Frieze at Moncler’s new Old Bond Street store and online at from 7–9 October. Selling at a fixed price of £60, all proceeds from the 400 cards will go towards paying for two RCA students’ MA degree tuition for two years. As curator Tim Blanks explains, 'Freeze for Frieze' is ‘a metaphor for the randomness of life’, whereby it’s just as likely that you’ll take home a design by Peter Saville as Chris Martin.

Photography: Marie Valognes, Benjamin Swanson; Writer: Katrina Israel

As originally featured in the October 2016 issue of Wallpaper* (W*211)


(Image credit: press)

Mathematical shelving
27 September

Designed for Swedish firm Maze Interiors, quirky shelving unit 'Pythagoras' is the brain-child of Gustav Rosén – and it's as geometrically interesting as its namesake. Suspended with a triangular recycled steel wire bracket, the deceptively simple wooden shelves can be reconfigured in myriad ways. Set up is as easy as a² + b² = c², promises the firm, allowing reconstruction at the drop of a hat, depending on the collection of objects on display. As Maze puts it, 'only individual taste and imagination set the limits'. Challenge accepted.

Writer: Elly Parsons


(Image credit: press)

An artist window
15 September

This year's theme for Hermès Bond Street store window, Nature at Full Gallop, was embraced by artist Alexandra Kehayoglou, who's rugs 'immortalise slices of land'.

Inspired by the unspoiled beauty of Hampstead Heath, Locus Amoenus intends to 'recall the feelings of a playful childhood within nature'. Situated in all four of the Hermès windows, the painted tapestries grace both Bruton Street and New Bond Street, transporting allusions of Hampstead Heath's abundant vegetation to the Mayfair's dense urban environment. 

A celebration of getting lost in the Heath, the windows recreate the artists' own Locus Amoenus, one she shares with none other than John Keats, which inspired his Endymion there 200 years prior. However, that isn't the extent of Kehayoglou's inspiration: with references to Monet's Poppy Field and Poussin's Landscape with a Man Killed by a Snake, the installation is nothing short of intertextual. For Hermès, windows have always been a space for storytelling, and Kehayoglou's idyllic vision realises their brief in full. 

Locus Amoenus is on display until 7 November; 155 New Bond Street, London W1 2UA

Writer: Inez Bartram Vilar


(Image credit: press)

POÄNG's 40th birthday
13 September

It has been 40 years since Japanese-born designer Noboru Nakamura conceived the iconic POÄNG chair. Instantly recognizable, the top-selling IKEA recliner has graced the lounges of over 30 million homes across the globe.

A perfect example of IKEA’s Democratic design principles, the failsafe chair is affordable and accessible at its core. Its clean bentwood frame is versatile and sleek, and perhaps responsible for POANG’s pervasive popularity.

In order to celebrate the big 4-0 the Swedish furniture giant will launch six new limited edition cushion covers and a new armchair frame.

Writer: Inez Bartram Vilar


(Image credit: press)

Hände hoch and Akropolis  
12 September

After several collections of monumental glass objects, Jakub Berdych of Prague-based design studio Qubus returns to the intimate scale of ceramic accessories. Influenced by two moments from art history, Akropolis and Hände hoch have a slight surrealist spin on them.

The former is a series of individual golden glass cups, resting on the top of antique-inspired ceramic columns, while Hände hoch pays homage to late Czech avant-garde painter František Tichý. Melancholic and magical, it is a symbolic depiction the artist's work, rendered handy by Berdych in a series of three hand-shaped objects including a mirror, a tray and a candlestick.    

Writer: Adam Štěch


(Image credit: press)

Made in Manchester
9 September

Brought to life via a collaboration between Allied London, Studio DBD and Jamie Scahill, 'Made Here' is a day-long festival, celebrating local Mancunian makers. From artists to apparel engineers, the event promises to showcase the very best Manchester's craft scene has to offer.

