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Acrobat Lighting by Porcelain Bear

Acrobat Lighting by Porcelain Bear

Acrobat Lighting by Porcelain Bear

Acrobat Lighting by Porcelain Bear

Acrobat Lighting by Porcelain Bear

Australian design studio Porcelain Bear’s latest lighting series, Acrobat, is inspired by the gracefully dangerous moves of aerial performers. The modular lighting fixtures, available in multiple metal finishes, feature lit translucent porcelain arms, supported by a metal trapeze, which is suspended from a minimal ceiling plate. The ingenious shades employ LED technology which is diffused by the porcelain to create a warmer glow. The Acrobat fixtures are available in multiple bent-metal configurations as well as Flatbar, which simply consists of a balanced bar with shades at opposing ends.

More at: Porcelain Bear
Photos: Porcelain Bear

Glassware for Peroni Nastro Azzurro by Shiro Studio

Glassware for Peroni Nastro Azzurro by Shiro Studio

Glassware for Peroni Nastro Azzurro by Shiro Studio

Glassware for Peroni Nastro Azzurro by Shiro Studio

Glassware for Peroni Nastro Azzurro by Shiro Studio

As the creative director of London-based Shiro Studio, Andrea Morgante was chosen by Peroni Nastro Azzurro UK to update the iconic beer brand’s glassware. As one of the world’s most recognizable beers, and one that is intrinsically connected to its Italian heritage, Morgante was mindful of this provenance when rethinking the design.

In Morgante’s words, “To redesign the iconic Peroni Nastro Azzurro glass is an exquisite, delicate challenge: the current glass is somehow iconic so I wanted to introduce a considerate evolution rather than a forceful, arbitrary redesign. I wanted the new glassware range to embrace the brand’s heritage whilst conveying a sense of modernity and innovation. I was equally interested in exploiting the optical quality of the borosilicate glass, one of the clearest, lightest and most durable type of glasses available, exploring how light could be compressed and refracted through the liquid by using variations on the glass thickness. Not many artisans can skillfully handcraft borosilicate glass and I had the privilege to work closely for several months with one of the few Pyrex glassmaking companies located in north-eastern Italy.”

The design’s ribbed surface is not only a detail that engages light to better illustrate the beer’s liquid quality, it is specifically designed to enhance the nucleation process, which catalyzes carbonation, resulting in a prolonged stream of bubbles that enhance the taste and drinking experience.

The line consists of four pieces of varying volume, from from the 568ml pint glass to a 200ml tumbler for Peroni-based cocktails. The glassware is currently being released in select UK venues.

More at: Shiro Studio
Photos: Shiro Studio

Add Stool by ASK

Add Stool by ASK

Add Stool by ASK

Add Stool by ASK
Add by ASK (Atelier Steffen Kehrle) is a elegant, versatile design manufactured by German studio and wood shop Stattmann Neue Moebel. To be used as a stool or small table, the stackable form consists of three bent wood legs and a perfectly balanced round seat; the fine grain of sustainably-forested ash, and a sophisticated palette of stain options elevate a piece of furniture that is often considered utilitarian.

Bavarian-born Steffen Kehrle designs a broad spectrum of products and objects, in industrial, cultural, and museum contexts. Imaginative, but mindful of furniture’s design history, Kehrle rethinks and modernizes references through his use of form and detail.

Stattmann Neue Moebel, the fourth-generation label of a wood workshop located near the village of Ascheberg, Germany, specializes in carpentry and fine wood work, implementing modern designs to a traditional approach of construction.

More at: Stattmann Neue Moebel, ASK
Photos: Julien Renault

Piece in Brief: Kuta Table Lamp by Vico Magistretti

Kuta by Vico Magistretti

Kuta by Vico Magistretti

Kuta by Vico Magistretti

Designed in 1978, and originally manufactured by Oluce, the Kuta lamp by industrial designer Vico Magistretti is an enduring icon of Italian Modernism that is as handsome today as it surely was upon introduction.

