Archive for the ‘Design’ Category
Young danish design talent, Kristina Kjaer, is a graduate of the TEKO Design and Business School in Herning. Working as an intern for the Danish design studio Holmbäck Nordentoft, whose products you are sure to be familiar with, and for the innovative Icelandic architecture studio Krads, Kristina has a few projects of her own on the go. Last June Kristina participated in the exclusive two day Blickfang Design Workshop in Copenhagen with leading designers Jaime Hayon (sigh…! My design idol! ed.), Marcus Fairs, Stefan Diez, and Saskia Diez as the workshop’s leading speakers. Here, she brought her seriously cool ‘Birdstick’ storage unit, which I first picked up on and featured on MINT here.
Winning second place in the prestigious Bolia Award in the same year for her workstation ‘Vilifred’, Kristina’s design career is starting to take flight. The judging panel singled out Kristina’s design saying it is well-proportioned, humorous, and multi-functional. Kristina is currently working together with the design company to bring her design to life. It is well worth visiting their site to view the short video at Bolia.com, which gives a run down of the six finalists and winners, giving the panel’s feedback which explains their reasons behind their decisions; which elements make each one a successful, marketable product.
Showing at the past two design fairs in Stockholm, Kristina has been hard at work promoting her most recent designs; the Strik Chair and Fungus Light. They both use beautiful natural materials of solid ash and wool. The Strik Chair has unique upholstery which acts as a covering for the chair and as a blanket. It is both reversible and removable. Kristina likens the frame to one’s body, and the upholstery as “a knitted sweater”. This is a harmonious ode to Nordic design, that one can easily imagine snuggling up in with a good book in front of a roaring fire.
Kristina’s Fungus Lamp is inspired by the shapes and textures inherent in mushrooms. Searching for a suitable lamp to light the interior of her wardrobe, this was her solution to her dilemma. Made from felted wool gives a soft, muted glow and it’s pleasing shape and contrasting textures, make it a sculpture in its own right. Hook it up from the ceiling, tie over a hanging rail, or simply lay it on its side, this lamp makes a stylist addition to any modern or classic interior scape.
Next month Kristina travels to Austria to participate in an exhibition “Selected – It’s just design!” which is part of the Designmonat Graz (Design Month in Graz). Be sure to keep an eye out for future products from this super talented Dane, Kristina Kjaer.
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This summer bright colours have taken centre stage. Following the colour blocking wave, neons have made a come back resurfacing from the eighties. This time around though the so-bright-it-could-glow-in-the-dark neons are tempered with nudes. Seen everywhere from designer homewares to accessories, nail polish to artwork, this striking combo is popping up all over the show. Here are just a few products gracing the on-line and high street boutiques and galleries.
1 Superhero Cushion by Melbourne homewares Curio & Curio from on-line boutique Everything Begins 2 Australian collective Harvest Textiles offer a range of cosmetic bags and totes in vibrant hues like this Melted Ice Cream Tote from Douglas & Bec 3 Melbourne craft queen Rachel Castle will have your blood pumping with her range of artwork and homewares in eye popping brights 4 Mimco leather handbag sports two hot summer trends: neon and nude in a geometric pattern 5 Mi Piaci Macon sandals come in both tan with pops of neon yellow or fuchsia 6 New Zealand jewellery designer Kester Black has a delicious assortment of intense neons from Clash //
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Creative and inspiring styling from Muuto’s recent catalogue featuring the Leaf lamp series, modular Stacked shelf system, Under The Bell pendant lamp, and the Nerd chair. Styling: All The Way To Paris / Photos: Petra Bindel
Ever since receiving the divinely organic Flow Jug designed by Danish designer Jakob Wagner as a gift a few years ago, I have been an avid follower of Nordic design company Muuto. Deriving its name from the Finnish word muutos, a new perspective, this simple ethos is interpreted and brought to life by a myriad of highly accomplished design talent. My personal highlights from Muuto’s lighting, furniture, and home accessories collections are; the Rest Sofa designed by Nordic design duo Anderssen & Voll, which comes in a two and three seater sofa and pouff, the Nerd chair which comes in a delightful array of gorgeous hues by twenty-something Berlin talent, David Geckeler, Under The Bell pendant lamp made of recycled plastic felt by Copenhagen based design studio, Iskos-Berlin, the LED Leaf lamp series by Swedish design and architectural partnership Broberg & Ridderstråle, and inspired by traditional weaving with a thoroughly modern twist, the Wicker Bread Basket comes from one of Denmark’s most lauded designers, Cecilie Manz. Home accessories can be found in Auckland through Douglas & Bec, The Object Room, and the Auckland Art Gallery Shop. For Muuto furniture and lighting, click here for a list of international stockists.
