Petter Skogstad (top image)
This year’s 100% Norway event took root at Earl’s Court with a forest-like exhibition stand by architect Fantastic Norway. Petter Skogstad’s Mint Chair, a stackable café chair made with 2mm sheet steel pieces that are hand-bent and welded together, was an eye-catcher. The chair is still a prototype, but it can’t be long before it gets picked up for manufacture. Skogstad now shares an Oslo studio with eminent designer Anderssen & Voll, and is tipped to be a rising star of Norwegian design.
Beirut-born designer Charles Kalpakian showed Bistable at Tent London, under the name of his studio Hello Karl. The series of wall-mounted and freestanding bookshelves appear two-dimensional when seen straight on, but reveal their three-dimensional form when viewed from other angles. The clever optical illusion reminded us of an Escher woodcut.
Lion Penseur Lamp
At 100% Design, 15 young Korean designers presented a playful range of furniture, textiles and lighting. For a country better known for producing electronics and cars than high-end furniture, there were more than a few products that got us excited about Korea’s emerging design scene. Lion Penseur lamps are accent lights with colourful leather cases that resemble the bodies of lions; little reminders that design doesn’t always need to be taken seriously.
Etagère de Coin
Michel Roset himself spotted Marie Dessuant and her unusual corner shelf at this year’s Imm Cologne. He was so impressed with the young French designer that he picked the shelf to be the window piece of the Telling Tales exhibition at Ligne Roset’s showroom in London’s West End. Dessuant, who is one of Fabrica’s designers in residence, describes Etagère de Coin as something between architecture and furniture – a concept that emerged from looking at unused spaces for her student thesis.
Søren Rose Studio
PA Dining Chair
The Park Avenue dining chair is one of nine products that Søren Rose Studio debuted for manufacturer De La Espada at Tramshed this year. With bases in Copenhagen and New York, the studio aims to unite the Scandinavian craft tradition with the kind of contemporary furniture you’d expect to see in a sleek Manhattan loft. These elegant, geometric pieces are by far the most sophisticated furniture we’ve seen from Søren Rose, who last year designed limited-edition cabinets made from the recycled floorboards of school gyms.
It’s no secret that contemporary design is going through something of a craft renaissance at the moment. Irish textile designer Claire-Anne O’Brien’s colourful Knit Stools, seen at Designersblock, are an interesting example of putting old techniques to new use. She scales up common knit stitches and experiments with loops and knots to make new forms and textures in wool.
Galán Coat Rack
The Galán Coat Rack is a simple frame design made of 20mm plywood elements. Shown by Chilean design studio PRO2 at 100% Design, Galán has the neat pop-out-and-slot-together aesthetic of projects such as Philippe Nigro’s cardboard chair for Skitsch (2009), but sadly you don’t actually assemble it yourself. More fun is PRO2’s Disco Lamp, a modular lampshade that you can make as large or small as you want by connecting together plywood discs in red, yellow and black.