design exhibition

Until March 31st there is still time to enter the Re:design[net]WORK AWARD.
Organised within the framework of the Programme for Transnational Cooperation Slovakia–Austria 2007–2013, the competition is looking for unrealized ideas and designs involving waste products (re-use design) that will be presented to the public and offered to companies active in the socioeconomic field in order to be eventually implemented.

The competition is being run over three categories: Mobility & Public Space, Household & Domestic Life and Accessories, Jewellery & Fashion. The winner in each category receives Euro 1,000.

All designers and design students resident in the European Union can enter, regardless if you are an EU national or not.

Full details can be found at

Good luck!

redesign network

Re:design network AWARD


This past weekend was the graduate show at the Hamburg Art School, HFBK.

We, sadly, couldn’t make it to Hamburg but have at least had the opportunity today to browse the catalogue.
Amongst all the works attempting to redefine, reposition and react, there were a few very interesting furniture designs.

Clearly all “concept” pieces, our favourite was without doubt “Lotus” by Hong Fan.

We can’t tell you any more about Hong Fan, but Lotus sounds wonderful.

A lamp in the shape of a lotus flower, Lotus has a central spotlight that provides a continuous background light.

However the genial about Lotus is that it “opens” as people approach. And closes as they leave.

And that when it is open LEDs on the under side of the “petals” are illuminated.

Apart from the energy saving aspects, Hong Fan’s design also offers wonder options when planning the lighting in a public space, office … or indeed your home.

Lotus  by Hong Fan.


Lotus Hong Fan

Lotus by Hong Fan

Grassworks by Jair Straschnow is a range of product created from bamboo laminate.

Israeli born Straschnow, moved to Holland in 1999 to undertake a post-graduate course at the Applied Arts Department of the Sandberg Institute. Following his graduation he established himself as  a professional designer based in Amsterdam who specialises in public installations as well as series’ of furniture pieces.

Originally displayed at the Aram Gallery in Drury Lane, London – as with Extrusions as part of  the London Design festival – Grassworks is a series of production ready prototypes.
And so again as with Thomas Heatherwicks Extrusion, is a sort of  “work in progress”
(Which does of course raise the question if displaying prototypes at the London Design Festival is not in fact the best way to guarantee a nomination for the Brit Insurance Design Award 🙂 )

Including, amongst other items, a picnic table and bench and a convertible easy/dining chair, Grassworks is designed to be as simple, space-saving and sustainable as possible.

For all the decision to use bamboo was made “…mainly because it is a truly green material“: As a fast growing grass, bamboo stocks can be quickly replenished without casing any impact on the local environment.

But is perhaps the simplicity of the design that really distinguishes the Grassworks range from other products. Using variations of the traditional dovetail joint,  the individual Grassworks elements simply slot together without the need for permanent fixings. Which of course means that they can also be just as easily taken apart again.

We particularly like the Eames-esque easy chair – not least because it flips over to form two different shaped chairs – and the extending trestle table. Both have a lovely flowing, natural form… which we like.
And we think the judges will also approve of both the mix of materials and traditional techniques in a wonderfully fresh collection.

Grassworks by Jair Straschnow

Chances of winning the 2010 Brit Insurance Design Award: very good

grassworks by jair straschnow easy chair

Grassworks by Jair Straschnow: Easy Chair

grassworks by jair straschnow trestle table

Grassworks by Jair Straschnow: Trestle Table

grassworks by jair straschnow bookshelves

Grassworks by Jair Straschnow: Bookshelves

Indebted to David Report for the info on the iLike event during this weeks Stockholm Design Week.

Design studio Bernstrand & Co have asked 100 “creatives”, plus allegedly politicians, to take a photo of their favourite product/event.

Design studio Bernstrand & Co will then display them in their studio.

In Stockholm.
So that only those in Stockholm can see them.


It’s like the internet never happened.
Or maybe it hasn’t in Stockholm

@Design studio Bernstrand & Co – Almost all photos will be taken with a phone that is only as popular as it is because of it’s internet capabilities and functionality.

Let us also look at the pictures on it.

Or at least on a normal computer monitor.


iLike #Stockholm Design Week

But since we can’t make it, it would be good to see what others enjoyed…..

iLIke Stockholm

iLike Stockholm - but to see pictures of it we have to go to Stockholm. Ain't technology great.

Without doubt the ugliest and least aesthetic nomination, Extrusions by  Thomas Heatherwick Studio should,  in our opinion, be considered more a “work in progress” than an actual product in its own right.

