With the London Design Festival in full swing its difficult not to be distracted by all the events happening there but as promised Design daily has been trawling through the releases from Maison & Objet's September event that finished last week and dug out the best new items. It has to be said that there was not a plethora of hot new stuff on offer but like most fairs there were some gems. The February edition of Maison sees the bulk of new releases so this is not a criticism of the fair just an explanation as to why this post isn't as lengthy as usual.
Maison & Objet ran from the 8th - 12th of September and showcased a huge number of brands over its short four days. Its tough to present a fair twice a year. The second edition always seems like an add-on event. But in the hectic cycle that is a design year, sometimes a second bite at the cherry can be timely and far more appropriate for a new release. So it was for Tom Dixon whose earlier releases in 2017 seemed full of promise but a little rushed.
The brand's new release 'Bump' was precisely what was missing from their Milan show - a small simple idea that had been properly resolved. Borosilicate glass is definitely a hot material at the moment. It was evident in April in Milan with designers like Cristina Celestino creating whole collections around it.
While Borosilicate glass is typically clear and delicate like the scientific instruments and utensils that are made from it, Dixon adds his unique flavour by colouring the glass with transparent greys, pinks and mauves while at the same time creating energetic internal shapes.
Colour is also at the pointy end of Dutch designers Scholten & Beijing's new work for classical French ceramics company, Sévres. Their L'Univers Coloré collection plays with bands of colour applied to classic shapes from the Sévres archives. Scholten & Bajings are experts with colour as their work with Hay, Moooi, Karimoku New Standard and Herman Miller shows. This range in some ways ignores the ceramic process that they were so immersed in for their Arita 1882 project and takes its lead from existing glazes developed by Sévres ceramicists. You can watch a nice film on the studio's process in developing colours here. It was created for their Herman Miller Chromatography range but indicates their approach to colour more broadly.
Selecting combinations of colours that produced a strong aesthetic when combined is what the collection is all about. With a carefully thought out collection of coloured bands fused delicately to the surface of simple smooth vessels, Scholten & Baijings have once again shown their incredible ability to create design objects through the manipulation of colour. Design daily was particular drawn to Vase No.2 which is pictured on it's side below. In this instance Scholten & Baijings have taken a smooth, classically inspired vessel and sliced vertical lines - emphasising a distinct contrast with the soft horizontal colour bands.
While Maison & Object started off as an accessories tradefair it has gradually morphed into a broader event, offering an ever increasing amount of furniture and lighting to supplement the accessories emphasis. Portuguese brand Ginger & Jagger like so many other Portuguese brands is a little too lux for my taste but I was taken by their 'Landscape' desk, 'Rock' table and 'Eclipse' mirror shown below.
While its true that the 'ISP' lamp from DCW Editions was launched in April in Milan, in the melee that is Salone del Mobile I thought it might be nice to draw attention to it once again. Now launched on home soil it might get the attention it deserves. This is an amazing concept made with the precision of military hardware. For those who haven't seen it before the light is purely mechanical - you lift the domed lid and it turns on and as you slide the glass cylinder out the light intensity increases. The base is marble carved with a concave that enables the sliding movement of the cylinder. Available in various forms; table, wall and pendant, the 'ISP' light by Ilia Potemine for DCW Editions is definitely a future classic.
German designer Sebastian Herkner's visits to South America sparked the launch of young brand Ames at the Cologne fair in 2016. Since that date Herkner has been actively involved in all aspects in the brand's development designing several collections. His new collection for Ames covers ground he knows well through his work for Very Wood and Moroso but it has a freedom and playfulness that reflects the spirit of Columbia. The new range currently includes a chair, armchair and side table with more additions slated for the near future.
While trawling through the highlights of Maison & Objet I came across a Dutch brand I was unaware of called FEST Amsterdam. Among the designers for FEST are the Australian duo Studio Truly Truly. Shown on the right are their cushions for the brand that incorporate a range of stripes and colour bands in pink, mustard and charcoal grey. The chair on the left by German designer Martin Hirth is called 'Friday' and is also from the FEST collection. The brand was launched in 2013 by its founder Femke Furnée with a collection by brilliant Dutch textile designer Mae Engelgeer.
Next week's Design daily post will look at the best new releases and installations from the London Design Festival.
LDF 2017 runs from the 16 - 24th of September.