The design consists of a white marble base, a metal stem (originally black, with the current production in chrome finish), and a hand-painted (white or black) aluminum reflector plate that offers the effect of a solar eclipse. Today, Kuta is produced by Milan-based NEMO, and is also available in a wall-mounted option.

Vico Magistretti’s work spans from high-concept architecture to untraditional, mass-produced furniture and lighting, his output includes many important design pieces of the time, and he was the first to conceive an elegant chair made from plastic, the Selene.

Vintage Kuta table lamps produced by Oluce can be found on 1stdibs, starting around $1000, Nemo’s make is available from authorized dealers, with a price around $400.

More at: NEMO
Photos: NEMO, Artnet

Tool Roots by Mike Abelson at Maison Hermès

Tool Roots at Hermès Ginza

Tool Roots at Hermès Ginza

Tool Roots at Hermès Ginza

Tool Roots at Hermès Ginza

Tool Roots at Hermès Ginza

Postalco co-founder and designer Mike Abelson is the latest to oversee the window design at Hermès’ Ginza store in Tokyo. The display, titled Tool Roots, features a variety of tools and work objects arranged and broken down by their primary elements; Tool Roots is Ableson’s response to the Hermès 2017 theme of “Object Sense,” with 3-dimensional charts of daily objects mixed with drawings. The presentation is interwoven with Hermès products, and spans across two large display cases, as well as smaller feature boxes.

“Maybe tools are like colors? Perhaps they can be blended together, the way colors are, to form new objects with completely different roles?” says Abelson.

Tool Roots runs through July 11, 2017.

More at: Maison Hermès, Postalco
Photos: Mike Abelson

Earth Day Conscious Gift Guide

The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, brought to action 20 million Americans, and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. The passage of the landmark Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, and many other groundbreaking environmental laws soon followed. Twenty years later, Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries, and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage. This April 22, the 47th anniversary of Earth Day, the mission is education; fluency in the concepts of climate change and threats to the environment is the key to action, from laws and policy, to business practices and personal actions.

While the best way to recognize the cause may be to avoid consuming altogether, it is possible to put your money where your mouth is when it comes to environment and sustainability-minded businesses and products. Here are a few selections that forgo standard profit models and support causes and ideas that align with the principles of Earth Day, or perhaps just a little something to remind us to care for the natural world we all require to thrive. 

 

1. The Plant magazine brings together photographers, illustrators, designers, musicians, writers, and visual artists from around the world to share their perceptions and experiences around plants.

. . . During photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. This opposite pattern of gas use makes plants and people natural partners. Houseplants can also remove toxins from air – up to 87 percent of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) every 24 hours, according to NASA research. VOCs include substances like formaldehyde (present in rugs, vinyl, cigarette smoke and grocery bags), and benzene and trichloroethylene (both found in man-made fibers, inks, solvents and paint).

2A design inspired by the the Danish concept of “hygge,” the Carrie LED lamp by Norm Architects is a lightweight, portable lamp that can be adapted for indoor or outdoor use, its bulb-free LED is powered by a rechargeable battery.

. . . LEDs are up to 80% more efficient than traditional lighting (fluorescent and incandescent); less energy use reduces the demand from power plants and decreases greenhouse gas emissions.

3. Birdhaus by Claesson Koivisto Rune is a subtle reinvention of the classic birdhouse; this numbered edition is made from 3D printed porcelain and produced by OTHR, a forward-thinking collaborative that allows designers to meld technology with heirloom-quality materials.

. . . OTHR’s production process avoids manufacturing more than is needed by implementing technologies such as 3D printing, this keeps waste to a minimum and the typical warehousing of merchandise is bypassed, directly minimizing environmental impact.

4. Made from 18-carat recycled yellow gold, and featuring a panel of grey-blue fossilized dinosaur bone, this ring by designer Monique Péan is a chic ode to both modern design and our planet’s history.