This whimsical animated film for Muuto by the dynamic all-female design quartet, All The Way To Paris, is bound to make you smile!
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Happy New Year! We hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. 2013 is set to be an exciting year. In the past two months there has been a huge change here at Mint Style Studio with the departure of my full-time position as a visual merchandiser to breaking free and going solo as a full-time freelance stylist and writer. In only a matter of weeks I have picked up some fantastic regular work writing for two local publications (which I regularly post on Facebook), regular national travel with visual merchandising, and professional blogging and a bit of graphic design for New Zealand fashion boutiques, Head Over Heels, Lynn Woods, and Ruby!
Brimming with my insatiable appetite for exciting developments in the year ahead, I was up before the birds making grand plans! International travel is on the cards as is some exciting career opportunities. Portfolio’s (yes, plural – there’s one for each area of expertise like digital styling and graphic design, editorial styling and visual merchandising, writing, and photography) are being designed, tweaked, and up-dated ready to be sent out very soon. Mint Style Studio is in the process of getting a grown-up logo and business cards too!
To begin the new year with a fresh start is this decidedly fresh interior design spread inspired by sea spray hues of blue and blue-grey.
1 Designed by Norm Architects for Scandi design company Menu, the Bottle Grinder comes as a pair in Storm and Cloud // Simon James Concept Store 2 Karen Walker’s paints for Resene in Powder Blue and Taupe Grey // Resene 3 Ceramic ware by New Zealand artist Stephen Bradbourne // Everyday Needs 4 Steel coffee table/bench by New Zealand furniture designer Nathan Goldsworthy // Corporate Culture 5 ‘Comback’ chair in grey blue by Patricia Urquiola for Kartell is available in a choice of four leg types and several colourways (seen here in cement) //Backhouse 6 Thoughts of Putin artwork by supremely talented Cantabrian artist John Badcock // John Badcock Gallery.
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Mjölk, meaning milk in Swedish, encapsulates the three core values which define this Toronto design store; pure, honest, and essential. Specialising in Japanese and Scandinavian design objects and furniture, each handcrafted piece hand picked by the owners John Baker and Juli Daoust, is inspired by everyday life. “Our smaller products can be used without thought, or quietly admired. In our eyes just the simple satisfaction of functionality and durability, is all you need for a successful product, but when you can derive beauty from the uttermost simplistic tools, then you have something special.” Their blog, Kitka, is testament to the couple’s deep appreciation for the traditions and artisans whose simple, everyday objects they covet and bring to a wider audience. Embarking on long road trips several hours from home, the young couple shares their adventures and discoveries about the artisans’ work they stock. Their blog also opens the door to the scandi influenced Mjölk guest cottage, their stylish apartment located above the shop that is filled with beautiful treasures found on their far-flung travels, Mjölk exhibitions, junk shop finds, and much more.
As an extension of their blog, Mjölk has produced its very own magazine which takes us into the homes and work spaces of artisans they represent, accompanied by interviews, and cafe reviews from the young couple’s travels to Japan and Iceland. Another facet to the business is Mjölk Plus, collaborations with designers to create pieces exclusive to their shop, yet further testimony to John and Juli’s keen interest in the design process itself. Mjölk stocks a selection of classic designer furniture from Artek, Asplund, Fjord Fiesta, Fredericia, Maruni, and Sante & Cole. I’m already IN LOVE with the Asplund Tati console table in olive – it’s just what I’ve been looking for – I wonder if they ship to New Zealand?
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Blurring the conventional boundaries between art and design, fashion and architecture, Amsterdam based footwear brand United Nude has developed a cult following amongst the design conscious. Dutch architect, Rem D Koolhaas and a seventh generation shoemaker, Galahad Clark from Sommerset, joined forces and launched their fashion forward brand in 2003. Together they have ventured well beyond the box with their avant garde sculptural wonders. They even have a limited edition handmade collection of haute couture footwear which is so sculptural each pair warrants its own plinth and to be admired behind glass.