Born in London, Thomas Heatherwick studied at Manchester Polytechnic and the Royal College of Art in London before establishing his own studio in 1994. Based in Kings Cross, London Heatherwick Studio is a conglomeration of architects, designers and engineers who have worked on a range of architecture and public art projects.  Many of Heatherwick’s architectural works focus on finding new solutions to problems and experimenting with materials.

As wonderfully demonstrated by Extrusions.

Premiered at the Haunch of Venison Gallery during 2009 London Design Festival, Extrusions is the worlds first single component metal furniture piece extruded by machine.

Extrusion is, basically, forcing material through a pre-formed cross section “die” – think of it as a mould through which the raw material is pushed, and you won’t be that far away.

Macaroni, for example,  is produced by extrusion.

Heatherwick’s benches were, however, produced on the worlds largest extrusion machine – a machine normally used for producing components for aircraft – and represent the first prototypes of a 100m long bench that should be finished in the course of 201o.
And they look like it. A sort of Ron Arard meets Frank Gehry meets a case of very agreeable  St Emillion.

But that is not the point.

The point is that metal extrusion offers a new method for furniture production; and for all furniture production wth materials that would normally be too brittle to work.

And that is the strength of the project. It pushes the borders of what is possible and forces new ways of considering how one constructs furniture

In years to come the first benches will be worth more money than an average aluminium miner earns in a lifetime; but they may just be the first step to developing furniture that he can afford.

Extrusions, Thomas Heatherwick Studio

Chances of winning the 2010 Brit Insurance Design Award: very good

thomas heatherwick studio  extrusions

Thomas Heatherwick Studio Extrusions

thomas heatherwick  studio extrusions several

Several Extrusion examples from Thomas Heatherwick Studio

Although born in Munich Konstantin Grcic is in many ways an English trained designer. Following a carpentry apprenticeship at the renowned Parnham College, he undertook an MA in Industrial Design at the Royal College of Art in London. After graduating in 1990, Grcic spent a year working for Jasper Morrison before returning to Munich to establish KGID Office (Konstantin Grcic Industrial Design)

Often considered one of the modern masters of minimalism, Konstantin Grcic’s work is typified by its simple, clear, uncluttered form.

Among Grcic’s best known works are his Mayday lamp for flos, the ES shelf for Moormann and his Chair One for Magis.

Konstantin Grcic won the Brit Insurance Design Award 2009 with his MYTO Chair for plank.

But we can’t believe he will do it again, principally because  360° Work Chair is in many ways simply a modern reinvention of George Nelson’s 1964 Nelson Perch.

And so in that sense falls short of the Design Museum‘s own claim that the Design Awards are an “annual exploration of the most innovative, interesting and forward-looking new work in design of all kinds”

Reworking George Nelson aint innovative. Or forward looking.

And whereas Grcic’s 2009 winning MYTO Chair could lay claim to being based on an innovative new plastic;  360° Work Chair is a combination of epoxy resin and aluminium. So nothing especially new there then

Conceived as a chair for short burst of work rather than for 8 hours at a desk, 360° Work Chair is a neat idea, nicely executed and is certainly a product for which there is a demand.

And while that may make it interesting for some. It’s just neither a new nor innovative design.

360° Work Chair by Konstantin Grcic

Chances of winning the 2010 Brit Insurance Design Award: very low

Konstantin Grcic 360 work chair brit insurance design award

360 work chair by Konstantin Grcic shortlisted in the Brit Insurance Design Awards 2010

george nelson nelson perch brit insurance design award

Nelson Perch by George Nelson ... compare and contrast

Konstantin Grcic MYTO chair brit insurance design award

MYTO chair by Konstantin Grcic winner of the furniture category at the 2009 Brit Insurance Design Awards

Helsinki in spring might not be everyone’s idea of the perfect holiday location; but we’ve tried it and can thoroughly recommend it.

And should it be colder than normal, from February 12 until May 9 the Design Museum is hosting a new exhibition: MODERN[ISM]

Although the principle focus of the exhibition will be the “golden age” of modernism from 1910 to the late 1930s, the exhibition promises to explore modernism in all its facets and to address the importance of modernism for contemporary design. Examples of Nordic, and for all Finnish modernism, will be showcased in the exhibition.

A series of lectures and a book on Finnish modernism will complement the exhibition.

In addition to exhibits from the Design Museums own collection, MODERN[ISM] also features exhibits borrowed from, for example, the Alvar Aalto Museum, the Bauhaus Archiv of Berlin,  and The National Museum of Norway.
Which all just sounds, well, thoroughly modern.

And certainly worth checking out if you are in or near Helsinki this spring.

Full details can be found at the Finnish Design Museum‘s homepage.

modernism design museum helsinki

Modernism at the Design Museum Helsinki

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