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Jean-François d’Or: Golden Child of Belgian Design

Thirty-seven-year old Jean-François d’Or (a name that befits the sunny, luminous quality about him) is considered one of the most talented, prolific and appreciated designers in Belgium.

In 2010, he was chosen to represent his hometown, Brussels, during the national design week (Design September), and a retrospective selection of his works was displayed in one of the shiny spheres of the iconic Atomium. On this occasion, critics praised his “simple, unpretentious, logical objects that appeal as much for their evident, clearly perceptible design as well as their discrete poetry”. “Humble” is quite the epithet for Jean-François d’Or — and he proudly claims the label, turning these words from Belgian poet George Linze into his motto: “A strange phosphorescence covers the humblest objects as if poetry were only what is extraordinary about the ordinary”.

Droog design, Domani, Interni Edition, Konstantin Slawinski, Jongform, Ligne Roset (his terracotta Maternity pot was recently released during the Milan Salone, another landmark in the collaboration he started a few years ago with the Roset group) or The Conran Shop are among the brands his name has been associated with. Lately, he has designed a bed for Magnitude (which was introduced during the Kortrijk fair) and a series of door handles for Vervloet (on display at Maison&Objet in Paris). A large panel which somehow illustrates his versatility, as well as his ability to absorb himself into raw material, whether clay, glass, metal or wood is involved.

Graduated from the renowned La Cambre School of design in Brussels (1998), he started his own studio, Loudor design, five years later. In between, he had managed to achieve a project in New York with textile designer Caroline Ray, then to work in his homeland with star designers such as Maarten Van Severen and Hans De Pelsmacker. Already granted a Henry van de Velde award (Belgium’s most coveted prize in the design field), this deeply grounded young man’s creations are now everywhere, through his brainchild: Loudor design has set up ongoing collaborations with the most prestigious design labels in Europe. A gifted, modern day alchemist, well-named Jean-François d’Or seems to turn everything he touches into gold.

Elodie Palasse-Leroux
(French journalist Elodie Palasse-Leroux is the founder and editor of Sleek design, launched in 2009)

Bonbonne hanging lamp, Bonbonne floor lamp, Arlequin, Bonbonne, Drop, Mezzoluna, by Jean-François d’Or, Loudor design

Sha Aroma Diffuser by PostlerFerguson for Puzhen

Hong Kong based homewares brand Puzhen has acquired several ancient pottery factories in China, including one which specializes in Zisha pottery production. Zisha pottery is made from special clay gathered on site; it is distinguished by its exceptional hardness and ability to be formed very precisely. The Sha diffuser uses this precision to marry the traditional pottery to modern electronic components used to diffuse essential oil vapor, housing it in a perforated metal mesh lid.

Sha Aroma Diffuser, by PostlerFerguson, for Puzhen

Loaf Bread Bin from Established & Sons

Simple yet clever, the bread bin’s circular shape was inspired by existing bent wood remnants and the three holes in the top are reminiscent of those found in bowling balls and function as ‘handles’ with which to lift the lid. Made of natural beech wood.

Loaf Bread Bin, from Established & Sons

Taika Dinnerware by Klaus Haapaniemi for Iittala

Taika Dinnerware Klaus Haapaniemi Iittala

Taika Dinnerware Klaus Haapaniemi Iittala

Taika Dinnerware Klaus Haapaniemi Iittala

Taika Dinnerware Klaus Haapaniemi Iittala

“While most Iittala dinnerware embraces form over ornamentation, Taika breaks the mold. True, the forms are clean and simple, but the surfaces are wildly decorated with imaginative owls, foxes, and trees in a rich Nordic tradition. Taika means magic in Finnish, and the enchanted forest theme is apt. The designer of these fanciful scenes is Finnish illustrator and artist Klaus Haapaniemi, a rising star in the international design world. Each porcelain mug, bowl, or plate comes in either a white or midnight-blue background, which allows for individualized expression in mixing together or with Iittala’s all-white Aika dinnerware.”
-Ann Bieri