Although they’re already into Autumn in the northern hemisphere, there are some striking pops of colour to brighten the bleakest wintery day, including coral and fluro lime in glossy patent leather. The menswear range, although much smaller than the women’s, offers three super cool styles; high top sneakers and trainers in suede with wide, criss-crossed elastic detailing, and a slimline, contemporary leather ‘desert boot’ with colourful rubber soles. An accessory range includes the rather awesome geometrical space-age ‘Stealth’ bag and cap said to be inspired by the straight lines of the Stealth F-117 fighter plane, but as the pair says, “unlike the aircraft, the United Nude Stealth does not fly under the radar; it …. gets noticed immediately for its remarkable and unique design.”
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When the Vienna Tourist Board sought a new iconic souvenir which embodied its culture and traditions together with its contemporary creativity, the “European Home Run” design competition was established. Inviting six European countries, England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland, to visit Vienna, they were asked to design a new quintessential Viennese souvenir. In addition to an international panel of experts, the deciding vote is also put into the hands of you, the public. Each and every studio has put forth beautifully designed concepts which make it incredibly difficult to choose, so I do hope that all products will eventually be made available to visitors to Vienna.
Spanish product design studio,Héctor Serrano, created a series of four pop-up cards depicting iconic buildings in the Austrian capital including St Stephen’s Cathedral, Schönbrunn Palace, the Ferris Wheel in the Prater, and The Succession Building. Each made from a thin brass sheet of metal, they come flat packed which make them the perfect souvenir to send home or pack into a suitcase.
Italian design duo, Studio Formafantasma, who believe a good souvenir should also have a functional aspect, they wanted to create a souvenir that not only tourists would want to buy, but the locals would want to use. Using patterns sampled from museum archives, iconic modernist buildings, and traditional Austrian products, they reproduced these designs with hand cut paper. Again, small enough to fit into your luggage, they make an ideal contemporary souvenir that even the most discerning design disciple would take pleasure in using.
While Hannover based product designers Ding 3000 used similar materials to Héctor Serrano, the concept is based around what they believe to be the epitome of Viennese charm and etiquette – a bouquet of flowers in the form of laser cut metal with a copper finish. Each petal depicts a famous historical figure, landmark, or symbol of Viennese culture.
The product design which best encapsulates the competition brief and hits all my buttons in terms of contemporary aesthetic, longevity, functionality, and emotional memory, is Swiss product and interior design studio, Big Game‘s Spin music box. This exquisitely simple design uses local Viennese wood which is fashioned into a modern take on the traditional music box. The circular wooden dish which sits atop a circular rotating wooden base, playing Classical Viennese compositions from the operatic masters, is designed to hold everyday objects which replace the conventional spinning figurine. The melodies played are Haydn’s “Serenade”, Mozart’s “Vogelfänger” from Die Zauberflöte, and Beethoven’s “Romance”. Fond memories of childhood trips to visit friends and family in Vienna combined with my background in opera, this object powerfully connects me at an emotional level, which in essence marks it out as the ultimate souvenir. Hey guys, how much is postage to New Zealand? Well, if I win the trip to Vienna, I’ll simply pop it in my suitcase, won’t I?
Visit Vienna Tourist Board to view the other contestants’ souvenirs and to cast your vote to be in to win a trip to Vienna!
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I love on-line shopping and that’s no exaggeration. Part of the reason I started this blog, apart from career aspirations of making a living from writing, is that I could, and do, spend morning, noon, and night in cyber space to satiate my deepest, darkest design desires. While I equally enjoy discovering unique treasures in beautifully designed boutiques the world over, there is a certain convenience to pulling together an inexhaustible selection of whatever your penchant of the week may be, at the mere click of a button. And all from the comfort of my armchair, bed, or balcony.
So it is with great excitement that I bring to you the latest of my internet shopping discoveries. Everything Begins is an exclusive, on-line boutique representing artisans and designers and their unique wares from around the globe. Some may be familiar names, but many are little known in the Australasian market. The majority are UK based, with Australia coming in at a close second, with a small number of European and American designers and artists, and one New Zealand designer Nga Waiata. It was difficult to narrow down just a few of my favourite pieces, but this selection gives a glimpse into the broad range of wares Everything Begins has to offer.
