Its a time of immense activity in the global design calendar with Maison & Objet finishing just a few days ago and the London Design Festival looming (September 16 - 24). Usually Design daily curates posts around events like these, a launch of a collection or an exhibition but in this case it was just a matter of being excited by two press releases that dropped into our inbox - one announcing the release of a ceramics collection during Maison & Objet, the other a new chair launching during London Design Festival - a perfect little snapshot of the two design events.
Design daily has a special affinity with Sevilla as my brother and two nieces live there and its a place I have visited on several occasions (mainly to see them and eat great tapas) so to discover that a traditional Seville ceramics company is producing exquisite new designs is quite exciting. The 'Vega 175' vessels by Isaac Piñeiro for La Cartuja de Sevilla have taken the handle as a motif and carried it through the collection - and it works beautifully. While the shapes are interesting and full of character, on their own, the designer has also re-introduced a classic decorative technique that was discovered in the archives where colour is sprayed onto the ceramics in what might be called an ombre style if you were dealing with clothing. Subtle shades have been chosen: butter yellow, pale coral and taupe.
In this instance however, it is amore like a asymmetric application of a colour to a clay body. It feels light and partially accidental and as a consequence has a delightfully innocent and undesigned appearance. Delicate patches of pink or pale yellow decorate the surface and change the emphasis from pure shape to a subtle collaboration between form and colour. You might sense that Design daily likes them a lot and you would be right. I also like the company's approach to photography with delightfully imagined shadows dropping onto a simple pale grey paper roll.
While the company started 175 years ago and is steeped in traditional techniques, Isaac Piñeiro used selective laser sintering technology in the making of the first prototypes rather than traditional hand-turned processes. Through these models the artisans of the company could easily work out what was required to achieve the form in clay.
“The concepts that rose from this commission were renovation and challenge. The concept of renovation was represented by a new proposal being introduced to the catalogue of La Cartuja. It was a challenge because it wasn’t a simple tableware redesign, we had to think completely outside of the box, beyond the table, introducing ornamental yet functional objects that had been long absent from the brand’s catalogue".
Benjamin Hubert has always been a bit of a wunderkind and his latest chair reiterates this fact. The 'AXYL' chair designed for UK company Allermuir is a wonderful example of good industrial design. Hubert has chosen to spend the time to develop the chair from the ground up with materials that have been chosen for their low environmental impact and longevity. To this end the chair uses 100% recycled aluminium for its base which is produced with 5% of the energy required to produce conventional new aluminium.
"At LAYER we focus on finding new forms and formats that deliver something visually unique to the market whilst exceeding the necessary functional requirements. With the AXYL collection, I believe we have created a stacking chair with a truly new expression embodied in the identifiable inverted 'Y' silhouette of the aluminum casting."
Benjamin Hubert - Creative Director, LAYER
The chair shells, table and stool tops from the range are available in a variety of low-impact materials, including recycled wood fibre, reclaimed timber and recycled nylon, which offers an efficient way to re-use waste product from the furniture industry. 'AXYL' is Hubert's first collaboration with the British furniture brand Allermuir, and the inventive project took two years to complete from sketch to full production.
Serious levels of tooling were required to produce the chair and its sibling a bar stool (shown later in this post) but the result is a chair range which uses recycled materials while capturing something of a mid century look in the shell (with nods to George Nelson's 'DAF' chairs for instance). The chair stacks four high.
Design daily will present a round up new designs from Maison & Objet next week.