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Heimlicht by Leoni Werle is not just a lamp.

It is a lamp that thinks it is an old-fashioned bureau – and as such “closes”

Through the “closure” one can not only neatly hide an unkempt corner but also find “closure” on a days work.

Out of sight out of mind as it were.

And when you are working the large, positional diffuser allows for the perfect atmosphere.

Heimlicht by Leoni Werle

Fantastic

Heimlicht by leoni werle

Heimlicht by Leoni Werle : open

Heimlicht by leoni werle

Heimlicht by Leoni Werle : Closed (photo © annika feuß)

We admit it was an idle moment.
A moment when we technically had other things to do – but our curiosity got the better of us.

Thankfully!

Krakow based designer Grzegorz Cholewiak recently won first prize in the 2009 Herforder Recycling Designpreis with his Patery glass bowls.

The Reycling Designpreis is awarded for especially innovative projects for turning “waste” into useful items. For his Patery series Grzegorz Cholewiak used old TV screens to wonderful effect.

And because we were so impressed by Patery we researched a little further and found some more interesting projects from Grzegorz Cholewiak.

Perhaps the most interesting being his Prouvé-esque Anel garden chair.

While we normally want a garden chair to have sufficient arm capacity to hold a cup/glass and potentially also a plate; we also know from experience that a cup/glass and potentially also a plate will, sooner or later, fall to the ground if left on the arm of a chair.

And so Anel’s curved arms are not only not a problem but present a more attractive option for resting your arms on while reading a book. And the curved form of the backrest promises comfortable support regardless of the seating position.

Obviously with all such chairs one must try them before committing; however from what we have seen  we see no reason to doubt the quality of the product.

Anel by Grzegorz Cholewiak

Gorgeous!

Anel by Grzegorz Cholewiak

Anel by Grzegorz Cholewiak

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

Burg Giebichenstein in Halle is without question one of  our favourite German design schools.

Next week they will open their new “Design Haus Halle” project – a business start-up centre for young creative types – be they product designers, fashion, designers, graphic or layout designers.

And ahead of that – a concrete egg cup.

Maren Witopil’s  Concrete egg Cup ain’t new – but is one of those products that can always be recommended.

Half a kilo of concrete. And a spoon

Concrete egg cup by Maren Witopil

Genius!

Concrete egg cup by Maren Witopil

Concrete egg cup by Maren Witopil via mehrwerkdesignlabor.de

There are many good reasons to welcome spring – not least that it herolds the launch of the latest collection from one of our favourite Swiss design collectives Postfossil.

The 2010 Postfossil collection contains, appropriately enough 10 items.

Two of our favourites are Valet and JWC2

JWC2 is, again appropriately enough, the successor to JWC1 which featured in the 2009 Postfossil collection.

And My House is My Castle.

Whereas JWC1 impressed us with its easy Eames-esque charm, JWC2 is a completely different beast.

Vaguely reminiscent of Dolly by Kartell for Antonio Citterio & Oliver Löw, JCW2 by Florian Hauswirth doesn’t fold but does stack.
And is a lot more pleasing on the eye.

Partly due to its unobtrusive form, and partly due to its 100% wood – and just wood – construction.

JCW2 by Florian Hauswirth

Fantastic!

Valet by Anna Blattert is completely different kettle of fish.

Obviously inspired by Thonet 214 minus the seat, Valet is a wonderfully modern yet irresistably nostalgic clothes hanger.

At 1m 50 cm tall Valet is high enough to air a jacket or jumper  and practical enough to allow all of those amongst us who normally leave half-worn clothes lying on the floor to create a vague impression of order in an otherwise orderless space.

Valet by Anna Blattert

Fantastic!

And for all attending the Saloni Milano, the Postfossil collection 2010 can be viewed in the Saloni Salone Satellite

Postfossil Collection 2010

Well worth the wait!

valet anna blattert

Postfossil Collection 2010: Valet by Anna Blattert

jwc2 Florian Hauswirth

Postfossil Collection 2010: JWC2 by Florian Hauswirth

The weeks drag on and the days become ever longer,  but still the new products from the IMM Cologne keep flowing in…..

Axel by Alexander Gufler is one of those products we can’t help but admiring.

Moulded plywood, wonderfully constructed and with storage space for two newspapers.

We’re happy!