Providing the sustenance, Altrincham Market veterans Honest Crust Pizza and meat-lovers Well Hung. Washing this down - a dangerous number of local breweries, hosted by Cave Direct.

The market will be bolstered by a backdrop of music from Manchester’s longest running weekly club night Funkademia, featuring live performances from town favourites, including Slow Readers Club.

'Made Here' at London Road will pop-up this Saturday at the atmospheric old Fire Station, where visitors can meet the makers behind Manchester's culture of creation.

Writer: Elly Parsons

Liz West

(Image credit: press)

Step into the rainbow
8 September

Manchester-based artist Liz West has a fascination with colour and a knack for using light as a sculptural material. Hot on the heels of the launch of her Spectral Vision installation at London's Natural History Museum, West has taken her eye-catching exploration of hues to the Bristol Biennial, transforming an architectural space into a vivid installation of pure colour.

Our Colour, as the immersive light installation is titled, was designed as an experiment in human colour perception. 'After moving through the space – walking, running, dancing – and experiencing every colour,' begins West, 'people often go back to the colour they find most comfortable; they will then stand, sit or lay there for some time to reflect.'

The installation will be in place until 10 September; The Pithay, Bristol, BS1 2LZ

Writer: Sam Rogers


(Image credit: press)

Stand tall
5 September

Fifteen years after the 11 September attacks on New York's World Trade Center, Rolf Bruggink, a designer-architect specialising in recycling, has chosen to remember the Twin Towers in all their 1960s architectural glory with a new lighting range.

The collection comprises 14 beautifully detailed lamp shades that stack to create replicas of the towers, recast at 1:180 of their original scale.

Each iron-cast window and base arch has been hand-carved, with the help of innovative 3D sand-printing technology. These delicate windows allow light to seep out, and dance theatrically across the room – a fitting tribute to the formal qualities of the two buildings that shaped New York's skyline for almost 30 years.

Writer: Elly Parsons


(Image credit: press)

Balancing act
2 September

Earlier this year, Hermès unveiled a collection of objects that celebrate the company’s leather excellence but are also imbued with a whimsical, playful nature. Dubbed ‘Equilibre d’Hermès’, and designed by its in-house design studio in collaboration with Guillaume Delvigne, Grégoire de Lafforest and Damian O’Sullivan, the series is crafted in exquisite fawn bull calf leather and includes items such as spinning tops, a saddle-shaped magazine rack, and a freestanding, balancing magnifying glass. From the collection, the icosahedron paperweight particularly caught our attention for its simplicity, geometric perfection, and luxurious execution. Crafted from leather-covered resin, each of its 20 faces is hand-stitched with a special technique that has only been mastered by few of the company’s craftsmen and stamped with a gold number from 1-20. This design heavyweight certainly gets our stamp of approval.

As originally featured in the September 2016 issue of Wallpaper* (W*210)

Writer: Rosa Bertoli


(Image credit: press)

Chart X Hay Mini Market
1 September

Danish brand HAY transported their mobile Mini Market for a special pop-up at Chart Art fair last weekend.

Located at the The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts’ Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen, the market kept its pop-coloured stacked shelving look, but added some special limited edition pieces. 

A selection of Chart artists were invited to create products including stationary, rugs and tableware. Highlights include a whimsical figurative rug by US artist Richard Colman and Swedish designer Catrin Andersson's monochrome notepad inspired by the landscape (pictured right).


(Image credit: press)

Hanging out
31 August

Slinging a shirt over the back of a chair to dry is not a style sin – or so Swedish retailer COS would have us believe, in a new collaboration with Australian designers Daniel Emma.

COS tasked Daniel To and Emma Aiston to create a domestic display for the signature COS white shirt, and the duo responded with tongue placed firmly in cheek. The resulting collection includes a custom chair, side table and robust wooden ladder, with a cluster of orange magnetic spheres used to hold garments in place, peg-free. Shirts and jumpers are slung and invisibly held over the furniture – an innovative and functional way to showcase COS classics.

