Bloomington Bookcase

Designed by: Terry Dwan

Bloomington Bookcase. As seen on

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

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

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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Braun’s “RT 20”

Designed by: Dieter Rams

Braun RT 20. As seen on

Dieter Rams defined the aesthetic of the iconic German electronics company Braun where he was head of design from 1961 – 1995. If you don’t know Braun (for shame!) you certainly know Apple.

Rams heavily influenced the designers at Apple. See here and here. I’m not about to have a rant about the brazen similarities, its more to illustrate how much Ram’s austere aesthetic and user friendliness is a living legend, one we all live with.

Braun RT 20. As seen on

His design ethos of “Weniger, aber besser”, translated as “Less, but better”, can be observed meticulously throughout his career. It is an ethos I really admire. It is easy enough to design something that looks nice and works. It is incredibly hard to design something that has the absolute minimum of knobs and buttons, but still has enough information to be able to be used easily by whoever might pick it up.

Braun RT 20. As seen on

I feel like we are getting a bit too obsessed with demonising labels in some areas of contemporary design. I do not feel like labelling a dial or button is always a failure.

Some do.

Lighten up!

If you think you’re product is too well designed to need an explanatory symbol or label you’re probably wrong. A bit harsh? Ah well. Lets all enjoy some beautiful Braun for a minute or too.

Braun RT 20. As seen on

Braun RT 20. As seen on

Oooh look at those lovely labels ;-D

While I’m on the subject of labelling (which wasn’t my intention when I chose to write about this radio!); using words looks neater to me than having a bunch of different symbols beside the dials.

Symbols save money on translations though…

Haze ‘Desk with Three legs’

Designed by: Wonmin Park

Wonmin Park as seen on the Product Edit

This whole series of furniture is dreamy! Haze is the right name for it. Wonmin Park have been adding to the Haze series on and off since 2013 and the more recent pieces, like this desk, are in a more toned down pallet of navys and ghostly greys.

Wonmin Park as seen on the Product Edit 1

Spacial balance is toyed with throughout Haze. Darker colours are used as a subtle counterbalance. You can see this particularly well in some of the earlier tables like ‘Long Low’ below.

Wonmin Park as seen on the Product Edit 6

If we imagine the overhang on the left to be red and the opposite leg to be white, you can really see how important the placement of colour is on a product. We would feel like the table was far less stable! It can make us feel really safe or dead uneasy, depending on how colour is arranged.

Wonmin Park as seen on the Product Edit 5

Wonmin Park as seen on the Product Edit 4

Image Credits: Carpenters Workshop Gallery via Wonmin Park

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Designers: Laetitia de Allegri and Matteo Fogale

Mise-en-abyme as seen on The Product Edit 1

I only got a chance to see a couple of shows at the London Design Festival 2015 but that didn’t matter. I fell in love. With a perspex installation called “Mise-en-abyme” in the V&A, on the bridge over the Renaissance and Medieval galleries.

Mise-en-abyme as seen on The Product Edit 2

I would have happily taken the 12 hour round trip just to experience it alone (I live way up in The Lake District). For me personally, it is teetering between the realms of art and design. It is emotive and ethereal.

The name, a French term translated literally as “placed into abyss”, refers to the artistic process of internal repetition.

Mise-en-abyme as seen on The Product Edit 3

It actually made me go “Oooh, Oh!” and laugh to my partner halfway through the tunnel when I realised what was happening to us. It plays with perspective and tricks the eye. I can’t believe I’m about to use this this phrase but… it was a delight !!

Mise-en-abyme as seen on The Product Edit 4

Mise-en-abyme as seen on The Product Edit 7

The piece was supported by Johnson Tiles, their tiles on the floor serve as a framework for the perspective to be layered on to. The architectural visuals of Mise-en-abyme reference the contents of the two galleries below, that themselves illustrate the Renaissance’s discovery of one-point perspective.

Mise-en-abyme as seen on The Product Edit 5 -photo taken by Julia Jacob

Image Credits: domus (cropped) / Author’s Own / LDF on Vimeo

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Keno (seat)

Designed by: Noora Liesimaa

With Helsinki design week starting tomorrow I thought I’d share with you one of my favourite items of furniture born in Finland in the last few years.

Keno by Noora Liesimaa as seen on The Product Edit

This kind of design I was thinking of when I called my blog ‘The Product Edit’. The name is most often understood as referring to the content of the blog, and it does; it’s my personal edit of the best design out there. But what is more important to me is that it alludes to the process of editing away, pairing back, and getting rid of anything superfluous to a design before it is considered finished. Although not everyone’s idea of what is superfluous and removable is the same!

Back to this particular piece though.. The base is cut from a slab of spruce, chamfered at an angle to produce the nicely tilted seat. The back is simply constructed form steel and fabric. The material colours sit very naturally together and the high back balances out the bulk of the seat. In my home I would chuck a sheepskin of the back of the seat and get my Danish hygge on.

This was Liesimaa’s show piece from her time at Aalto University. It was exhibited at “Norther” in Milan 2013. As far as I can tell its not in production but please do contact me, or leave a comment, if anyone knows any different! Haluan sen. See?! I’m willing to learn Finnish for this one.

Image Credit: Lancia Trend Visions

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