Punt Carafe

Designers: Lucy and Tobie Snowdowne (Two Create)

Two Create's Punt Carafe as seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

A punt is the little hillock that you find indented in the bottom of wine bottles.

It’s a structural device, and strengthens the bottle a lot, but when I was younger I thought it was just a sneaky way to get less juice in my Ribena bottle. Cynical child!

Two Create's Punt Carafe as seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

The punts in this set are rewardingly full bodied. The smokey colour really emphasises the shapeliness too, darkening at the bulge where you are looking through three or four layers of the glass.

In researching this glassware I found out that the Snowdownes designed it for Habitat. I should have known! You can take the girl outta Habitat but, you can’t take Habitat out of the the cailín!

The shape of the glass slots perfectly on, to halo the carafe, when the pieces are put together as they are intended.

Two Create's Punt Carafe as seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

Image Credits: Two Create / Coin Quest / Joel’s Coins

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P.S. A punt is also the name of the Irish one pound coin that we used up until the Euro came in. All of the old Irish coinage was really beautiful, it documented our most beloved Irish wildlife.

The Stag was on the punt itself. What a beauty.

 

Irish Punt as seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

 

Current Window

Designer: Marjan van Aubel

Marjan van Aubel's Current Window as seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

I came across the current windows when I was exhibiting at LDF 2015 but I was too in awe of “Mise-en-abyme” by Laetitia de Allegri and Matteo Fogale to write about it straight away!

Marjan van Aubel's Current Window as seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

As the months have passed though I’ve thought about this product much more than Allegri and Fogale’s art piece.

A solar panelled window. It’s genius!

Marjan van Aubel's Current Window as seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

Most modern western homes probably have at least two frosted windows in it’s two bathrooms. I even had one in my bedroom growing up. And my Mum made an embroidered modesty panel on the lower half of the window in the spare room, which they use as a dressing room (too many books in their bedroom!). That makes four in the family house I grew up in.

Marjan van Aubel's Current Window as seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

Now, my Mum is super creative so she also actually made the stained glass window in the bathroom. It’s got stars, indigo panels, and little bits of mirror.

Very pretty.

It would be extra cool if it could add to the house’s electricity supply.

Marjan van Aubel's Current Window as seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

Window pane solar panels capture about 10% efficiency of the sun. 10% sounds worse than it is; this window takes about 7hrs to save enough energy to recharge a modern phone.

Think of all the industry and hours of labour needed to get that energy to your home when the energy itself is produced off site!

Marjan van Aubel's Current Window as seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

Interestingly, different colours harness different amounts of energy. I think the colours that van Aubel has created are really beautiful. Framed in white, the graphic, triangular structure of the window panels add to this gentle beauty.

Marjan van Aubel's Current Window as seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

The window-sill has USB ports flush with the product and a series of diagonal stripes show you how much energy the sill has stored within its battery.

Marjan van Aubel's Current Window as seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

van Aubel founded the company Caventou with two others to focus on this emerging design and technology. Their tagline is “Integrating solar technology naturally into our daily lives.” Have a look at their beautiful video below, they explain it all better than me, I’m really just here to say “Look, Look!”.

The same principals have been applied to this table for home or office use. Elegant aye!?

Marjan van Aubel's Current Table as seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

I love the echo of the triangulation of the window panes in the frame of the table. Ah cohesion.

Marjan van Aubel's Current Table as seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

Image Credits: Marjan van Aubel / Caventou / Vimeo

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Fair Trade Baskets

Designer: Piet Hein Eek

Piet Hein Eek. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

To look at these trays, without knowing their name, you can be sure that they’ve borrowed their form from a traditional  craft.

Piet Hein Eek. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

Asian? Indian?

Vietnamese 🙂

But the designer is Dutch, with a little help from the locals.

Piet Hein Eek. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

I first saw them in SCP years ago in London and I have never forgotten them (or the Marimekko plates). After doing a bit of digging I now know that they are made from palm wood, which grows quickly but warps easily. Hein Eek designed these baskets to combat this issue, the thin laced slats can shrink and expand but the baskets remain intact.

Piet Hein Eek. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

Hein Eek visited a workshop in Ben Tre at the request of Fair Forward (a Dutch fair trade company – formerly called Fair Trade Original) and designed a series of baskets for them to sell through Fair Forward to the international market. Upon returning to Ben Tre to teach and explain the complicated designs people kept coming forward to him with ways to improve on his design, they knew the materials best!