Allowing clothes to naturally drape in this way might even be better for the fabric, allowing it to dry without creasing, COS explains. 'Hanging out', is installed at both COS Sydney stores and at its Melbourne outpost throughout September.

Writer: Elly Parsons

Leandro Garcia Mesa De Centro Tocos

(Image credit: Ricardo Perini)

Knock on wood
30 August

Leandro Garcia's simple but sophisticated approach to architecture earned him a well-deserved spot in this year's Architects' Directory. His furniture design is equally articulate – a prime example being the Tocos coffee table, pictured, released during this year's São Paulo Design Weekend.

Drawing inspiration from tree stumps (the word 'tocos' means stumps in Portuguese), Garcia has crafted robust, cylindrical table legs out of four types of Brazilian hardwood – tauari, ipê, imbuia and cabreúva. A thick slab of transparent glass, raised by slender metal spacers, serves as the tabletop and allows a full view of the legs. Its rounded corners cleverly counter the impression of bulk.

Sturdy yet elegant, Tocos adds to a growing furniture collection that Garcia hopes to produce and sell on a broad scale.

Photography: Ricardo Perini

Writer: TF Chan

Go Kristinadam

(Image credit: Kristina Dam Studio 2016)

Hot desk
25 August

Copenhagen based Kristina Dam Studio's sculptural ornaments are not your average paperweights.

Described as 'a source of inspiration you can rearrange and use every day', the four-piece set comprises a globe of smooth stoneware, a triangle bookend in marble, an upturned wooden cone (purely decorative), and an elegant brass arc, all rendered in an understated Scandinavian palette.

These miniature marvels, along with the rest of Kristina Dram's architectural, geometric AW 2016 collection will show at Maison et Objet this September.

Photography: © Kristina Dam Studio 2016

Writer: Elly Parsons

Go Chinese Room Will Pryce

(Image credit: Will Pryce)

Tokyo drift
22 August

Unwind with a Chai Tea Martini at the newly renovated Blakes Below in South Kensington, designed by Anouska Hempel with an oriental flair. Tucked beneath the world's first 'luxury boutique hotel', Blakes, the new basement continues the hotel's grand tradition as a place to see and be seen.

An opulent east-meets-west theme characterises the intimate two-room space, where the atmosphere is intensified by a live pianist or world-class DJ, depending on the evening.

Enjoy London's best kept secret by becoming a member, as it's strictly friends and guests only from Wednesday to Saturday. Or rent the whole space for a private event from Sunday to Tuesday. Either way, be sure to try the soft shell crab tempura from the bar menu, handcrafted by the hotel's renowned chefs.

Writer: Elly Parsons. Photography: Will Pryce

Go Powerplant

(Image credit: press)

Totally stoked
19 August

Stoke on Trent is the historical home of the British ceramics industry, and it's where design-led pottery brand 1882 Ltd was established in 2011 by relatives of the storied Johnson Brothers tableware designers.

This summer, they've asked Lindsey Adelman to add a grassy, fauna trim to their quality pots. 'I love the look of plants overtaking their surroundings, particularly architectural structures,' she says. 'I wanted to explore a way of taking these three-dimensional environments and creating real items that can be lived with.'

The resulting range - quirkily named 'Power Plant' - marries the longstanding legacy of Stoke ceramics, with Adelman's school of New York urbanism, and her fiercely feminine touch.

Writer: Elly Parsons

Go Moxon

(Image credit: press)

Fancy footwork
18 August

Fleet-footed Brighton-dwellers will be thrilled this summer, thanks to the opening of 'urban shoe' start-up Mo:vel in the Lanes area – where the emphasis is firmly on fast-paced service and unfussy transactions.

