Friday, 27 February 2009
Tuesday, 24 February 2009
“Wooden workplace” by TAF Architects started out as an exhibition concept for the Swedish office chair company RH-stolen. But who knows where it will end? TAF’s attempt to draw “a kind of comic strip-furniture so basic that nobody could take it seriously” ended up as one of the more interesting contributions to the Stockholm Furniture Fair. Raw pine plank, regular beams and screws. An open source-concept soon to be?
Monday, 23 February 2009
If you’re based in Stavanger, Norway, you’re close to offshore oil production. The architects Helen & Hard, who have long been into using local resources, decided to make it an advantage. They applied the petroleum industry’s geological and technological expertise, production methods and materials to create an activity park aimed particularly at children. It’s called The Geopark and it’s organized around an artificial landscape which recreates the topography of the Troll field in a scale of 1:500. Surfaces and installations are constructed out of recycled and reshaped elements from the petroleum sector, taken from abandoned fields, offshore bases, equipment suppliers and scrap heaps. For more info on Helen & Hard and their recycling of both material and knowledge-related assets of the oil industry, look here.
Tuesday, 17 February 2009
Products “especially designed for women” usually makes me very sceptical. I’ve never been into pink razors with rounded corners. But the office chair “Lei” by Swedish designer Monica Förster is something else. It’s about using the woman as a norm. And it’s product development by the book. A collaboration between the designer Monica Förster, the ergonom Ellen Wheatley and the textile engineer Sandra Karlsson, initiated by the office furniture dealer Officeline. It’s their first try as a product developer, which doesn’t make it less impressive.
Women usually want to sit in a more upright position than men, prove the ergonomic studies made by Ellen Wheatley. It has to do with the fact that women have more tenacious muscles than men. To offer support to the lumbar vertebrae and the curve of the spine Monica Förster designed a part in the middle of the back of the chair which follows the body when leaning forward. The system is now patented.
The textile used is a polyester developed especially for the chair by Danish textile company Kvadrat. It consists of three different layers with air in between, which makes it both elastic and a good humidity transporter.
“Lei” might not win the price for most beautiful office chair, but for a woman 1, 68 m, normal weight, it’s definitely the most comfortable.
Friday, 6 February 2009
Why chose between handicraft and massproduction? The Swedish designer Karin Welin paints with woolen fibre on industrial needle felt. The dry needling technique came up when she was experimenting at the felt producer Nordifa in the south of Sweden, and the result is a kind of carpet you’ve never seen before. Every carpet has unique patterns and the designer is involved in the whole process, from choosing which sheep to use to painting the carpets in the factory.
– The painting process is a fast one, says Karin, I work in the same way as a glass painter.
Image: The carpet “It’s Alive”, painted with wool from sheep at a farm outside Stockholm.
Tuesday, 3 February 2009
Knitsbythemetre is a young Swedish textile company, owned by designers Ulrika Mårtensson and Margot Barolo. Their goal is to include more (”female”) textiles into the (”male”) architecture and this is one of their latest creations. ”Monument over the third international” might look as something made for Madonna by Jean Paul Gaultier in the nineties. But the main inspiration came from the Russian artist and architect Vladimir Tatlin and his (never constructed) building from the beginning of the 20th century. A great example of women underwear taking a step into transparent architecture, if you ask me. And the 3D-shape of it makes it a soundswallower, too.