Piet Hein Eek. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

Piet Hein Eek. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

A local fisherman chipped in to show him the best way to knot the wire that now holds the slats together really snugly. A son and daughter of a forestry worker told him how they could season the wood to best minimise that damned warpage. 

Piet Hein Eek. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

These baskets are a commercial triumph and three family workshops have expanded to become a formal business operation in Vietnam. I imagine a huge part of their success is because Hein Eek listened to the locals and deigned their ideas and expertise into the products.

Piet Hein Eek. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

It is far too easy to think you know best and to think that your design is finished when you put down your drawing board and like what you see, but if you don’t listen and learn from the people making and using your products then you’ll never improve and grow as a designer.

Piet Hein Eek. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

I am in the process of learning from the successes and failures of my first product collection (thankfully at lot more of the former!) and I’ll be wholeheartedly applying this knowledge in my second collection.

I can’t wait!

Piet Hein Eek. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

Piet Hein Eek. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

Image Credits: fonq.nl / The Future Perfect / Wergeld Winkel / flat

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Wax Sculptures

Designer: Helmut Smits

 Helmut Smits wax sculptures. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

I thought these candles were products. They are not.

 Helmut Smits wax sculptures. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

They are sculptures! The artist sells prints (20 x 30 cm at €150+vat on Smits’ website if your interested), but you can’t actually buy the product itself, or the ‘original’ I guess its called.

Well maybe you can, if you contact him and are super nice, but I imagine the price would be prohibitive if you wanted to use the candle, like I do.

 Helmut Smits wax sculptures. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

 Helmut Smits wax sculptures. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

 Helmut Smits wax sculptures. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

So because this is art – not design- I will let the work speak for itself for a change, instead of gabbing on about what I like about these candles.

Suggested internal debate while scrolling down;

Art vs. Design …

 Helmut Smits wax sculptures. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

 Helmut Smits wax sculptures. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

 Helmut Smits wax sculptures. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

 Helmut Smits wax sculptures. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

 Helmut Smits wax sculptures. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

 Helmut Smits wax sculptures. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

 Helmut Smits wax sculptures. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk  Helmut Smits wax sculptures. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk  Helmut Smits wax sculptures. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk  Helmut Smits wax sculptures. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk  Helmut Smits wax sculptures. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

 Helmut Smits wax sculptures. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk  Helmut Smits wax sculptures. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk  Helmut Smits wax sculptures. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk  Helmut Smits wax sculptures. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk  Helmut Smits wax sculptures. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

This isn’t even all of them, these are just my favourites!

Image Credits: Helmut Smits’ Website
(Though I first saw these candles on Sight Unseen)

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Bloomington Bookcase

Designed by: Terry Dwan

Bloomington Bookcase. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

This storage set makes me think of a house I once visited as a really small child, in the back of beyond, in Ireland. It was one the of the first houses I came across that did not fit the mould. It wasn’t a semi-detached, it wasn’t two stories. It wasn’t normal.

My older sister and I had, quite unusually, been brought to a grown-up’s party.  It was terrifying, exhilarating and exotic. The hosts were Nordic. There was a sauna. “A what Mum!?” “A sauna! You go in and the air gets very, very hot… It’s good for you! Good for your skin.” The weirdness of this small, empty room completely clad in soft, strokeable timber gave me the creeps. The good creeps, if such a thing exists!

Bloomington Bookcase. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

Anyway these Norwegians were not the cool beauties we see all around us now, all clad in various shades of grey and black. They were raucous. RAUCOUS! Their sprawling, one story house (the word bungalow is in need of a good revamp I think) wasn’t ‘designery’, it was simple, useful, and “lived in”. It’s the kind of place that I want to live in now, 20 years after first seeing the place.

Bloomington Bookcase. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

This ‘bookshelf’ epitomises the furniture I want to use in my own home. It is simple, it is honest. Hides sins, displays treasures. Dwan designed it for the Italian company ‘Riva 1920′.

I will have one of the removable boxes stuffed haphazardly with blankets. A couple of bottles of dark rum and whiskey on the open shelf, jostling for space with piles of paper and paints. Not a curated display in sight. Ah bliss.

Image Credit: Bonluxat

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