Category Archives: Furniture & Interior Accessories

designjunction – Seminar Highlights

Posted on September 14, 2015 by Annalisa

The fifth edition of the critically-acclaimed designjunction is set to raise the bar this September by taking over two new central London venues; The College, formerly home to Central Saint Martins and the striking event space Victoria House B1, both located on Southampton Row (http://thedesignjunction.co.uk/london/vistor-information/)

Expect to encounter live workshops and flash-factories, one-off collaborations, hundreds of new product launches, inspiring installations, delectable food offerings and much more (http://thedesignjunction.co.uk/london/whats-on/)

This week, see highlights of the designjunction2015 seminar programme, which celebrates, explores and explains design’s new sense of mission. designjunction asks the question: do we really need another chair (or table or camera or shoe or phone)? The ‘Design for a Reason’ programme argues that yes we do, as long as it’s a beautiful solution to a real problem.

Sponsored by collaborative design studio molo, the Cochrane Theatre at the former Central Saint Martins building will be transformed with ‘Softwall’ backdrops and a canapy of ‘Cloud’ lighting.

SEE THE FULL SEMINAR PROGRAMME HERE

Keep up-to-date with the show on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

One show, two venues: The College, 12-42 Southampton Row, London WC1B 4AP Victoria House, 37 Southampton Row, London WC1B 4DA

19.00: Keynote: Yves Behar and Tylko

Pioneering ‘design entrepreneur’ Yves Béhar, creator of fuseproject, joins forces with Polish ‘parametric design’ specialists Tylko, whose innovative app gives users power to customise their chosen domestic product. Could this be the future of design?

11.00 Transports of Delight

In association with Blueprint, Paul Priestman delivers the very latest thinking on stations and infrastructure.

14.00 Design Futures Come in Layers

Benjamin Hubert on his new direction, which has huge implications for design at large.

16.00 Technology, Tables and Lamps

Follow the journey of royal designer Terence Woodgate.

17.00 Life after Graduation

BIIDpresident Dan Hopwood and design education experts on the next step.

12.00 Working Beautifully

San Francisco’s Studio O+A joins Brooklyn’s Uhuru to discuss spaces that release endorphins.

14.30 Global Colour Trends

Carolina Calzada presents the shades and hues for the upcoming seasons.

16.00 Joined + Jointed

Samuel Chan explains the ethos behind his latest venture – Joined + Jointed.

 18.30 Fairphone 2

Bas van Abel, creator of Fairphone, on his latest sustainable, modular launch.

13.00 Interiors for Unicorns

Christian Hawley, founder of Nest.co.uk and Russell and Jordan of 2 Lovely Gays.

14.30 Remote Controlled Smoke and Colour

Hosted by luxury product designer Tiipoi.

The Terroir Collection: Seaweed Decor

Posted on April 10, 2015 by Annalisa

Seaweed is a prevalent organic resource that provides the world with up to 80% of its oxygen. The marine algae has a myriad of uses from food, facials and fertiliser but Jonas Edvard and Nikolaj Steenfatt are tasking seaweed with a new endeavour; furniture production.

The Seaweed, here harvested off the coast of Denmark, is dried, ground into powder and cooked into glue utilising the viscous and adhesive effects of the Alginate – the natural polymer of the brown algae.

By combining the seaweed with paper Edvard and Steenfatt have created a tough and durable material with a warm, tactile surface and a refined organic aesthetic. Colours are determined by the seaweed itself ranging from dark brown to light green. The high natural amounts of salt within the seaweed preserves it and acts as a flame retardant, the material is also 100% recyclable and can be made into a natural fertiliser.

The range of furniture produced includes lamp shades and chairs; elegantly designed. A fabulous and innovative range of products that seeks to make the most of the planet’s abundant resources. The Terroir project is collaborating and sharing the knowledge of research with the Dansk Skaldyrcenter in order to create and showcase new ways of using a natural, plentiful material like seaweed in furniture and product design.

Photo Credit: Emil Thomsen-Schmidt

Tree Ornament Gift Guide (& Happy Holidays from WIN!)

Posted on December 18, 2014 by Liz

The holidays only come once a year, so make sure your home interior is a winter warmer! WIN are busy preparing for the festive season and we’re sure that many of you are doing the same. To make things a little simpler, we’ve selected some of our favourite new ornaments to hang on the tree.

Made with care to be hung by the chimney (and on the tree), the Cinnamon Bark Ornaments by VivaTerra have a lovely natural finish and as an added bonus, they smell like freshly baked goods! They also come in a strikingly simple cinnamon bark box.

Circular Porcelain Ornaments by Ferm Living make for a contemporary Christmas tree for the modern home. Each has a simple shape printed on it in gold and hangs from a light tan leather cord.

The Ceramic Christmas Tree from Occa-Home features a vibrant red motif against a calming white background, a bold and festive design that has timeless appeal.

Guide the way to your Christmas tree with brightly coloured Me & My Arrow Tags from The Great Lakes Goods, hand-painted on die cut wood. Colours include neon yellow, mint, fuschia, neon orange, peacock and periwinkle.

The Himmeli ornaments by HRUSKAA are inspired by the Finnish himmeli mobile. Perfect for the minimalist aesthetic and available in rigid black or brass straw, hand sewn with nylon cord.

Why not hang some art on your tree? The Jardin Des Plantes Ornaments are an Anthropologie exclusive by South African artist Ruan Hoffmann. The decorations are sure to charm and enchant visitors, combining traditional craftsmanship with modern art.

