“My Flat, Mega Farm, Power Plant and Highway are designs that came from my research into public space and architecture and the idealized version of both in toy modelling. On the basis of my research I selected a number of buildings that epitomize today’s zeitgeist. I transformed these architectural types into toy blocks. In doing so I have two objectives. The first is to shed a light on the excessive nature of contemporary large scale architecture — the mega factory — by using the poor and abstract form language of toy blocks. My second objective is to make full use of the contrast between the harshness of contemporary architecture and the illusory children’s world of friendliness and unlimited possibilities cultivated by adults.”
- Maykel Roovers
Critical Blocks by Maykel Roovers
Mass-produced midcentury furniture by the Italian modernist Carlo Mollino can cost a few thousand dollars per piece, and his prototypes and custom works cause greater market stirs.
In 2005 and 2008, Christie’s in New York got seven-figure prices for 1940s oak and maple tables that Mollino created for a marquis in Turin. The designer worked in a vocabulary of hairpin turns, spikes and flanges. He was also notoriously moody and obsessive, and a daredevil who flew experimental planes, scaled mountains and raced cars.
His colorful biography adds to the appeal of the objects. “They have a huge aura about them,” said Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, the founder of the Salon 94 galleries in Manhattan.
A show with a few Mollino works from around 1950 (with five- and six-figure prices each) opens on Thursday at the Salon 94 branch on East 94th Street; display cases were designed by the British architect David Adjaye. The exhibition includes an ash bentwood chair and a resin-and-glass bookcase, made for a Turin publishing house, and aluminum boomerang light fixtures from a textile magnate’s apartment in Turin.
On Oct. 23 the Italian government blocked an auction at Christie’s in London that featured 30 pieces of 1950s Mollino furniture, which had long been installed in an Italian industrialist’s country house in the foothills of the Alps. The works, including oak and chestnut tables, chairs, cabinets and ceramic coat hooks, were deemed by the government to be treasures that could not be exported. (They were returned to their owner.)
On Dec. 10 Sotheby’s in New York will offer four 1940s oak chairs (estimated at $100,000 to $150,000 for the set) with split backs that a private collector found years ago at a Los Angeles tag sale. Mollino used the split-back design in ski resort and restaurant interiors, but no one knows where the tag-sale chairs originated.
Dodo is a small container for soy sauce or oil. The container is made in silicone so that you can squeeze out the liquid. The shape of the container gives it a clear direction of use and also exudes a strong personality.
Ori grinders and salt cellar. These grinders and cellar were results from experimenting with origami in our studio. The shapes of folds and crystals inspired the idea of milling salt and pepper. The conflict between the top and the bottom parts is a physical representation of the internal grinding process. The grinders and cellar are made from maple wood and Corian.
Basic wood tools for food preparation including spatula, ladle, skimmer and rice paddle (shamoji). They are shaped in a way that makes them a natural extension of the hand.
These objects spring out of simple and ordinary, yet essential and vital, actions that tie people together across cultural differences. The objects are designed for everyday situations in Norway — they are Norwegian. However, we have been inspired by Japanese culture — or rather, by our particular understanding of Japanese culture. In other words: we have attempted to make Norwegian objects that could also be relevant to Japanese living. Our goal is to draw inspiration and knowledge from how our work is experienced in Tokyo.
Warp is a lightweight and portable side table for different opportunities. It is applicable in domestic as well as in public spaces such as hotel lobbies, waiting areas but also in bars or cafés. The top incorporates a handhold which enables the table to be moved around with ease. It’s ideal for working on a laptop or eating whilst comfortably installed on one’s settee.
Strikingly simple in form, the Revolution Collection is handcrafted in the Czech Republic by master glassblowers, and formed from a pure extrusion of hand-blown borosilicate glass. This material provides a high degree of thermal resistance for a range of hot and cold applications, and is oven, microwave, freezer, and dishwasher safe.
When in use, the contents of these pieces appear to float, seeming to defy gravity and visually suspend their contents, be it water, wine, champagne, gelato, or soup. The Revolution Collection is distinctive in its thoughtful form, and innovative in its application of materials and skillful manufacturing. These attributes are fundamental to the design philosophy and approach of fferrone design, along with responsible sourcing of materials and production.
Revolution Collection, Glassware, by Felicia Ferrone
Park Life is a complete family of furniture for outdoors, whose clean cut profile is adaptable to a wide range of different situations. Lightweight yet extremely durable, it’s easily stacked for transport or winter storage and its technical sophistication and careful consideration of ergonomics besides a lot of care over how it looks are all intended to ensure a long life, both structurally and visually.
“This is my first outdoor collection and it has taken some time to get here: about four and a half years! It probably took that long because we needed to discover the right codes for Outdoor Furniture, which is a category apart from other types of furniture. It has been an interesting process and we have been through many prototypes to get here but I think the result justifies the effort.”
- Jasper Morrison
Park Life, by Jasper Morrison, for Kettal
Archetypal lighting forms, materials and textures assembled in an emotional luminaire.
Silk Road, by Jonah Takagi, Atelier Takagi, for Roll and Hill
The result of a combination of the creative sensitivity of Ionna Vautrin and Foscarini’s design experience, Doll is a friendly little table lamp. Accessible and versatile, available in four colours, Doll is a warm presence with an essential, evocative charm, inspired by traditional wooden Japanese Kokeshi Dolls.
Doll Table Lamp, by Ionna Vautrin, for Foscarini
“Without question my favourite piece of interior design, and undoubtedly the most comfortable chair I’ve ever sat in. I like to retire to one with a cigar and a stiff drink as frequently as possible. I own four of them: an original from the Sixties at my London pied-à-terre and three in my house in the country. It’s composed of a fibreglass shell, a thin layer of foam and very high-quality leather, and not only does it swivel, but it also rocks.”
- Sir Terence Conran
Karuselli Lounge Chair, by Yrjö Kukkapuro, 1964, for Avarte