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IOOI Hookah by Christian Zanzotti

The design of IOOI turns the world of hookahs upside down. Sophisticated materials are presented in a minimalistic an extraordinary design. Modern materials, like anodised aluminium, polished brass, crystal clear glass and 3D printed parts are composed to this outstanding sculpture.

IOOI Hookah, by Christian Zanzotti

Insulaire by Numéro 111

Numéro 111 are the creators of the second VIA Furnishing programme, entitled Insulaire. Numéro 111 see the living room as an island, a ‘space inside space’ where furniture plays a structuring role and creates varied experiences of comfort and use. The more traditional approach focuses on the sofa; the more laid-back take is linked to floor-level living, where the central element – a rug – is accompanied by easy-grip cushions that can be positioned as needed to form headrest, back-rest or seat. Other pieces interact with both space-levels: tables with an upper plateau that moves to serve at low or divan level, a lamp that reconfigures to serve as reading light, up-washer or standing lamp. There is also a screen that defines territory and doubles as a storage unit, the open-work parts of which serve to hang a mirror or digital devices.

Insulaire, by Numéro 111

DM Residence by CUBYC Architects

DM Residence, Keerbergen, Belgium, by CUBYC Architects
Photography by Thomas De Bruyne and Koen Van Damme

Eigruob lamp by Nendo for Kartell

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of its iconic Bourgie table lamp, Italian plastic furniture specialist Kartell invited ten designers associated with the company to create tribute pieces for a special exhibition. For their contribution, Japanese design studio Nendo decided to work with two of the lamp’s most distinctive characteristics – its use of silhouettes and its transparency – rather than touching the original design itself.

Nendo created a new table lamp by inverting and rotating the Bourgie lamp’s silhouette, so that when two of the new lamps are lined up together, the space between them forms the upside-down silhouette of the Bourgie lamp. “Because our homage inverts both the lamp’s figure-ground relationship and our regular sense of up and down, we named the lamp Eigruob” the designers told us.

Eigruob lamp, by Nendo, for Kartell, via: urdesign, Photography © Akihiro Yoshida

Casa Cubo by Isay Weinfeld

Casa Cubo, the initiative of a couple of art collectors, was conceived to house a lodging and support center to artists and the development of the arts, but with all necessary facilities to serve as a home. The program was solved within a cubic block, split vertically into three levels and a mezzanine, whose façades are treated graphically as a combination of lines defined by the cladding cement plaques, by the glass strip on the mezzanine, and the striped wood composition that changes as the bedroom windows are opened and closed.

The service nucleus is located at the front of the ground level, comprising a kitchen, a restroom, a dining room and an entrance hall giving way to the wide room with double ceiling height and polished concrete floor, intended to host events, exhibitions or even work as a lounge that opens onto the backyard.

The mezzanine of the lounge, standing on the slab topping the service nucleus on the ground floor, houses the library, which is marked by three strong elements: a shelving unit extending the whole back wall, a strip of fixed glass next to the floor and a spiral staircase covered in wood that leads to the private quarters upstairs.

Private quarters consist of 3 bedrooms and a living room thoroughly lit through a floor-to-ceiling opening. The garage and service areas are located in the basement.

Casa Cubo, São Paulo, Brazil, by Isay Weinfeld
Photography © Fernando Guerra, FG+SG Architectural Photography

Afillia by Alessandro Zambelli for .exnovo

Stripping away the frills poses the risk of coming up against bare essentials, sometimes in a highly visible way. A fine example are Alessandro Zambelli’s new lights, designed for .exnovo. He calls the collection “Afillia,” a name borrowed from botany. In plant terms, it means leafless, though not lifeless: surely an apt image for a collection of luminous essentials and airy voids.

The Afillia range of six lighting accessories consists of three table lamps and three pendant lights. The base or socket ring is in Swiss pine, a premium wood from the Alto Adige mountains, hand-crafted according to the region’s ancient traditions. The wood fitting locks on to a light diffuser in polyamide (also known as nylon fibre), sintered by professional 3D printing.

The results are furnishing extras, either one-offs or limited editions. The avant-garde technology really does print them, but the machined product is in perfect harmony with the intuitive skill of the master-craftsmen who shape the material from the amorphous polymer block. They finish off the process by hand, lending the personal touch to every creation. The centrepiece of each accessory is a diffuser which embraces and embellishes space. Delicate, lace-like patterns with their geometrical pinholes give rise to two-dimensional origami in thin, curvaceous spirals. Free to waver at will, the light casts fleeting shadows, then beams into unexpected focus, forming compact halos, round and bright. This is energy in fluid form, in the no-man’s land between stuff and shape, air and light.

Afillia by Alessandro Zambelli for .exnovo

Camino Norte House by William F. Cody

Camino Norte House, Palm Springs, California, by William F. Cody, via: Plastolux, Photography © James Haefner

Thanks for the Sun Serie by Arnout Meijer Studio

The increased use of screens, emitting their constant bright white light, is blurring the distinction between work and leisure, between day and night. But for us human beings it is best to experience light of varying warmth and intensity within the 24-hour cycle: bright white during the day to help us stay alert and concentrate; warmer, soothing light during the evening to help us wind down and prepare for sleep. Arnout Meijer has designed the Thanks for the Sun Series to allow users to adapt the temperature and character of the light in their rooms.

Thanks for the Sun Serie, by Arnout Meijer Studio

Books: Coyote v. Acme by Pentagram

In his never-ending quest to capture the Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote has been a faithful customer of the Acme Company, whose products-Spherical Bombs, Rocket Skates, Spring-Powered Shoes-invariably fail him at the worst possible time. Pentagram’s Daniel Weil has reimagined designs for five of these gadgets, rendered as a series of highly detailed technical diagrams. The drawings were inspired by Ian Frazier’s classic humor essay Coyote v. Acme and accompany a republishing of the article for Pentagram’s annual holiday card.

Originally published in The New Yorker, Coyote v. Acme presents the opening statements of an imaginary lawsuit by Coyote against Acme for his personal injuries caused by the faulty devices, citing 85 occasions in which they “did cause him bodily injury due to defects in manufacture or improper cautionary labeling.” Our holiday greeting reprints Frazier’s essay as a mini legal brief with Weil’s drawings presented as supporting evidence. Weil carefully considered the design of each cartoon product, making sure the contraptions would functionally work.

So who is at fault, Coyote or Acme? Even when pressing his case, Coyote can’t seem to cut a break. Weil’s designs for the gadgets undermine Coyote’s legal claims with special safety features like “screw-in detonator” for the Spherical Bomb and a “weighted armor jacket” to be worn with the Rocket Skates. The look of the diagrams is inspired by the photo-realistic illustrations of the McMaster-Carr hardware catalog. But Wile E. skims over the fine print. As Weil tells Wired Design in a post about the project, “The Coyote, like most males, never reads the instructions.”

Pentagram Project Team, Product design: Daniel Weil, partner-in-charge and designer. Illustrations by Simon Denzel. Book design: Michael Bierut, partner-in-charge and designer; Jesse Reed, designer. Coyote v. Acme © Ian Frazier. First published in The New Yorker, February 26, 1990.

Coyote v. Acme, by Pentagram

Private Apartment by Joseph Dirand

Private Apartment, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Paris, France, by Joseph Dirand
via: Architectural Digest, Photography © Adrien Dirand

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