Hans J. Wegner’s Oculus Chair was designed in 1960, but there were only two prototypes made — one in orange fabric, the other in leather — and the chair was largely forgotten. A half-century later, in 2009, it was rediscovered when Knud Erik Hansen, the owner of the furniture maker Carl Hansen & Son, received an e-mail from the Wegner studio with a picture of the chair from a 1968 magazine.
“The studio asked if we liked the chair,” said Thomas Vagner, the president of the company’s American branch. “Of course, we loved the chair.” The leather prototype had been lost, but Wegner’s family still had the orange chair. “Normally, when we develop or relaunch an old product, we buy it at auction and cut it in two to see what it’s like on the inside,” Mr. Vagner said. But since it was the only one, they had it scanned in 3-D, so they could see the interior.
The concept of a ceramic swan came from Antonio’s desire to have a watering-can connected to the aesthetical and practical world of gardening. Why we can not insert in it a glimpse of our indoor daily life, by transforming it in a tea pot? After all watering plants could be compared to pouring tea for friends. Changing the concept and the use of two common objects – like a watering can and a kettle – is a way for Antonio to magnify our usual life and putting some fantasy and magic in such tenderhearted gestures. The hybrid shape of the tall kettle could be seen as a weird swan and the short one could be seen as baby elephant with is very long trunk.
During a collaborative research workshop organized by dutch company Arco, London-based Okay Studio created a series of new furniture pieces, including the Mushiki storage system by Spanish collective member Tomás Alonso. Named after the Japanese word for steaming vessel, these side tables draw their shape and functionality from the stackable bamboo components of their namesake object’s design.
Available in two sizes, each round structure features a column with a wooden hinge running along it, which allows various modules to be stacked, rotated and opened. Like many of Alonso’s designs, these tables combine simple elements to render more complex structures, enabling users to adjust its movable components to explore proportion and spatial relationships. With a strong emphasis on how humans relate to the products, Alonso says, “For me it’s important that what I design makes its way into people’s hands and people’s homes. I would like my objects to be used, lived with and enjoyed.”
Swedish designer Monica Förster has created a series of colorful chairs called Florinda for the Italian manufacturer De Padova. The new chair combines simplicity of form and lightness of structure, The chair comes with a solid beech finish, combined with colorful plastic seat and back. Stackable versions are available, with or without armrests.
Florinda Chairs, by Monica Förster, for De Padova
Bathtub fun and other aquatic adventures are guaranteed with Bote. Composed by a cork hull and a plastic add-on piece (a sail, a row of engine chimneys or a cabin) Bote is your ticket to plenty of imaginative seafaring. This indomitable will brave troubled waters, heavy downpours and pirate raids: cork’s buoyancy ensures that, no matter how perilous the journey, Bote will always resurface for new bathtub play.
Hong Kong-based Michael Young has been amongst the most successful and influential designers of his generation. Works in China – Part 1 Design Art is an exhibition showcasing the latest and most iconic works of Michael Young’s 20-year industrial design career, plus the launch of his book Works in China written by John Heskett. The book delves into the process of design documenting a number of Young’s products from the initial sketches, right through to the finished products. An eye-opening look at the staggering amount of work that goes into producing everything around us and must-read for anyone interested in design.
“This is my first show in 10 years. I started out making one offs in London as it was all that one could make back then, but it was a passion. After years of mass production it’s refreshing to go back to my roots and play a little.”
- Michael Young
This brand new multipurpose lounge chair is by its high level of comfort and attractive size an ideal chair for lounge areas, receptions, hotel rooms and dinning and/or living rooms. With a crisp, elegant expression and a whole world of possibilities within material and colour combinations, Didi can be specified into almost any design scheme.
For its first collection, Oeuffice proposes “totems for living”, monolithic objects that dominate the habitat, yet remain entirely functional. These objects are inspired by the geometries that govern architecture, and conceived as domestic altarpieces, infused with a sense of utility, grace and wit. In other words, these “totems” become dominant and narrative objects around which one is invited to stop, to contemplate and to display personal artifacts of importance.
Calico, Laveer, Centina , by Nicolas Bellavance-Lecompte and Jakub Zak, Oeuffice
Sputnik’s design presents a single piece of bend metal rod that defines its structure and function. This inner metal piece holds the legs of the stool together, offering a strong structure, while three highs for the footrest. The different heights of the footrest allow several positions for comfort.