We’ve all seen space-saving furniture at work in micro-miniature apartments that demand militant organization and fastidious housekeeping. We ooh and ahh at the bed that’s also a sofa that’s also a writing desk that folds up and gets tucked away into a narrow panel in the wall. But unless you have an ecclesiastical devotion to sweeping and vacuuming daily, there are very few who are capable of living like that, although many of us have apartments small enough to warrant such behavior. Still, there’s another way.
From the latest issue: Lighting goes minimal with fixtures that embrace the bulb. See our six favorites from lighting superstars, independent studios we scouted at London Design Festival, and Artek’s foray into the previously under designed world of light therapy.
Ever since Michael Thonet established Gebrüder in 1819, the brand has been at the forefront of mass producing the now iconic bentwood and tubular steel furniture by designers from the Bauhaus era as well as contemporary designers and architects, as well as Thonet himself, of course. Gebrüder is not only one of the oldest modern design brands and manufacturers, it’s also one of the few that are still family owned and managed. The 5th generation of Thonet’s (Michael’s great-great-grandchildren) currently run the company in Germany, but a few days ago they announced their new partnership with M2L to distribute classics like Mart Stam’s chrome-plated cantilevered chair and the Vienna coffee house chair that started it all to the US market.
While it seemed as if almost every ceramic tile manufacturer at Cersaie was debuting a new line of faux wood grain textured panels, Patricia Urquiola, Creative Director of Mutina Ceramiche & Design, embraced the artisanal tradition of hand painted 20 by 20 cm decorative tile with her new collection, Azulej.
The Product Page in AN‘s current print issue, “Turn Up The Heat,” rounds up six solid stand-alone kitchen units with a focus on minimal, streamlined design, optimal storage for a clutter-free workspace and enhanced performance for demanding chefs. Most of the featured cooktops, like Binova’s Anima, Boffi’s K20, Leicht’s FS-Topos, Rational’s Solo and Valcucine’s La CucinaAlessi are light, clean, sleek and bright white Corian, while Rossana’s DC10, Eggersmann’s Unique and Steininger’s Heart of Gold are decidedly darker, heavier—even brutal—pairing matte metals and deep wood tones with rectangular blocks of stone and slate.
London Design Festival 2012 officially opened last week, but the multitude of events don’t really kick off until tomorrow night, when most of the exhibitions and showrooms open to the public. We’re particularly excited to visit The Tramshed at designjunction, which has been a great success ever since De Le Espada’s founding director, Luis de Oliviera, initiated it in 2010. In just two years it’s established itself as a carefully curated, yet authentic lifestyle event and has become a must-see for “a thoughtful and diverse selection of both established and emerging firms who are known for the vibrancy of capacity to innovate.”
After a recent trip to Paris, Rome and Marrakech, designer Christen Maxwell was inspired by “the incredible motifs that have been seen for centuries by millions of people – from everyday pedestrians to monarchs – and translate them into modern designs.” Specifically, Maxwell cites how a geometric pattern on a manhole cover in Rome, the ceiling of the Pantheon and the glass pyramid of the Louvre influenced a Fall/Winter 2012 collection of textiles and furnishings that mixes natural linens with ever popular metallic accents and pops of neon.
Big Ass Fans are, as their name suggests, a producer of very large fans. They’re used everywhere from dairy barns to art galleries to outdoor public installations like Wendy, HWKN’s star-shaped pavilion for MoMA PS1′s summer Warm Up series. They also make residential models, like Haiku, the latest product in their line up. Once you get over the eye roll-inducing slogan—Haiku: Poetry in Motion—it’s a really incredible product. According to Energy Star it’s the world’s most efficient residential ceiling fan, and even exceeds their efficiency requirements by 450 to 750 percent. Whereas most fans use 90 to 100 watts, the Haiku uses just two to 30 watts, costing an average of $5 per year.