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There’s a lot to be said for not taking life toooo seriously.

Getting up, washing, eating properly, socializing, working … we’re not advocating stopping any of those things.

But, for example, making sure that you have the right sort of balsamic vinegar, comparing the tone of your tights with those the marketing secretary and then getting upset about the result or taking professional advice as  to the best name for your new dog.

That’s when the big STOP sign should really come out.

Similarly with choosing, and to a greater extent designing, designer furniture. Far too many people get hung up on the “luxury” aspect. The uniqueness. The exclusivity.

And forget that a good and competently designed product can also improve your world.
And be fun.

One of the best items we saw at the 2009 Milan Furniture Fair was four planks screwed together. Absolute genius.

We don’t know if Bristol based designer  Simon Bradshaw is so enlightened – or if his “League Table” was simply a lucky grab in the inspiration bag.

But then it don’t matter.

“League Table” is a remarkably refined, brilliantly conceived and excellently executed piece of furniture.

Created as an entry for the 2008 Bristol Design Festival “GRAPHIKEAII” competition the idea was to take  a table – presumably of Swedish origin – and add value by any means necessary.

Simon Bradshaw turned his into a mini table football table.

We know, we know.

But don’t you remember back in the day when video games were taking their first 8 Byte steps; there suddenly appeared in pubs across the UK tables that were really Pacman machines.

Two players could sit opposite each other with a beer, a packet of pickled onion crisps and the steely resolve to eat their opponent.

And if you remember that you’ll remember the best fun was NOT playing Pacman and instead sitting at a table that was actually a Pacman game.

It was like walking on the moon.

Simon Bradshaw’s League Table is exactly the same.

On the one hand, whenever you want you can challenge whoever is near-by to a friendly game of football.

But you don’t have to.
You can just enjoy idling twiddling with the bars… and enjoy the atmosphereless void around you.

We’re genuinely very taken with League  Table and can well imagine it working brilliantly in a range of locations be they domestic, industrial, commercial or social.

And there is no reason why it can’t be “up-sized” to a full table either. 🙂

Gorgeous

If you want one contact Simon direct.

League Table by Simon Bradshaw. Lousy pun, brilliant table.

League Table by Simon Bradshaw - Ace.

League Table by Simon Bradshaw - Ace.

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We don’t spend a lot of time on eBay, but when we do it’s usually worth it.

And on this occasion Woodworking Pete has trully live up to his name with this piece.
We’re not sure if  the wooden chain really is folk art, but it is magnificent.

Carved from the trunk of an aspen tree – that’s Poplar to us Europeans – the chain is one piece of fantastically carved wood.
You’l have to pay the shipping from Argonne, WI but if you’ve got a bit of space in your falt, we cannot think of a betrr way to fill it.

Folk Art-Wooden Chain-8 feet long by Woodworking Pete. What the worlds been waiting for.

woodworkingpete

Folk Art-Wooden Chain-8 feet long by Woodworking Pete

The vast majority of us who buy and enjoy designer furniture probably can’t imagine the processes and technologies that often stand behind apparently simple objects.

Principally because we lack the technical competence to understand what is being done.

Once such process is 3D printing – and no that isn’t the same as double-sided printing 🙂

According to the Profs at wikipedia – and who are we to doubt them – “3D printing is a form of additive manufacturing technology where a three dimensional object is created by successive layers of material.” For the layman this means that a 3D image is “printed” using lasers fired at the material.

In terms of industrial and product design this means that extremely complicated pieces can be created as one piece without joints and seams and without needing to create moulds or joining different pieces together.

It’s quite simply a refined production method for specific products.

Tulip.MGX by Peter Jansen is part of the .MGX E-volution range, and is created by 3D printing.

Essentially an advertising range for Materialise and for all for their CAD software Magics (.mgx is the file extension for Magics), the .MGX E-volution range nonetheless does contain some highly attractive items.

The one that caught our eye was Tulip.

Not least because through the application of the 3D printing technology to create a copy of a natural product one creates not only something that looks like a tulip, but also which in its structure is just as delicate yet robust.

It resembles not only in form, but in structure.
Available in a range of colours and with either a  woven or perforated flower, Tulip.MGX is a wonderful table lamp for any occasion.

Tulip.MGX by Peter Jansen for .MGX  3D printing lighting genius.

tulip_2

TulipMGX by

Tulip.MGX by Peter Jansen for .MGX

Somewhat inspired by yesterdays Sprout post – still lovin’ it – we spent most of yesterday evening searching out other new and interesting ways to hang coats, bags, scarves etc…

And ended up at Lovely Rita by Ron Arad for Kartell.