Clockwise from top left: 1 London illustrator Kristjana S Williams is the founded and owner of Carnaby Street boutique Beyond the Valley where I was first introduced to her work. This Icelandic born Central St Martin’s graduate is swiftly taking London by storm with her work on exhibition at top galleries around London including the V&A and the London Design Festival and an impressive client list including Libertys, Chanel, and Cole & Son.
2 Hertfordshire based Rug Maker, established by Richard Mathias & Julian Blair, have over 40 years experience between them in the rug industry. Official licence holder of the Royal Mail iconic postage stamp designs by Arnold Machin, Rug Maker has half a dozen different ‘stamps’ in various stunning colourways to make your own personal stamp on your home interiors.
3 100% Australian made, these beautiful linen cushions are screen printed using non toxic waterbased inks, are from White Horse Home. There’s nothing like a good old positive affirmation to start the day! This design is also available as a wall hanging.
4 I simply LOVE this fresh, grassy green! Herald in the spring time with this hand made Italian leather bag from Mimi. Mimi offers a range of elegant, understated, quality bags to hold your everyday essentials, travel necessities, and electronic devices. A timeless and worth while investment.
5 Lovingly hand crafted by Abigail Brown, these bird sculptures show exquisite attention to detail using new and found textiles and a mixture of hand and machine embroidery. Abigail works amidst other creatives at the Cockpit Arts in Central London where she creates an aviary of feathered friends, illustrates for children’s books, designs stationery, along with advertising work.
6 Designed by British creative duo Something From Us the ‘Wired’ table lamp is joined by their latest lighting design, a pendant which comes in a variety of fabric shades.
7 Although London studio We Love Kaoru was established a short four years ago by Central St Martin’s graduate, Kaoru Parry, her designs are grabbing the attention of design buffs the world over. Her diverse fine bone china ranges offer classic craftsmanship by artisans in the world renowned hub of fine potteries, Stoke-On-Trent, with a cool contemporary edge.
8 From the least likely source, come these heavenly luxury silk scarves. The man behind the Weston Scarves, Richard Weston, is an award-winning architect, landscape architect, and author. Bearing the forms, patterns, and colours found in nature, these stunning scarves are hand made on the banks of Lake Como, Italy – how divine!
9 A play on delicate broderie anglais, this leather necklace comes direct from the Milanese studio, House of Kami, run by two friends, one a textile designer, the other a brand and marketing manager.
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Auckland based creative consultancy Alt Group once again dominates the graphic design category in the Best Awards 2012 and rightly so. Operating at the highest level, they consistently deliver creative ideas with penache and integrity. As a huge fan of their slick marketing event series, The Social Kitchen, I had the pleasure of attending their latest event at the Urbis Design Day earlier in the year (reviewed here). Their provocative visuals for Auckland’s Silo Theatre (pictured below) aptly encapsulate the theatre’s core belief; “producing bold and uncompromising contemporary works “with no embargo on either ambition or artistic risk.”
Christchurch creative agency Strategy has also come up trumps in this year’s Best Awards. Landing 26 nominations across a range of categories with finalists in editorial, spatial design, identity systems, web design, graphic design arts, packaging and environmental graphics, Strategy is giving other design studios a run for their money. Their 19th century naturalist inspired theme for one of the first new bars to be established following the quakes, was designed to “create an alternate reality” to the chaos of demolition right on its front doorstep. And that aim was certainly achieved. It’s curatorial feel is extended to its interiors; dark wooden floors, rich burgundy carpeted walls, and black tin ceiling create a cosy and intimate air of the 19th century parlour room.
Currently on the lookout for clever and inspired logos for my own logo redesign (yes, I know, it desperately warrants a serious intervention!), I am in love with the simplicity of Strategy’s clever signet they created for Hunter Valley. Combining the two initials H and V into one with the stylised bunch of grapes forming the V and the middle of the H. A “vintage blend” indeed.
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Fine bone china dinner plates entitled I could just go to the shops, from a series of 12 plates by UK’s Studio Patrick Laing. Clockwise from top left: Dip Glazing, Stock Smoke, Screenprinting, and Sponging Transfers.