Designed by Moxon Architects, the brand's debut shop is storeroom free. All available shoes are out on display, meaning shop assistants can remain on the floor (which is rendered in stylish black recycled rubber). To prevent things getting untidy, Moxon developed modular plywood shelving with 'pick'n'mix' style openings, from which the trainers are neatly dispensed.

A backdrop of custom graffiti on an exposed chipboard base completes the raw-meets-refined look, achieving the 'fresh and youthful' brief Moxon were tasked with.

Writer: Elly Parsons

Ikea's moveable micro-kitchen

(Image credit: press)

Ikea's moveable micro-kitchen
17 August

It's no secret that we live in a dreadful age for affordable housing, especially in urban hubs like London and its satellites. And a happy melding of skyrocketing rental and purchase prices and stagnating wages means that space is of an increasing premium.

Ikea's existing 'PS' ranges have gone some way to making the most of small spaces, but the Swedish behemoth has taken this ethos to the next level with 'Sunnersta' – a miniature, portable kitchen.

And while the kitchen may seem Lilliputian, the neat, utilitarian set-up features a small unit with worktop and sink, as well as space to customise with a fridge, trolley and induction hob. What's more, the basic iteration costs a paltry £99 – around £2,800 cheaper than the average UK kitchen, by Ikea's estimations. The additions are similarly budgeted – the 'Tillreda' hob is £35, the fridge £69.

Austerity aside, 'Sunnersta' is also recommended as a temporary solution when renovating, or an easy install for an office kitchen.

Bigger, it seems, isn't necessarily better.

Writer: Tom Howells

A heavy-duty new range by Da a is poetry in motion

(Image credit: Phil Dunlop)

A heavy-duty new range by Da a is poetry in motion
16 August

Launched in Lecce, southern Italy, in 2015, design brand Da a (which translates as ‘from to’) follows a simple principle: to create furnishings using the tools and techniques traditionally employed to make heavy-duty machinery.

With a growing collection of indoor and outdoor furniture and accessories designed by a healthy roster of young Italian designers, the brand experiments with old manufacturing processes to bring to life new design ideas. Its latest collection includes the ‘Ring-O’ swing (pictured), a whimsical but technically accurate piece by Saverio Incombenti.

Featuring a hand-welded, curved metal frame, the swing is essentially composed of two intersecting metal rings suspended by a jute rope. The Milanese industrial designer drew inspiration from his penchant for geometric shapes, resulting in a minimal nest that offers the body a few moments of blissful escape.

Writer: Rosa Bertoli. Photography: Phil Dunlop


(Image credit: Courtesy of Milton Priest)

The Twonky
15 August

Milton Priest's furniture more interested in sculptural form and provocative design than aesthetic balance and traditional forms. Hence the charm and intrigue of the French studio's latest piece, The Twonky, which takes the steel frame of a bike stool, a Brooks B67 leather saddle with coper springs, and a wheel base to create an industrial yet quirky stool. Part sculpture, part furniture, it is entirely whimsical.

Photography: Courtesy of Milton Priest

Writer: Sam Rogers

Go Plastic Bats

(Image credit: press)

Make a racquet
11 August

'It’s high speed, energetic and nail-biting,' says International Table Tennis Federation's Steve Dainton about a dynamic new spin-off version of the sport, Table Tennis X, which launches this week at Rio's Olympic Park.

With a visual identity created by Brand Union, the aim is to reach a new generation of players – the ‘always-on' audience, as they've been dubbed. Once engaged, this youthful contingent will be TTX's beating heart, as it rolls out globally in 2017.

Simpler rules, bigger balls and vibrant plastic racquets help to make the game about fun and fast-paced rallying, rather than intricate tactics. It's more accessible than table tennis proper, unrestricted by indoor venues and stuffy umpires, but differs from ping-pong as each set is time-restricted. You can play it wherever there's a table, a stopwatch and a willing opponent. Ace.