Sorry at Ribbon by London based design studio Headsprung.

And we mean that in positive way.

Lovely Rita is one of the most innovative and novel book racks on the market and Ribbon follows beautifully in this tradition.

And perhaps most importantly, as a handmade product, no two Ribbon units are identical.

Which of course passes perfectly to the artistic concept behind the realisation; namely a ribbon blowing in the wind.

Produced from powder coated mild steel and available in a choice of  5 colours, Ribbons can be wonderfully used in ahome or business location and is robust and hard wearing enough to survive regular daily use.

Ribbon by Headspring. Gorgeous.

More details and ordering information can be found at www.headsprung.co.uk

Ribbon by Headspring

Ribbon by Headspring

... brilliant

... brilliant

If we’re honest we never, ever thought that we would write a post in praise of the cuckoo clock.

Never.

But then this morning we found a post from designspotter.com with what can only be described as gorgeous, modern cuckoo clock from Italian based CUCUCITY.

There is of course no reason to dislike cuckoo clocks, at the end of the day a cuckoo clock is just a clock.
Albeit a clock with a bird that pops out and sings every hour.

What there is to dislike, however, is the olde world aesthetic of traditional carved cuckoo clocks and the brutal sales strategy with which such alleged cultural artifacts are remorselessly stuffed down the throats of tourists.

But we digress.

CUCUCITY’s clocks are a mix of modern sticker art coolness and classic 1950s George Nelson-esque charm.

Produced in Italy using German produced mechanisms CUCUCITY’s clocks not only provide a cuckoo on the hour, but in the background the gentle flow of a waterfall. And perhaps most importantly you can control the volume and also send the little feathered fellow on holiday if you want.

And he sleeps at night.

As we say, we never thought we’d find ourselves writing about cuckoo clocks, and now we can well imagine purchasing such.

It’s a crazy old world

More information on CUCUCITY cuckoo clocks can be found at http://www.momentoitalia.com

CUCU OFFICE by Paolino & Fusi ... George Nelson would be proud...

CUCU OFFICE by Paolino & Fusi ... George Nelson would be proud...

ALBERO - the best selling clock of 2008 in modern sticker art look

ALBERO - the best selling clock of 2008 in modern sticker art look

What is recycling?

What is “green design”?

How many books could one theoretically write on the subject?

The Green Glass Company don’t theorise they “do”
And they do that with a uniqueness and style that one can only admire.

In essence the Green Glass Company take used or rejected glass bottles and turn them into drinking glasses.

The wine goblet Evergreen Clear, for example, is made from reclaimed Bordeaux bottles collected from the organic restaurant, B&B and tasting room on the Cave B winery estate in Quincy, WA.

One of the real stars of the portfolio though has to be the Copenhagen tumblers made from Carlsberg bottles. Which, somewhat perversely, remind us of sipping Pernod in small bar in a French village.

Which is kinda weird.

There is however no denying the true beauty and timelessness of the design. We like. A lot.

And, and we admit we haven’t done the maths yet, we’re fairly certain that using the bottle in this manner saves energy compared to the more traditional melting down and reusing the glass.

Using less resources is always preferable, but where a product exists one may think of further uses that both preserve the energy invested in its conception and which prevent the use of further resources.

More information on the Green Glass Company can be found at http://www.greenglass.com

Carlsburg glasses

Carlsburg glasses

Wine goblet reclaimed from Cav B winery Bordeaux bottle

Wine goblet reclaimed from Cav B winery Bordeaux bottle

Charles and Ray Eames, bless ’em, were huge fans of what they called “collage”, which essentially comes down to fearlessly mixing styles and forms. They were also fans of moulded plywood, a material that in many ways launched their careers.

And so, given these two isolated facts we’ve come to the unequivocal conclusion that they would approve of the Deckstool concept just as much as we do.

In essence Philadelphia based Deckstool take broken skateboards and turn them into stools.

For us, however, the beauty of this is that there is logic and method behind their design; namely, the observation that skateboards break either in the middle or at the truck – for all you non-kids out there the “truck” in skateboarding jargon is the axle, and doesn’t mean they broke hitting a truck.

From this observation was born the idea that if one has a regular supply of regularly broken skateboards one can make a stool. One simply takes the short end from the “truck breaks” as the seat, and the pieces from the “middle breaks” as the legs.

Genius.