Tent London 2012 is set to thrill and amaze with a dizzying array of sizzling design talent. With 40 global design brands and over 200 established independents and undiscovered talents; alongside spectacular feature installations, inspirational talks and seminars, Tent London is by far and above THE design event of the year. Beyond excited and filled with longing to beam myself back to my former stomping ground in London’s hip east end, it is with great delight that I bring you a view through the keyhole into this glorious four day design event. First up is multifaceted design talent Patrick Laing. This series of 12 fine bone china dinner plates entitled I could just go to the shops, celebrate the desire to create rather than the desire to shop by depicting a range of plate making methods. Described by the UK’s Craft Council as “utterly charming and beautifully executed”. I couldn’t agree more. To purchase, visit Studio Patrick Laing to join the pre-order list.
The Royal Family Collection by Vibeke Skar (top), Light Jars by Kristine Five Melvær (middle left), Copper by Strek Collective (middle right), and Studio Locker by Magnus Pettersen.
Showcasing 25 Norwegian designers, 100% Norway marks its ninth year as part of the London Design Festival with a new home at the Dray Walk Gallery. Curated by Wallpaper’s* Editor at Large, Henrietta Thompson, and Benedicte Sunde from the Norwegian Design Council, a dynamic range of design products represent both established and fresh new talent. I’m particularly enamoured with Vibeke Skar‘s glass Royal Family Collection which reminds me of a restrained version of Jaime Hayon’s Crystal Candy collection for Baccarat, featured at the Milan Fair earlier in the year (featured here). Designed to be displayed singularly or as a group, I simply can’t imagine having one without the other two! Light Jars by Kristine Five Melvær conjure the notion of capturing a beautiful butterfly under glass to observe at close range. Designed to display treasures and trinkets within under a spot light, they become as personal as their owners. The Studio Locker collection is a range of storage units taking you from lounge to boudoir. Made from blackened ash and anodised aluminium for the feet and perforated drawers and doors, they seem to radiate a golden glow, surpassing their mundane locker origins.
Distinctively modernist wallpaper and textiles from Mini Moderns.
Snapped up by London department store giant Heal’s and the high street stationary chain Paperchase, London interiors brand Mini Moderns, even have representation at the bottom of the world here in New Zealand with wallpaper company Netti & Gee. It’s hardly surprising this design duo have enjoyed such success given their bold graphics which are at once elegant and utterly modern. Teaming up with iconic London institutions like the London Transport Museum to create their Hold Tight wallpaper (pictured bottom right in British Lichen) inspired by their personal vintage bus ticket collection, their brand not only has mass appeal but is grounded in integrity. Nominated for an Elle Decoration British Design Award earlier in the year for their Backgammon wallpaper design, among my favourites are Camberwell Beauty (pictured bottom right in Midnight), the first design from their 2012 collection The Buddha of Suburbia, whose delicate wings are fashioned from the flourishing cursive script reading ‘Camberwell Beauty’.
Jail Make is a South London design studio committed to the process of both designing and making. Multi faceted and multi talented, these guys have done it all; large scale installations, sculpture, interactive exhibition pieces, bespoke furniture and interiors, as well as pieces of engineering, mechanics and electronics. With the Milan Fair fast approaching they made the ultimate challenge for themselves; to design AND make four different solid oak chairs in four days. The notion came about by exploring the different ways we use seating throughout any given day, hereby creating four different chairs to accommodate the user morning, noon, afternoon and night. First seen at the Milan Fair earlier this year, Londoners will have their opportunity to see them at Tent London this weekend.
Recent Three Dimensional Design graduates, Marc Bell & Robin Grasby founded their design studio International, shortly after in 2011. Already on the radars of the world’s most revered design blogs like Dezeen and design publications from Britain to Italy to Japan, these two lads scooped Wallpaper*’s esteemed Housekeeping Award this year for Maintenance, a modular cleaning system. We love modular and their latest endeavour really brings out the fun in functional. With a choice of ten different anodised aluminium shades to play with, layering each shade not only alters the aesthetic, but the level and direction of light emitted.
With a background in fine arts, Abigail Edwards found her true passion for interiors whilst working as an intern in the galleries of New York. Her career now runs the gamut from interior styling for editorial and commercial clients including the likes of Living Etc, Harrods, and Liberty Furnishings, as well as designing residential interior schemes and creative workspaces. Abigail’s latest string she’s added to her bow is a stunning collection of illustrated wallpapers. I’m in good company with my favourite pick of the collection, Seascape (pictured bottom left), which Tent’s partner, Elle Decoration, has named in their top 10 products of this year’s event.
Commencing today (Thursday 20 September) Tent London runs until Sunday and is located in the Truman Brewery off Brick Lane.