Mobile Chandelier 7

Designed by: Michael Anastassiades

Anastassiades as seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

Balance, stillness, mindfulness. Oooommm.

Anastassiades as seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

What a light.

Anastassiades as seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

Every element is super paired back – super edited.

Anastassiades as seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

Take this top section for example. The joint between the top of the lamp’s arc and the fixture is simply a little repeat of the heavy fixture above it. All cylindrical, all tubes.

The arch could have just gone through the fixture itself but Anastassiades chose to drop it down a length, extending the elegance and the potential swing of the lamp, making it look all the more spectacular in its balance.

Anastassiades as seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

Anastassiades’s work  reminds me of Miro’s bats paintings (thats not their title – I just think they are batty) and, as has been remarked by interiordesign.net, of Alexander Calder’s mobile sculptures.

Miro as seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

The materials are lovey, rich choices. Black patinated brass for the tubes and hand blown opalescent spheres for the lampshades. You can order whatever length of rod you wish (within a certain limit of course) and they vary the rest of the dimensions themselves for balancing reasons.

Anastassiades as seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

Image Credits: Interior Design.net / Michael Anastassiades / Carwan Gallery / TES

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Vitrina Small Sideboard

Designed by: Alejandro Villarreal and Jesus Ramirez (at Hierve)

Vitrina Small Sideboard. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

This sideboard is a statement piece.

Paradoxically it is also a piece of really simple, paired back design.

Vitrina Small Sideboard. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

It makes me so happy when designers don’t need to resort to craziness and lots of ornamentation to make a statement. Herve just use one really cleverly placed piece of block colour to imbue the small sideboard in their “Vitrine” collection with character.

Vitrina Small Sideboard. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

The sideboard is a continuation on from Ropero (meaning wardrobe in Spanish – it’s a Mexican Company) a design Villarreal, the company’s founder, worked on previously with Gabriela Rosas.

Vitrina Ropero. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

The craftsmanship of the sideboard can be seen in the wooden frame. It is solid oak and has beautiful curved edges with sturdy 60’/70’s style handles. The shape of the handles is repeated on the interior, bringing together the two very stylistically separate components of the frame and the interior shelving.

Vitrina Small Sideboard. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.ukVitrina Small Sideboard. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

The whole “Vitrine” collection has been designed for a favourite company of mine, Case Furniture. All of their stock always feels like it has been designed so thoughtfully, every hinge and upholstery nail carefully considered.

They also keep some of the classics alive and well. I have a beautiful, leather, Robin Day 675 chair (designed in the 50’s) that they distribute and I love it. Cream leather seat and walnut backrest. Stunner.

Vitrina Small Sideboard. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

I’ll wrap up here to stop myself going off on a Robin Day tangent but I should tell you that this collection has a very similar tall cabinet in bright teal or a much more calm oyster white. The sideboard also has a more conservative colour-way available for us, a lovely dark dove grey…

Mmm… Grey…

Vitrina Small Sideboard. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

Image Credits: Hierve / Case Furniture / John Lewis

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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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Malva Sofa

Designed by: Anon for Habitat

Malva by Habitat. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

I’ve been watching Anime shows recently (not the naughty kind, just the Japanese animated stories!) and something struck me when I saw this sofa. It reminds me so much of how manga artists depict excitement or magic bubbling up in people or a house or pet.

Malva by Habitat. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

These artists are great at representing how we feel about something in a visual way. If a character was feeling trepidation walking into their office building at night the animator will make the walls bubble or shiver occasionally behind the character’s back. Its really effective as an extra way of showing how they are feeling, their perception of the world around them.

Malva by Habitat. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

When you first watch anime it can be a little confusing – “Errm… is that actually happening?” but you soon get your eye in.

Malva by Habitat. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

The designer of the Malva range has conveyed life and human emotion in the object with the same skill of the comic artists. This sofa would really animate a room. Its bulbous shapes make it look bouncy, it is inviting play and fun.

Malva by Habitat. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

 

The off kilter backrests make me want to properly lounge myself along on it. I can’t imagine two or three people sitting bolt upright on this piece of furniture. It has been designed for snugglers and blanket hogs. Malva is 70% wool too so that deep red will feel as luxurious as it looks.

Habitat Logo. As seen on www.TheProductEdit.uk

Habitat has always been a favourite of mine. I even got a job in Manchester’s Habitat with the intention of staying in the company for… well… life (!) until they shut down all 31 shops that weren’t in London. It still annoys me that I didn’t even voice my desire to keep my toe in the company, if you don’t ask you don’t get. Listen to your Mothers 21 year olds!

Personal idiocies aside, the company’s reshuffle and focus on the European market has stood to them. They have managed to hold on to their focus of bringing fresh design to the UK.

If anyone knows which Habitat designers were involved in the Malva range please let me know in the comments below, my research hasn’t produced any specific names yet. And I do like to champion the designers themselves!

Image Credits: Habitat

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