. . . Péan’s sustainability mission revolves around responsible sourcing (never using mined materials), and recycled metals for jewelry designs. In addition to forgoing the often destructive standards of the jewelry industry, Péan is dedicated to supporting global philanthropic organizations. To observe Earth Day, the brand donates a portion of proceeds to Trees for the Future, helping communities to alleviate poverty, affecting positive social change, and improving both local and global environments by working with farming communities along environmentally degraded and highly traveled trade corridors.

5. Peet Rivko’s Balancing Face Oil is a signature blend of organic avocado, jojoba, and prickly pear oils, rich in essential fatty acids and natural antioxidants.

. . . Peet Rivko use no toxic parabens, sulfates, phthalates, PEGs, phenoxyethanol, silicones, or petroleum in their formulations. They work hand-in-hand with suppliers to ensure the supply chains are transparent, and product formulas are manufactured in a wind-powered lab in Southern California. The brand opts for recyclable and biodegradable packaging, and containers are manufactured with sustainability in mind.

6. The Natural Resources Defense Counsel works to safeguard the earth—its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends. Founded in 1970, NRDC combines the power of more than two million members and online activists with the expertise of some 500 scientists, lawyers, and policy advocates across the globe to ensure the rights of all people to the air, the water, and the wild. Your donation is a direct way to sponsor hard-hitting cases and campaigns in defense of nature.

7. Matt & Nat’s Magistral Notepad Sleeve is a a revival of the classic leather notepad jacket with pencil holder, only this time in modern, vegan materials.

. . . The Mat & Nat brand started with a commitment to not using leather or any other animal-based material; their linings are made of 100% recycled plastic bottles, and they’ve recently introduced recycled bicycle tires to their collections.

8. Koval Organic Vodka is made from organic grain, sourced from local farmers and milled on site, for a complete grain-to-bottle product. 

. . . Organic farming eliminates the possibility of soil and water contamination by synthetic chemicals, preserves local wildlife, and encourages biodiversity. Local-sourcing equates to less energy used for transportation, directly reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

9. bkr’s 1L water bottle is the antidote to cheap, disposable plastic bottles; their glass design, sleeved in silicone, motivates you to drink your daily dose of water, without polluting the environment with wasteful plastic.

. . . For every six plastic water bottles used, only one makes it to the recycling bin, U.S. landfills are overflowing with 2 million tons of discarded water bottles alone.

10. Wool Runners by Allbirds are made from breathable, ZQ-certified Merino wool.

. . . ZQ certification ensures high standards of sustainable farming and animal welfare. The wool used requires 60% less energy to produce than typical synthetic materials used in shoes; castor beans are a sustainable source for the green polyurethane used for insoles, and the Allbirds shipping shoebox uses 40% less materials than traditional packaging.

Diiis Designstudio – Selection 2017

2017 Designs by Diiis Designstudio

The latest design releases from Swiss duo Diiis Designstudio are both beautifully executed and cleverly functional. Susanne Rosa and Martina Staub develop product ideas around well-chosen materials and smart simplicity, and this series of shelves and tabletop objet clearly communicate their aesthetic.

GITO and HATO are side tables that can act as living room tray tables, or a modern bedside option. A simple rectangular metal frame supports two wooden platforms at the very top and floor level, the tabletops featuring an inset metal tray that not only adds a subtle visual element to the design, but is effective to avoid water rings. 

2017 Designs by Diiis Designstudio

2017 Designs by Diiis Designstudio

In the same design language, HAWU is a bookshelf-style design that could also serve as a bar, with a form that works against a wall, or as a detached object in the room; inventive metal shelf components can be lifted at an angle to serve as a bookends. Because the structural elements of the tables are so simply shaped, each can be easily packed flat for efficiency.

2017 Designs by Diiis Designstudio

2017 Designs by Diiis Designstudio

Finally, SIM, SALA, and BIM are glass flower vessels that have an inset mirrored plate that lends unexpected appeal to simple stems.