Iittala Taika Dinnerware by Klaus Haapaniemi

Happy Hour Service Bar by Alfredo Häberli for BD Barcelona

Happy Hour Service Bar Alfredo Häberli BD Barcelona

Happy Hour Service Bar Alfredo Häberli BD Barcelona

Happy Hour Service Bar Alfredo Häberli BD Barcelona

Happy Hour Service Bar Alfredo Häberli BD Barcelona

Happy Hour Service Bar Alfredo Häberli BD Barcelona
Image via: Skona Hem

“There I was, glass in hand, hunting after stray ideas when simple solutions with subtle inventive details based on the theme of the bar came into my head.”
- Alfredo Häberli

Includes 2 trays plus an optional 3rd one in Inox stainless steel. Chromed steel structure. Trays in thermally-formed plastic. Available in white or black.

Happy Hour Service Table, Bar Trolley, by Alfredo Häberli, for BD Barcelona Design

Metropolis Collection from Lladró Atelier

Metropolis is a collection with a huge evocative power, consisting of a series of functional objects such as vases, lamps, mirrors and boxes in the shape of buildings. As a whole, the structures make together a very original city, not realistic but suggestive of an imaginary or futuristic setting. In Metropolis, the refined forms of these avant-garde buildings are well combined with the meticulousness and detail with which their textures are recreated, painstakingly ornamented like miniature embroidery, a hallmark of handcrafted work at Lladró.

Each piece in the collection is available in eight different colors that go from a clean white to anthracite, including, light grey, dark grey, light green, dark green, light yellow, dark yellow.

Lladró Atelier is a new creative department within Lladró, set up under the creative guidance of designer Jaime Hayón. It’s a laboratory of ideas which welcomes projects proposed by the company’s in-house designers as well as by external designers.

Metropolis Collection: Vase I, Vase IV, Vase II, Vanity Mirror, Vase III, Lamp, from Lladró

Kami Pots by Ett La Benn

The Kami collection of pots/vases/home lighting encourage a new way of thinking in eco-friendly lifestyle products. Made from 100% biodegradable cellulose, an enormously solid and light material, Kami transforms this most abundant natural raw material into objects for daily use by simple air drying.

Kami Pots, by Ett La Benn

Tonus Stool by Aldo Bakker

Dutch designer Aldo Bakker has created the Tonus Stool handmade out of a solid block of oak wood.

Tonus Stool, by Aldo Bakker, Executed by Rutger Graas, Distributed by Particles, Photography by Erik and Petra Hesmerg

Decanter by Kaj Franck for Nuutajärvi Notsjö

Decanter by Kaj Franck for Nuutajärvi Notsjö

Decanter by Kaj Franck for Nuutajärvi Notsjö

The upcoming Scandinavian Design auction at Wright includes this mold-blown glass decanter by Kaj Franck who was appointed chief designer for Nuutajärvi in 1950. Nuutajärvi was marketed under trade name Arabia from 1971 to 1977.

Decanter, by Kaj Franck, for Nuutajärvi Notsjö, Finland, 1955/1959, Estimate: $2,000 – 3,000, Auction at Wright

Iittala Citterio 98 Flatware by Antonio Citterio & Oliver Löw

Iittala Citterio 98 Flatware Cutlery Antonio Citterio Oliver Löw

Iittala Citterio 98 Flatware Cutlery Antonio Citterio Oliver Löw

With its distinctive design and balanced proportions of the Citterio 98 cutlery collection have earned it the status of a modern design classic. In designing the range, Antonio Citterio and Oliver Löw took the traditional cutlery of French cafés as their source of inspiration and updated it to meet the demands of contemporary functionalism. The matt brushed stainless steel design feels equally at home in both a formal dinner setting and at a relaxed get-together with friends. Available as a 16 piece and 24 piece set, or sold by the piece.

“From the cook’s knife to the teaspoon, every item in Iittala’s Citterio 98 range of flatware displays the same perfectly balanced proportions.”
- Phaidon Design Classics

Iittala Citterio 98 Flatware, by Antonio Citterio and Oliver Löw

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