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One of the most famous furniture design anecdotes is that of Charles Eames about his iconic Lounge Chair; namely, that it should resemble and be just as inviting as a well-worn baseball glove.

Similary Hans J. Wegner wanted his Papa Bear chair to be just as inviting as the arms of a ….

Obviously he didn’t.

But with his Papa Bear Chair, Hans J Wegner did create one of the best of examples of early modern Danish design.
In many ways a further development of Finn Juhl’s Pelican Chair, Papa Bear Armchair was created at a time when “plain” wood furniture dominated and was one of the first full upholstered post-war chairs.
A relatively brave decision at a time when resources and money were still relatively rare.

Also known as the Teddy Bear Armchair, Wegner’s Papa Bear Armchair was released in 1951 by AP Stolen; although from 1953 onwards the frames were produced by PP Møbler, who today produce the Papa Bear chair, albeit marketed as the Teddy Bear Chair.

hans wegner papa bear

Papa bear Armchair by Hans Wegner

hans wegner papa bear armchair

Papa Bear Armchair and Ottoman by Hans Wegner

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Whether it’s Dr Who’s Tardis or Jesus’ feeding of the five thousand, there is nothing , but nothing, more endearing than when apparently small masses reveal themselves as being considerably bigger.

So in the case with the table TT01 by Danish designer Tom Rossau

We sadly wont be able to visit Tom’s showcase in Milan and so we’re just going to misuse the photos from his website 🙂

Two tables in one, TT01 by Tom Rossau grows from a slightly askew coffee/couch table to a dining table that can seat up to ten.

Brilliant.

While obviously perfect for small flats where space is at a premium, TT01 by Tom Rossau could just as easily fit into a modern office design as a relax area coffee table/brainstorming area desk.

But wherever it is used; we’re impressed.  A lovely bit of problem solving, a gorgeous technological application all wrapped up in – teh still relatively – environmentally sound bamboo

If your in Milan Check out Tom at Via Forcella 7.

TT01 by Tom Rossau.

Genial!

TT01 Tom Rossau

TT01 by Tom Rossau

Tom Rossau tt01

TT01 by Tom Rossau ... in action (click to start)

Pallet Project by Nina Tolstrup is the only piece of furniture in the 2010 Brit Insurance Design Awards shortlist that doesn’t exist.

Extrusions sort of exists.

Palindrome isn’t intended for series production.

But the Pallet Project is just a concept.

Danish born designer Nina Tolstrup initially studied at Les Ateliers School of Industrial Design in Paris before completing a BA in Marketing from the Business School in Copenhagen. Her studio, Studiomama, is based in London and undertakes numerous design, architecture and product contracts.

The Pallet Project is intended to provide the basics from which anyone can produce simple, quality furniture from discarded pallets: a concept that not only reuses an item commonly discarded as waste, but which also allows local scale furniture production without the need for supply chains.

Aside from the wonderfully light form of the items, we find the concept fantastic.

Although we would find it an awful lot better if Nina made the construction guidelines available free on a website rather than charging ten pounds for them.
Then it would be sustainable. Then it would be global.

Pallet project by Nina Tolstrup

Chances of winning the 2010 Brit Insurance Design Award: Very good.

pallet chair nina tolstrup

Pallet Chair by Nina Tolstrup

pallet lamp nina tolstrup

Pallet Lamp by Nina Tolstrup

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

We’re not fans of bean bags … far from it we find bean bags the absolute antithesis of comfort.
We were however intrigued by nest + nido from  Danish producer Karup
because you can hide in them.
obviously not really hide like a fox from the advancing hounds, but more remove yourself from your direct surroundings  – like a hedgehog.

As such both nest + nido offer users the chance to find their own space in an otherwise hectic world…. or simply to withdraw when you have little interest in the outside world.

Those of you familiar with Vitra’s Net’n’Nest concept will understand the possible uses in an office environment; and those with kids will simply understand it.

And so we can ignore the fact that they resemble overgrown bean bags….just this once.

nest + nido from Karup

nest + nido from Karup

... we're not sure if nido exists....

... we're not sure if nido exists....

Just as you famously can take a horse to water without necessarily forcing it to imbibe; so you can take us to IMM Cologne and expect us to get most excited about seeing works by a long since dead Danish designer.

While we will without doubt fall in love with some new design or the other, we are really looking forward to seeing the Finn Juhl exhibition at Hotel Chelsea.

For us Finn Juhl’s work embodies all that is familiar and strong in “Scandinavian Design” of the post-war years;  just a lot more natural and endearing than the taut lines of Jacobsen, Aalto et al

Pieces such as his Chieftains Chair or Poeten Sofa are simply dreamy, while the efficient charm of Juhl’s Tray Table or Eye Table is enough to make any furnitre designer give up – safe in the knowledge they will never achive such a standard.

One particular highlight for us is the re-introduction by the Finn Juhl license holder Hansen & Sorensen of the 1951 Baker Sofa.

(we obviously also like the fact that he is called Finn Juhl but is really a Danish Jewel, but feel that would be childish to mention )

Finn Juhl

Genius!

Baker Sofa by Finn Juhl

Baker Sofa by Finn Juhl ... just gorgeous

Chieftains Chair by Finn Juhl

Chieftains Chair by Finn Juhl

On a grey, cold morning that reminds us that we are fast approaching autumn, there is little more pleasant than discovering a wonderful new “product”.

We sadly can’t call it a product as it is not yet in production … but we are sure that will change.

Robox by Copenhagen based designer Guus Ossterbaan is in essence nothing more than a multi-box storage system for children.

The wonderful about Robox, however, is the decor on the outside – and the excellently conceived wall storage solution.

Firstly the design. When we were much, much younger we once made a Father Christmas out of boxes which proudly stood five foot high in our lounge.

Robox is a similar concept, except that the boxes can be used for storing things. In the current form the outer image is a robot – hence the name – we can however well imagine that series production will involve a wonderful range of various designs.

Not least because of the wall storage concept.

The shelving system allow the 9 boxes in the set to be stored such that the shelves become invisible allowing the boxes to become part of the room decoration.

Robots are good.

But so are plants. Vines. People. Animals. Etc.

We’re impressed and we’re fairly certain that it’s only a matter of time before a producer agrees with us.

Robox by Guus Oosterbaan. Fantastic.

Robox by Guus Oosterbaan ...

Robox by Guus Oosterbaan ...

... storage ...

... storage ...

..and room decoration. Robox by guus Oosterbaan

..and room decoration. Robox by guus Oosterbaan

Less than two weeks now until Copenhagen Design Week and pre-registration for CODE 09 is now open.

COpenhagen DEsign (CODE, clever that) is exhibition of new Nordic design and forms an important component of what is always a very strong and interesting design week.

As if it could be anything else in Copenhagen.

Among the highlights at CODE 09 are the “Nordic Selected” design competition, the CODE Gallery where new products are displayed without the designer being present – allowing visitors the chance to assess without being subjected to sales pitches – and a shuttle bus to selected CODE 09 exhibitions around the Danish design capital.

If your planning heading to the Copenhagen Design week you can get more details on CODE 09 and pr-register at http://www.code09.dk

Fuller details on the Copenhagen Design Week can be found at http://www.copenhagendesignweek.dk/

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