Writer: Elly Parsons

Go Ludwigwelling

(Image credit: press)

Sink into the 'Lagoon' sofa
10 August

Danish furniture company Erik Jørgensen welcomes a new design duo to the family. Gudmundur Ludvik and Dane Hee Welling, of Ludvik/Welling, make their debut with the 'Lagoon' sofa.

Referencing the Scandinavian principle of 'hygge' (cosiness), the aim was to create 'a lounge sofa to feel at home on – where the entire family can gather and enjoy each other’s company', Ludvik explains.

This laid-back luxury is paired with a minimalist aesthetic. Bordered by an exposed matt-steel frame, 'Lagoon' is available in grey (pictured) or deep blue with contrasting sand-coloured piping, and in a chaise longue version, where the addition of a side table tray signs the sofa off with signature Jørgensen functionality.

Writer: Elly Parsons

Curtain Call

(Image credit: David Levene)

Standing ovation
9 August

Following the success of Ron Arad's Curtain Call at Camden's Roundhouse in 2011, the immersive installation has returned in collaboration with a fresh line-up of artists, including Kutiman, Marshmallow Laser Feast and Universal Everything.

The 360 degree floor-to-ceiling curtain is made from 5,600 silicon rods, suspended from an 18m diameter ring that fills the Roundhouse's main circular hall. The curtain is both a canvas and an imposing sculptural work in itself, providing a unique space in which artworks, digital media and films can be projected in 3D.

Arad invites visitors to 'walk in, penetrate, cross the moving images to get inside the cylinder', where 'you'll be engulfed by images – a captive, but also a creator'. Experience Curtain Call and the corresponding programme of live events until 29 August.

Writer: Elly Parsons. Photography: David Levene

Go Based Upon The Lost Fragment Press Release

(Image credit: Based Upon)

The Lost Fragment
8 August

London design studio Based Upon are master storytellers, as they continue to prove with their second public sculpture The Lost Fragment, installed in London's Berkeley Square until 31 December.

Made from five tons of granite and bronze, the tapered work points towards the Isle of Skye, from where it conceptually and physically originates. The island's lore tells tales of rocks retaining spirits and stories of Skye's people, represented here by the earthy, textural granite, and contrasted by the polished, futuristic bronze appendage. 

Together, they make an abstract object of otherworldly quality, made all the more pronounced by its central London setting, where picnickers, commuters and joggers peer on. As Ian Abell – Based Upon's creative director – puts it, the sculpture 'mourns the loss of all that is ancient, the ancestral wisdom cultivated since the origin, stored within a lump of granite 50 million years old'.

Writer: Elly Parsons. Photography courtesy Based Upon

Campden Toast Rack Box

(Image credit: press)

Toast of the town
4 August

Robert Welch's iconic 'Campden' toast rack has decorated breakfast tables since 1956. Now, to celebrate its 60th anniversary, the original rack has been re-released, in a limited edition of 600, priced at £40 a pop.

Aesthetically simple, and made from strong Sheffield steel, 'Campden' epitomises the clean functionality of 1950s design, and claims to last a lifetime. 'All it asks for is a little care', says the original packaging, which has been lovingly remade for the 2016 editions.

The rack, which remained in production until 1982, was lorded for its 'elegant and ingenious construction', and was included in the Council of Industrial Design's 1958 'Design of the Year' exhibition. This year's re-release allows a new generation to enjoy an elevated slice of toast.

Writer: Elly Parsons

Soft Modular Sofa

(Image credit: Vitra)

Vitra and Jasper Morrison team up on a modular sofa
3 August

Vitra newest modular sofa comes courtesy of a collaboration with Jasper Morrison.

For the ‘Soft Modular Sofa’ as it is dubbed, Morrison relates his interpretation of what has become a modern classic, with its carefully composed proportions and great comfort. Following his philosophy of ‘super normal’ design, the British designer has expressed the informality of a home environment with his characteristic simplicity and clarity.