Aside from being a lovely way to recycle and reuse what is, in effect, waste we find that Deckstool brings that undeniable haunch of gritty urban reality into your room. Which is never a bad thing, even in the most pristine, minimalist Bauhaus conservatory. They also look good, and with the nice “overlaying” of two deck elements the designers have not only solved the stability problem, but have also created an urban version of Sori Yanagi’s Butterfly Stool.

Just don’t tell the kids that or they’ll think their learning 🙂

And, it goes without saying,  should your own decks – or those from your child,  grandchild or niece/nephew – break you can have your own custom stool created.

More information on Deckstools can be found at http://www.deckstool.com

Back in June we featured the delightful AC Adapter MIDORI from iida. Today we show you how to combine the MIDORI into real art.

ChargerFrame by Hong Kong/Shanghai based design studio Naolab is not the newest “sort out that mess before someone dies” product on the market but it is one of the bravest. And by that we mean, with ChargerFrame no attempt is made to organise the mess. Rather, the certainty that your various charging cables will remain an unsightly fleck on your otherwise pristine life is used to create an image.
Although we believe “installation” in probably the correct term.

The central bars allow place to hang and/or place your appliance and the bottom edge can of course also be used as a shelf. ChargerFrame is made from wood and veneer, can be hung at any angle and features a central on/off switch  – although if we’re honest we’re fairly certain it will always be in use for something.

New at Naolab is the impractically named LED lamp naoooooooooo

If we’re honest we don’t really understand the concept, nor exactly how the lamp operates; however, we believe the individual LEDs turn on and off creating a rythmic “wave” of light.

As such naoooooooooo is naoooooooooo classic reading lamp, but is ideal for creating a little bit atmosphere in a room or when you need to raise the illumination a little without having an actual requirement for the light – for example for an all-night computer or drinking session. We also like the fcat it can be powered from an USB port, which makes it that little more environmentally friendly if, for example, you are working at your computer any way.

All in all we were very impressed with Naolab’s portfolio, and no not because the designer Tim Ritcher is German, although that may explain why a couple of the details particularly appealed. For more information simply visit www.naolab.com

ChargerFrame by Naolab

ChargerFrame by Naolab

... detail

... detail

naoooooooooo by Naolab

naoooooooooo by Naolab

Although no new blog posts appeared over the weekend, we weren’t completely inactive; rather we were preparing for our next step.

More soon.

For us one of the highpoints of the weekend came shortly after what we thought was going to be the high point. We had recently heard that the excellent blu dot designer furniture range was now available through design public.

On finally getting round to checking it out we discovered that not only is blu dot available through design public but also iglooplay – for us one of the real discoveries at ICFF  – and Jason Miller, although sadly just his “Seconds” plates and not the wonderful Spiral Lounger.

According to Design Public their “mission is to sell fresh and inspiring design with a continued commitment to educate, inspire, nurture, and celebrate great new design.”

And we’ve seen worse attempts at such. Much worse.

We first encountered blu dot at ICFF and since then have take a keen interest in them.  With products such as the wonderful Buttercup Rocker they have created a wonderful 1970s take in classic Eamseien styling; albeit fit for the 21st century. And it is very comfortable.

Buttercup Rocker by blu dot

Buttercup Rocker by blu dot (photo source: http://www.designpublic.com/shop/blu-dot/4804)

For us one of the best features of iglooplay’s childrens furniture is the name of their principle element: “Mod Rocker” 🙂

We’re not sure if the makers are familiar with the history of British youth culture in the 1960s, the rock operas of The Who or the works of Stanely Cohen. Nor are we sure if we want them to be.

But aside from the best name we’ve ever come across, Mod Rocker is one of the freshest and most original child seating solutions we have seen. And when not exactly a Buttercup Rocker for the youngest generation, Mod Rocker is another fine example of what can be achieved with plywood, imagination … and talent. (Although iglooplay do need to be just a tick less protective – dare we say a*a* – when it comes to their photos – come on guys if you don’t want folks to see your products, don’t deal online 😉 Its 2009 not 1986, and we only want to share your wonderful furniture … A litle less USM Haller, a little more Vitra won’t hurt, honest)

Mod Rocker from iglooplay

Mod Rocker from iglooplay - excellent product, shocking approach to website design.

And it’s not just new designers that are represented. Among the producers is everyone’s favourite Swiss giant Vitra; again albeit here just with limited range of products.

The only problem is design public don’t deliver to Europe … and so we’ll just have to stand like the big kids we are with our noses pressed against the glass and wonder at the Aladdin’s cave tantalisingly beyond our reach.

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