Constructed from solid European maple Axel is stackable and is intended for use in cafes and other public seating areas.

But we’d  love to have one on our balcony.

Axel by Alexander Gufler.

Fantastic.

Axel Alexander Gufler

Axel by Alexander Gufler

Axel Alexander Gufler Newspaper

Axel Alexander Gufler with newspaper

Axel Alexander Gufler detail

Axel Alexander Gufler ... detail

Desks with built in lamps are, in principle, fantastic.

Adenike by Bao-Nghi Droste is a wonderful example. Less a desk, more a workplace/meeting point Adenike was for us one of the real hits of the 2009 DMY Berlin

Tamp and Lable by Floran Kallus may be a truly appaling play on words… is however fortunately a genial product, that is desk.

And a lamp.

The lamp rotates through 360 degrees – meaning it can also be used as a general room/reading lamp while the desk has a lovely, flowing “Eiermann desk”  look about it.

All in all a lovely harmonic piece that would fit wonderfully in any home office, studio, garage or school.

Tamp and Lable by Florian Kallus

Poor name, genial product!

Tamp and Lable by Florian Kallus

Tamp and Lable by Florian Kallus

One of our all time favourite pieces of furniture is Kast by Maarten van Severen via Vitra.

A truly genial piece of furniture Kast visually deceives through its combination of materials, colours and layouts.

And Object by Mats Theselius and Andreas Roth for minus tip does it’s best to repeat van Severen’s trick.

Composed of five materials – marble, brass, corian, glass and oak – Object creates a wonderfully deceptive impression; which despite the scale of the beast appears to stand almost annonymous in the corner.

At least in the pictures, we haven’t actually seen Object in the flesh… or better put in the marble, brass, corian, glass and oak.

We’re very taken.

Object by Mats Theselius and Andreas Roth for minus tio

Excellent!

Object by Mats Theselius and Andreas Roth for minus tio

Object by Mats Theselius and Andreas Roth for minus tio

Firstly we must admit that when we saw the Houdini chairs in Milan last year… we ignored them and kept walking.
Which doesn’t necessarily mean that we didn’t like them… But isn’t exactly an indication of our confidence in them either.

Following a carpentry apprenticeship, Freising (the town next to Munich Airport) born Stefan Diez studied Industrial Design at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste in  Stuttgart.  After spells working with Richard Sapper and Konstantin Grcic, Stefan Diez opened his own studio in 2003. Widely regarded as one of the most talented young German Industrial designers, Stefan Diez has worked with firms such as Thonet, Wilkhahn and Moroso.

As already indicated the Houdini Armrest Chair was launched by e15 at the 2009 Saloni in Milan.

Where we ignored it.

The secret of the Houdini Armrest Chair lies in its construction: lengths of oak-veneered plywood are carefully formed around and glued too a milled central ring. It is the overlapping of these plywood lengths that give the Houdini Armrest Chair its distintive form and character. Our main problem with Houdini is the legs – which for our money look like a cheap afterthought and not part of a well considered master plan.

What we really don’t understand however is that only the “armrest chair” appears to have been nominated. Whereas with other nominations, such as Grassworks or Breathe, the whole collection is nominated – the judges apparently didn’t like the side chair version of the Houdini range.

Which can’t bode well for it’s chances.

Houdini Armrest Chair by Stefan Diez

Chances of winning the 2010 Brit Insurance Design Award: low

Houdini Armrest Chair by Stefan Diez

Houdini Armrest Chair by Stefan Diez

Houdini by Stefan Diez the Brit insurance Design awards dont like the side chair

Houdini by Stefan Diez the Brit Insurance Design Awards judges don't like the side chair

Houdini Armrest Chair by Stefan Diez  construction

Houdini Armrest Chair by Stefan Diez construction

A couple of weeks ago we posted the shortlist nominations for the furniture category at the 2010 Brit Insurance Design Awards.

On February 17th the Award Exhibition opens at the London Design Museum, and  in advance of that we have decided to take the opportunity to present each of the furniture nominations in a little more detail.

On the one hand a very lazy way to get a series of 12 posts; on the other a chance to give those of you who are unfamiliar with one or the other of the designs and/or designers some reference points and an independent assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the works.

(There should now be a picture with the logo of the Brit Insurance Design Awards – only they don’t appear to have one…. Which is kind of ironic if you think about it :))

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