Thursday, 30 April 2009
Nicolas Cheng, a Singapore-born student at the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm, showed a poetic take on energy awareness at the Salone del Mobile in Milan last week. Light is by definition something hard to quantify or experience by human hands, but by associating light to weight, Nicolas provide the user with the neccessary tools. Combinations of simple mechanisms utilize gravity resistance to transfer light to a bulb. For every 100 grams of weight, a corresponding 10 watts of light is produced. Good thinking.
Monday, 27 April 2009
A stool called "Milk", made in ash tree. Could things get more nostalgic? If you ask the Swedish designer Staffan Holm the answer is yes. The stool he showed in Milan's Salone Satellite is not the handicraft piece it looks like, but rather the opposite. Look for your self, here's a film showing the production process.
Monday, 20 April 2009
These days, a lot of designers are striving to come up with the simplest, smartest idea. According to the British journalist Alice Rawsthorn in International Herald Tribune utilitarianism will be the dominant style during the Salone del Mobile in Milan this week. But how far can you take simplicity? Swedish architects TAF will show this parcellike furniture collection at the design gallery Rossana Orlandi. And I like the idea. But I liked it even better the first time I saw it. Already in 1997 French designer Matali Crasset wrapped soft cubes into the kind of big shopping bags that immigrants in Paris use to carry things around in. Sometimes a simple solution is just too simple.
It feels like paper, but is hard as steel. Swedish architects Claesson, Koivisto, Rune will launch a children’s chair made of pulp at the Milan Furniture Fair starting Wednesday.
Together with the Swedish forrest company Södra Cell and the research company STFI Packforsk they’ve been working on the chair for one and a half year. The material is a special pulp combined with PLA, a biodegradable plastic made from maize starch and cane sugar. In other words, a good alternative to plastic.
“Papuru” (the japanese word for paper) is durable and waterproof, recyclable, stackable and colourful. Now there's only the machine for massproducing it that’s missing... Look at films showing the production process here and here. (Am I spotting a new “production porn” trend here?)
Friday, 17 April 2009
Talking about "new", recyclable materials a Swedish lamp made of cow dung(!) will be shown during next weeks Salone del Mobile in Milan. It was while experimenting at the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm that students Karin Frankenstein and Tomas Auran found that a certain mixture of peat, Mongolian papier maché and adobe actually make a suprisingly durable material once dried. The frame of the lamp is partly welded and covered with the material. The foot of the lamp is sculptured and the shades are the result of originals sewed in textile, moulded into plaster negatives and then made in the peat-mixture. The lamp will be shown in the school exhibition ”Collection/selection” at Spazio Rossana Orlandi.
Monday, 13 April 2009
Almost everything designed by Swede Daniel Franzén is made out of pine. Ever since he left design school ten years ago he has developped his preference for this the most Swedish of woods (except for spruce, ok, ok): not only did he design the barn houses for Arvesund that I recently wrote about, but other houses, bars and furniture. He even made a “self portrait”-chair made out of pine details exactly as tall and skinny as himself.
"Pine tree is soft and easy to work with. It smells good and I also like the fact that it's knotty. That way you can actually see it's made out of trees", he says.
Recently Daniel designed a table top out of the kind of turned pine tree columns that usually hold up the roof of a porch. He just splitted them up lengthwise and let the round part face the floor. And had this "patterned" table as a result. It's still a prototype.
Wednesday, 8 April 2009
Thursday, 2 April 2009
I talked to Johan Huldt the other day. He's a Swedish furniture designer in his sixties, who has run his own furniture producing business, Innovator, since 1970. A few years ago he was the CEO of the Swedish Society of Crafts and Design, these days he's mostly involved in the House of Design in Hällefors. And he claimed: "The higher the fence, the better it gets.These are wonderful times for designers. Our work is about problem solving and the need for solutions has never been as big as it is today".
Do you agree?
Do you agree?
Wednesday, 1 April 2009
You might have seen architecture like this before. Quite a few architects have made their contribution to the modern barn, or the "Monopoly"-house, the last few years. But this one has got a point that others don't. The Swedish company behind "Bringåsen", Arvesund, have an unusual and somewhat controversial business idea: They take over old, forgotten barns in northern Sweden and transform them into modern, Scandinavian architecture and design. A collection of 21st century barn houses will be launched at the upcoming furniture fair in Milan in April. "Bringåsen" is designed by Daniel Franzén.