Not only designed for comfort – with its various foams and a spring core – and visual aesthetics, the sofa is also made with customisation at its heart. Different sides, corners, central elements and a chaise longue are available, allowing for an individualised experience. With optional elements such as the ottoman and loose pillows, in addition to the wide selection of leather and fabric covers, the sofa functions like an architectural element that can be subtly integrated into any interior.

The 'Soft Modular Sofa' collection is available to buy in the UK from September 2016. Photography courtesy Vitra

Writer: Alix Biehler

Edward Allington

(Image credit: press)

Book works
2 August

Surprises are in store at antiquarian dealers Harris Lindsay, as Megan Piper presents ‘The Hidden Sculptures’, a new exhibition by Edward Allington.

The collection showcases seven recent ‘book works’ and seven accompanying drawings. Created from antique ledgers that Allington has collected over the past 30 years, his drawings use removed, completed pages of the books as bases for ink and emulsion depictions, while the book works contain concealed sculptures. Motifs in the works reflect his interest in history through rococo-inspired scrolls and imagined forms against the background of once-important numbers and text. The ‘book works’ themselves are presented as historical, through an installation in which gloved visitors open the books to reveal the sculptures within.

‘The Hidden Sculptures’ by Edward Allington is on view until 5 August. For more information visit the Megan Piper website

Writer: Elana Wong

Poltrona Frau

(Image credit: press)

Smooth sailing
1 August

Combining comfort and performance, style and practicality, the ClubSwan 50 is one serious sailing vessel, and the newest luxury yacht from Finnish shipyard Nautor’s Swan. Italian automotive specialists Poltrona Frau ensure the interiors are just as stylish as the shell.

What the cabin lacks in size, it makes up for in sophistication. The super-light carbon headboard and bed frame sport a linear design and are upholstered in Frau leather. This muted, textural feel continues throughout the ship with light colours and a mix of high quality canvas trims that line the berths, tables and fold-down seating.

Kurt Wallner, director of Poltrona Frau’s Interiors in Motion division adds, 'the premium boating segment today offers great business opportunities that we are in a position to seize due to our design experience and outstanding craftsmanship, which means we can create fully bespoke interiors'. Winning qualities that make ClubSwan 50 a champion inside and out.

Writer: Elly Parsons

A Logo for America

(Image credit: Mark Blower)

A Logo for America
29 July

The famous electronic billboards of London’s Piccadilly Circus are set to project a different kind of message. On the 28 July, Chilean artist Alfredo Jaar premiered the third large public screening of his piece A Logo for America. The screenings are accompanying ‘Under the Same Sun: Art from Latin America Today’, the second exhibition of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, currently being hosted at the South London Gallery.

A Logo for America originally debuted in Times Square, New York City, in 1987 and was seen by some as provocative for its explicit exploration and challenge to the unequal power relations and socio-political divisions arising from globalisation. The work features the line ‘This Is Not America’ across an outline map of the USA, confronting the ethnocentrism of the US, and its habitual claim to the entire American continent.

A Logo for America will be screened daily until 31 July.

Writer: Elana Wong. Photography: Mark Blower. Courtesy Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and the South London Gallery

Dn Table

(Image credit: Emanuele Tortora)

Table 8
27 July

Beirut-based designers david/nicolas describe their aesthetic as 'retro-futuristic'. With geometric shapes, decadent materials and playful accents, they have found success in collaborations with Nilufar, Art Factum, Agresti, Moooi, Vista Alegre among many others.

Last year the duo started their own line of ultra high end furniture, made to order by the finest Italian craftsmen. 'Table 8', pictured, is the newest addition to this studio line. This dining table comprises two circular segments – joined by embedded magnets at the straight edges – which together resemble the number 8 when viewed from above. The table top, made of black lacquered wood and inlaid with brass, feels substantial and opulent; whereas the cylindrical steel legs, capped with brushed brass, are light and elegantly proportioned. With its unique construction, Table 8 allows for varying configurations of diners, and also makes for an excellent conversation piece. 

