April 10th, 2013 – The Salone del Mobile has kicked off this week, transforming the fashion mecca of Milan into a design mecca. Designers, architects, makers and buyers have entered Milan from all corners of the globe for what is indisputably the world’s best furniture fair. On display this year at the Rho Fiera exhibition is the Ribbon Chair, designed by VIV PROJECTS, a Melbourne based furniture and product design studio led by Vivianne Kollevris. Kollevris is an engineer-turned-designer who is inspired by the beauty of geometric shapes, her work focuses on the purity of shape and its potential to become something extraordinary. The Ribbon Chair exploits the potential offered by high performance fiber reinforced concrete to create a piece of furniture unlike any other. At just 22mm thick, the Ribbon Chair utilizes the tremendous strength offered by concrete of this type to produce a thin and elegant form, in contrast to what one expects to see from concrete. The chair almost seems like it has been captured in a moment of time, a moment of movement ready to unravel into another amalgamation of curls. Kollervis says she used her background as a professional structural engineer to combine “creative and engineering skills to develop this distinctive design that challenges preconceptions on how an object should work, look and feel.”
Photography By VIV Projects
The image of a baby, nestled in a cloud of soap bubbles, inspired children’s furniture designer Lana Agiyan to go beyond the traditional interpretation of a crib. The Bubble Baby Bed is not only a futuristic toy, it is also a functional and emotion-evoking child care appliance. You can rock your baby to sleep and watch him or her cuddle on the cloud-like pillow through transparent bassinet. The cradle’s construction resembles a traditional Russian tumbler-toy “Nevalyashka”. It slightly rocks at all sides, but returns to the upright position with a plexiglas weight center. To prevent the bed from declining when baby is already asleep, there is a soft stopper. For easier handling, the weight center consists of several layers, that are not heavy separately, but weight 15 kg when assembled. The cradle is designed for children from birth to 5 months, after that age it can be used as a toy storage or a swing.
Acrylic plastic is widely used in medical appliances for children. It’s lightweight, hygienic, easy to wash and strong. To prevent plastic from scratches, that could damage the crib’s appearance and moreover would make it more difficult to wash and disinfect, there is a special innovative coating.
The mat cover is made of pure wool, soft and warm, for the comfort of little-ones. Inside there is a layer of buckwheat hulls. This feature gives additional support to the mattress, that should be firm enough for the safety on newborns laying facedown. Buckwheat hulls filling is ideal surface for babies. It’s naturally antibacterial , hypoallergenic, anti fungal, breathable, insulating and odor resisting. It also simulates healthy blood flow.
Joost van Veldhuizen is a young dutch design talent, and the driving power behind the upcoming label VanJoost. VanJoost’s latest piece of work is the NOAH Cradle, a beautiful hand crafted wood crib that can be hung from a tree in an open forest – or a ceiling in your nursery. Each cradle is constructed on Joost van Veldhuizen’s farm in the rural Dutch countryside of the Veluwe where he scoops wood out of a massive block of wood to sculpt the final shape!
(Photography Courtesy of VanJoost)
Streets and cityscapes might be on the verge of a whole new look if quirky Russian designer, Tembolat Gugkaev gets his way! His latest design, the Softa Outdoor Bench, is a hybrid of a soft sofa and a street bench. The look of the bench is a sweet juxtaposition of a chesterfield sofa slash bus stop seat and can be made in a plethora of colors. Softa is constructed of fiberglass and carbon, and it is water, heat, cold, and bump resistant! “I know that someday the world will be ruled by beauty and harmony,” Gugkaev states, which is just the attitude that inspires his cleverly designed furniture, lighting, and accessories collections. Why not add an artistic element to our street benches? Quite possibly, a more inviting seating option, such as the Softa, might make us want to sit, and stay awhile.
(Photography: Tembolat Gugkaev)
Sometimes the hum of a dusty heating vent just doesn’t cut it when you want to cuddle up and get cozy in the wintertime. Well, until you have the dinero to install a state-of-the-art woodstove feast your eyes on this charming little string of lights. Rafael DeCardena’s Firewood Lights is just what the name describes – a lovely, glowing abstract version of a fireplace. Constructed of angular cut wood, the Firewood Lights are internally illuminated with a warm light. Now all you have to do is download crackling fireplace sound effects on iTunes, grab a mug of cocoa and you’re good to go! Oh, and scroll down, we included more of Mr. DeCardena’s new furniture collection below!
(Photography: Architecture At Large)
What happens when a two dimensional QR-code is transformed into a three-dimensional structure? This is the question that German designer Elena Belmann asked herself before she created this wooden QR stool. Then she pondered “Would this change its information content?” only one way to find out! She created a wood sculpture that is part architectural form and part scannable data. This wooden structure is also a lamp. Awesome!
At first glance this reworked Chesterfield chair appears as though it is seen through the lens of a kaleidoscope, a mirage of fragmented angles. The design is a fresh take on the stiff, classic, tufted armchair that goes hand in hand with leather-bound books and wafting cigar smoke. The new chair, however, is fresh, fun and full of life. Christian Fiebig replaced the traditional deep button aesthetic with origami-inspired faceted angles, and reinterpreted the original design by reconstructing it through polygon surfaces in a computer program. The digital, 2D model was then printed and rebuilt on paper. While the scale is actualized, don’t think about cozying up with a good
celebrity tabloid novel just yet, the artist is currently still working on the development of a functional version.