2017 Designs by Diiis Designstudio

2017 Designs by Diiis Designstudio

More at: Diiis Designstudio

FEIT SS17 Balance Collection

FEIT SS17 Balance Collection

FEIT SS17 Balance Collection

FEIT SS17 Balance Collection

FEIT SS17 Balance Collection

FEIT SS17 Balance Collection

FEIT SS17 Balance Collection

New York-based FEIT’s latest collection, Balance, explores the nature of society and our uncertain times by connecting us to the ground, literally. With craftsmanship, select natural materials, and functionality in mind, FEIT marries the traditions of shoemaking and leatherwork, with elegant, minimal designs. These new styles (as well as the debut of a women’s line and a series of bags) reinforce FEIT’s position as not only an expert on clean luxury, but a maker that builds to last, with designs and material choices that are intended to improve with age.

Above, selections from Balance (from top) include an update on the classic court sneaker, featuring Goodyear construction and an unlined body of low-pile, vegetable-tanned English suede; the Wrap Boot is an interpretation of a Jodhpur boot, with a back lace replacing side buckles; inspired by the sailing dry bag, FEIT’s Navy Bag (available in two sizes) is a smart reimagining of a classic, with a variation consisting of a two-piece body that references the design of their hand-sewn shoes.

More at: FEIT

Reference Bookends by Henry Julier

Reference bookends by Henry Julier

Reference bookends by Henry Julier

Reference bookends by Henry Julier

While the bookend might seem like a boring design subject, Henry Julier has improved upon the very practical object in thoughtful ways. The Brooklyn-based industrial designer debuted Reference as part of Norma Studio’s exhibit In Support of Books at the LA Art Book Fair. Designed to support larger, heavy books, as well as vinyl records, with a thicker gauge than the standard sheet steel bookend, Reference won’t flex when faced with the oversized or bulky, and forgoes the old-school design of reliance on downward weight to stay in place. A minimal fold at the top echoes the base, and allows for easy movement.

More at: Henry Julier
Photos: Shengzing Zhang

Piece in Brief: Volvo 142

Volvo 142

Volvo 142

Volvo 140 series in production at their Torslanda plant.Volvo’s 140 series in production at their Torslanda plant.

Volvo 142The stylish interior was was designed with practicality and comfort in mind.

Volvo 142

The Volvo 142 is the 2-door version of the Swedish car manufacturer’s 140 series, introduced in the summer of 1967, and in production through 1974.

The 2-door model followed in the crisp, “brick” shape Volvo’s 140 series introduced, a timeless and decidedly Scandinavian alternative to the bulbous, swollen forms of American cars at the time. During its production period, the 142 saw just a couple of variations in terms of power and comfort, as well as minor design alterations (dashboard and exterior detail, including an update to the now trademark, diagonal-line front grille), the bodystyle enduring. Worth noting is Volvo’s model naming system: the first digit being the series, the second citing the number of cylinders, and the final defining the number of doors.

Slightly lower in price than the 4-door model (144), the 142 had the same technical design, apart from the number of doors; the doors were naturally longer and the front backrests could be folded forward for backseat passengers. Just over 400,000 of the 142 model were built. The 140 series emphasized safety (a Volvo hallmark) and the body was equipped with crumple zones, a hidden roll-over bar, as well as safety belts in the cabin. Because of their very high standard of safety and build quality to withstand Scandinavian winters, some considered the straightforward design of the series to be tank-like, as many consumers expected the superfluous design features of its contemporaries. Nonetheless, Volvo’s 140 series was very successful internationally, the 142, undoubtedly, the most handsome of the line.

The 140 series was designed under the direction of Jan Wilsgaard; when he designed the series, Wilsgaard employed a credo, “simple is beautiful,” this reflected in the restrained, honest design of the car that went on to become an iconic form in automobile design.

More at: Volvo Heritage
Photos: Volvo









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