Photography: Emanuele Tortora. Writer: TF Chan


(Image credit: press)

25 July

For those who may not be familiar with the whimsical fantasy world of the American painter/illustrator/set designer Wayne White, the visual pioneer has made one of his more intimate works widely available, thanks to a collaboration with Flavor Paper. ‘Waynetopia’ is a classical wallpaper mural featuring a design that White originally painted on the walls of his home in Los Angeles. Digitally captured so that the design captures every detail and texture, including cracks and unevenness from the original walls, the work depicts a continuous scene ranging from a tropical paradise to lost ruins. ‘I wanted to capture the elegance and fantsy of 19th century wallpaper murals, and the fun of taking a trip,’ says White. ‘I love painting the landscape and then stepping into that world, if only with my eyes.’

Waynetopia won this year’s 2016 ICFF Editor’s Award for Best Wallcovering. For more details, visit Flavor Paper’s website

Writer: Pei-Ru Keh


(Image credit: Hiroshi Mizusaki)

Suitable seating
22 July

Japanese design firm CASE-REAL has found a way for space-efficient elegance with their new chair for Restaurant Saisondor.

Located along a main road in Fukuoka, Japan, the French restaurant required a chic, dust-enduring seating design that maximized its limited space. CASE-REAL took to this task with a casual style of clean lines and neutral, sophisticated colours. The dining chairs furnishing the restaurant are a prime example of this.

Manufactured by E&Y, the chair is unique for its one-arm design, and made of two wooden integrated frames. The one arm ensures the chair is ergonomic for diners in the small space, requiring minimal furniture movement when standing up and sitting down. ‘Due to the limited size,’ says CASE-REAL’s Koichi Futatusmata, ‘there was a need to keep that tables compact, and therefore this chair was designed to suit its needs.’

Photography: Hiroshi Mizusaki. Writer: Elana Wong. 

Barbican Rgb

(Image credit: Omer Arbel)

Lighting theatrics
21 July

Dynamic lighting specialists Bocci are taking their theatrics to the Barbican for this year's London Design Festival.

Designed by the Canadian company's creative director Omer Arbel, Bocci has created a colossal installation on the ground level of the brutalist building. Made of 300 free-poured aluminium forms, the abstract sculpture will appear to float from the ceiling via thin cables.

Titled '44,' the chandelier will remain in the Barbican foyer from 14 September until 18 April next year.

Photography: Omer Arbel. Courtesy Barbican x Bocci. Writer: Sujata Burman

Place of reflection

(Image credit: press)

Place of reflection
20 July

Liz West shines a new light in the historic St Mark’s building on Mayfair's South Audley Street this July. The former church has been transformed by her new site-specific installation Our Colour Reflection.

This temporary intervention, a striking display of West’s signature colour-drenched light work, is part of a wider initiative by private property group Grosvenor Britain and Ireland to open up the space to the public before it undergoes reparation and restoration into a new retail space, restaurant and art-minded community hub.

Our Colour Reflection investigates the relationship between colour and light in realising unique compositions and spaces, creating a conversation between the viewer and the church. Made of more than 765 mirrors all set at different heights, the piece reflects up onto different parts of the historic architecture, revealing sections of the interior that would otherwise go unnoticed.

Writer: Elana Wong


(Image credit: Harry Griffin)

Strike a pose
19 July

Somewhere between photography and ceramics, Brooklyn-based artist Emily Mullin's sill-life sculptures have a uniquely absorbing presence. So much so that new NYC gallery Sunday Takeout has extended her showcase, Vachina, until 24 July.

Drawing upon an array of influences - 1700s court dresses, the asymmetrical nature of early Cycladic vessels and ancient multi-handled Egyptian perfume holders among others - her sill-life sculptures, made of glazed ceramics, sit proudly on curved metal shelves. The painted sheet metal mounts allude to the concept of the cyclorama - the seemingly infinite space used in photography studios that dissolves the line between wall and floor - transforming each shelf into a stage of sorts, and each vessel its own character.