The studio BIG GAME’s ‘Bold’ chairs look strangely like miniature, pipe-cleaner replicas that you’d see in a doll house. The brightly colored, tubular designs are actually two separate pieces, one nesting inside the other. Quite a cozy little setup if you ask me. The internal structure of the tubes is a metal core while the outer surrounding material is soft, comfortable foam. The chair design ”Bold” is part of the “More is More” collection from the Belgian-Swiss Big Game studio. Or as we at knstrct like to say, “More is Awesomer.”
I’m sure we all remember when we would hopscotch across couch cushions over a carpet of molten lava. Atelier Biagetti’s bright yellow table brings us right back to that whimsical time when refrigerator boxes were spaceships and discarded paper towel rolls doubled as swords. The lacquered wooden table is part of a limited edition series of 10 and would be the perfect living room piece to set the stage for a fierce face-off of bloodthirsty pirates… or you know, just a fierce book club debate over some Earl Grey. Your choice.
(Photographs: Atelier Biagetti)
Let’s be real, you can’t hug yourself, it’s just not feasible. (Although I’m sure we’ve all tried at some point). We’ll for those melancholy moments, fear not. Enlist your closest compadre and curl up in the comfy embrace of the PDA-friendly Hug Chair. Budapest born designer and winner of the 2011 ICFF design award, Gabriella Asztalos, created the exclusive lounger that ‘combines the original spiral shape and the values of a hug.’ The circular corkscrew embodies the intersection of design and intimacy. The unique structure links the two seats together, creating the perfect nook for a little face time, or canoodling, if that’s more your speed. ‘The upper “half-pipe” bends above the heads creating a highway of thoughts and a chain of emotions. In this way you are interconnected in the same circle and the focus is always on the other person, exactly what a hug is about.’ Now if they could only make a spooning-friendly sofa…
The main reason why we are huge fans of Rafael De Cardenas is because one small glimpse at his designs is like a giant bolt of energy! A few months ago KNSTRCT sat down with the designer for an interview in Soho. De Cardenas has the wonderful ability to keep mum about his future endeavors; never giving away too much, and yet always piquing your interest. That day in Soho was no different. When I asked him what was next for his design firm, Architecture At Large, he nonchalantly mentioned a new…(seemly minuscule) furniture line and then he suddenly changed the subject. We should have taken that as a hint that his new furniture line was going to be loud, full of color, and epic!
De Cardenas’ furniture collection was unveiled for the first time last Friday at the Johnson Trading Gallery in New York City. We had the pleasure of experiencing each piece up close and personal over a few liquid libations. Plywood, neon gradients, and veneered cypress were used in the collection, staying true to the designer’s signature aesthetic and penchant for bold lines, color and contrast.
Rafael finds beauty in simple materials, like plywood, and gracefully dresses them in high style. This unique ability has helped launch his career during a time of lesser means. During our last interview, the designer was optimistic when discussing the economic recession, as he is confident in his ability to create with or without funds. He explained, “I don’t think that money is the thing that prevents design from happening, it presents challenges…and you always need some resistance in the design process or you are kind of operating in a vacuum.”
De Cardenas went on to list some of his favorite design materials, namely tape, paint, and plywood. Two out of three are abundant in his furniture collection, which he describes as “a homage to Bruce Goff and Frank Lloyd Wright, the furniture in this collection takes the cube as the underlying structural form. Through rotation, mirroring and multiplication, each piece is composed from an uncomfortably simple set of relationships – cubes fastened by triangular or semi-circular forms– that are both decorative and essential structural elements.” We’re dong our best to stay focused on his design concept, but we’re lost in a daydream about The Hulk Cabinet (see first image). It would be the perfect piece of eye candy for the office!
Little Red from the Hood has inspired a new collection of wolf-worthy furniture from London based designer Chris Duffy. The most notable piece in the collection is the Woodsman Table. With axes posing as legs, it’s far less grim than the original Brothers Grimm tale. The table is smoothly refined and surprisingly elegant for such a concept. The piece is crafted from one of two wood veneers, walnut or light oak. Both veneers as well as the solid hickory axe handles originate from The Stewardship Council managed forests (The woodsman would be so proud!). The axe heads, however, are constructed out of resin composite, ensuring that your dinner guests wont meet the same fateful end as the wolf. (+/- $1000.00)
Titled Sectionimal, The solid surface Corian coffee table has been designed by the team behind gt2P and has been strategically brought to life by a router machine. The designers at gt2P are experts when it comes to computing design. Their strength for design lies in conceptualizing, mathematics, and technology, all together creating pretty exceptional futuristic looking furniture and objects such as the Sectionimal.
(Photographs Provided By gt2P)
Moises Hernandez has taken inspiration from a tie in his latest piece of furniture called the Tie Chair. The chair is made of basic materials like maple, walnut, plywood, leather, and has a clean and minimalistic silhouette. Moises outlined and hallowed out the back of the chair and placed a horizontal leather band down the center to act as the seat back. Hernandez explains that he likes objects to be simple, and he likes to find and search the key elements that give shape to them, which is a statement that truly speaks volumes in his work on the Tie Chair
Pablo Reinoso has been on our radar for quite some time now (since we fell in love with his Trash & Soul jewelry collection). Now, the artist of many mediums has created a sculptural seating instillation called the Huge Sudeley Bench made entirely of steel, centered in the middle of manicured gardens.
(Photographs Courtesy of Pablo Reinoso)