Photography: Harry Griffin. Writer: Sam Rogers

Sketch Host

(Image credit: press)

The Sketch forest
18 July

Botanical artist Alyson Mowat is extending the lives of plants with the latest exhibition in Sketch's hallway space.

Titled 'Host', Mowat's recreated forest merges organic with inorganic by encrusting flora with stabilised crystals. Forming sculptures that appear as coral, electric blue and red stones spiral around dark branches, enhancing the natural beauty of the blossoms.

The scientific pieces are accompanied with blooming photographs by Tal Silverman, creating an enveloping garden experience in the creative emporium that will remain on view until 31 August.

Writer: Sujata Burman

Tom Dixon Howard St

(Image credit: press)

Tom Dixon move to Soho
15 July

Somewhere in between performing on stage as Rough Trade (with our Editor-in-Chief Tony Chambers, no less) and launching a store in Los Angeles, Tom Dixon has also managed to open a four-storey emporium on New York’s Howard Street in Soho. Considerably larger than the first outpost, which operated just a few streets away, the new showroom is aimed at serving passers-by and design professionals alike on this increasingly design-centric stretch. Filled with prototypes, material samples and a rotating selection of furniture, accessories and lighting, the space is as glittering a tribute to Dixon’s work as ever there was one.

Writer: Pei-Ru Keh

Ron Arad Spyre

(Image credit: press)

Robotic light
14 July

Taking cues from his own large, kinetic sculpture currently on view outside the Royal Academy, Ron Arad's new 'Spyre' light boasts a similarly robotic energy.

With the scale shrunk down massively, the Corten steel and motors have been replaced with Corian and magnetic joints. The five segments of the ornamental piece move in a disjointed rhythm a la the larger version, as if it naturally wanders in the wind.

The innovative light has been created by German manufacturer Ingo Maurer in an edition of 50, available from the Royal Academy shop, and on view at Ron Arad's summer exhibition at Ben Brown Fine Arts.

Writer: Sujata Burman

Grey area

(Image credit: press)

Grey area
7 July

A new colour has been introduced to Iittala's classic Alvar Aalto collection. The sleek, dark grey is available in the most popular sizes of the designer's seminal glassware range. The new hue perfectly complements Iittala's existing autumnal palette, bringing a soft, delicate aesthetic into homes.

This new addition celebrates the 80th anniversary of Aalto’s iconic range, a staple of modern Scandinavian design ever since its creation in 1936. Recognisable for its revolutionary free form, it not only marked a contrasting move away from glass’ traditional geometric tendencies but also allowed the user to decide the object’s purpose.

Individually mouth-blown at the Iittala glass factory in Finland, each vase in the collection is the result of a ten-hour production process. Though Aalto is no longer with us, Iittala continues to share his timeless, organic design.

Writer: Elana Wong

Material play

(Image credit: press)

Material play
6 July

Last week saw the first of two installments of the New Designers showcase, a platform exhibition for upcoming design talents from universities across the UK.

Part one focused on contemporary craft and two talents in particular took our interest during the show, mixing materials to create innovative and abstract forms.

Cardiff School of Art & Design graduate Anna Ling, a maker who also specialises in set design, explored Japanese zen gardens in her sculptural 'Monumental' ornaments (pictured right). Inspired by landscape and nature, she plays with scale via different materials such as brass, pebbles and yarn.

Similarly, Theo Riviere, a student at Leeds College of Art, presented his project 'Material Poetry' (pictured left), laminating alternative materials to create patterns in his forms. The whimsical silhouettes of the refined sculptures meld architecture and art.

Part two of New Designers is currently taking place at London's Business Design Centre, running until Saturday 9 July.

Writer: Sujata Burman