For those who like a bit of bling, the Gold Porcelain Star & Ball Baubles from Rockett St George will not disappoint! A glamorous addition to the Christmas tree with geometric shapes that will catch the light and shimmer and shine.

Adorn your tree with miniature trees! The Wrapped Paper Christmas Trees by QuiteAlright are constructed from recycled paper and embroidery floss, with a graphic design that looks great in large groups – the perfect primary ornament!

Decorate the Christmas tree or indeed a dried branch with Pine Cone, a beautiful bone china ornament from By Nord. The silver metal trinket hangs from a smart leather string; this is Nordic simplicity at its best.

Embrace Holiday nostalgia by baking festive biscuit treats to hang on your tree and hang the three cutters in the Star Cookie Cutter set from Lexington straight on it afterwards. A playful accessory for an original take on festive traditions.

Break away from tradition and enliven your Christmas collection with the vibrancy of the natural world. The Agate Slice Ornaments from Anthropologie are earthy, but still provide glamour with a dazzling gem – and no two are exactly alike.

Snow Ball is a beautiful hand-folded paper ornament by Scandinavian design brand By Nord. This large black and white bauble is an elegant statement piece for your Christmas tree.

Provide your tree with the rustic charm of these Snowflake baubles by Nkuku. The antique mirror ornaments have a vintage feel and are suspended from playfully printed strips of fabric.

It’ll be easy to get into the holiday spirit year upon year with Felt Mistletoe from west elm. You’ll also be supporting and sustaining handcrafts and fair labour, with each piece made from 100% wool by artisans in Nepal.

Finally, for those of you who love the idea of a tree, but not so much the bulky, space-consuming, needle-dropping, Evergreen kind: introducing the PossibiliTree. Designed by architect Richard Babcock, these wooden trees are practical, sustainable, versatile and easy to set up, an attractive version of the iconic holiday item that can even be suspended from the ceiling using a thin wire. Not just for the festive period, the PossibiliTree can be used throughout the year as an alternative tree for all occasions.

From all of the team at World Interiors News, we wish you a wonderful Holiday Season, and of course a spectacular New Years!

Making your House a Home in 2015: Interview with Shaun Clarkson

Posted on December 15, 2014 by Liz

May Design Series have just released their Interiors Buying Census, uncovering UK consumers’ shifting habits, tastes and priorities for 2015. The Census provides vital information on people’s priority buys for next year, as well as what factors influence these purchases and how we can expect them to change in the future.

This year’s report revealed that a quarter of us are now looking for sustainable products and a further one in 10 takes into consideration whether the materials in our homes are made from recyclable products. Surprisingly, less than half of us shop online for products, compared to more than the two thirds of customers who still prefer to shop in-store. And while there is a growing popularity in buying local, when it comes to home interior products over 80% of consumers asked agreed that being British made makes no impact to their purchasing decision.

WIN had the pleasure of talking with Shaun Clarkson, Interior Designer and star of Channel 4’s Four Rooms, about the results of the Census, the products to look out for in households next year and his own personal tips on how to make a house a home (hint: he likes rugs).

Diamond by Novaluna. Exhibiting at May Design Series.

Thank you so much for joining us today Shaun. Now can I just start by asking you what trends predict for 2015?

Well my trends for 2015 are varied. I think the biggest thing is that I am fed up of down and dirty. I’m sick to death of distressed wood and bulbs in jam jars. I want to see a bit more glamour so I’m predicting we are going to go chequer board floors, hot pink and flower arrangements of gladiola.

Which interior products can you see appearing in people’s homes next year?

The May Design Series Interiors Buying Census show that the most popular thing that people are spending their money on is flooring, followed by curtains and window dressing. I think this is very interesting because I think that if you are going to do something, especially those people on limited budgets, and living in rented accommodation, typically they want to buy something to make their rented flat feel like their own. I think things like rugs and sofas are important as they are things that you can take with you. Pluck and playthings, a treat culture to make your own environment.

Swithy Stools by Two.Six. Exhibiting at May Design Series.

And where exactly should people look to source these sort of products from do you think?

Well I think they should all come to my store in London (ha-ha!).  It’s difficult. I think you need to be very open minded. I spend my life shopping but that’s partly what I do professionally and I’m slightly obsessed, I have a shopping problem. eBay has been a massive influence on how people live in the fact that things are very accessible now. You can find out exactly how much things should cost and I think once you get an idea yourself of what you want you should go for it.

Which are your favourite places to shop? Firstly for yourself and also for the projects you are working on?

What has happened now is that we have a global shop, the internet, where you can buy anything.  Personally I don’t like buying online. I think I’m a bit old. I think people can shop anywhere, I love to go to auctions but I would never do an online auction. I would always go and physically view the stuff. I like to buy at markets and I like to buy in unusual environments, we do a lot of sourcing, we do a lot of upcycling, we take items and we invent them so I like the idea of buying old furniture that’s sustainable as well and reinventing it by spraying another colour, an old lamp, rewiring it and putting a new shade on it. Reinvention is really what we do as a business.

So could you share any of your secret sourcing spots, within the UK?

I would have to kill you if I told you; I have to protect my sources. However, London is the hub of fantastic tradeshows. The one that I would keep an eye on is the May Design Series which is coming up next year. You can see what trends are happening and the way interior design and products are moving.

Cross Lap by Galvin Brothers. Exhibiting at May Design Series.

You mentioned pluck and playthings for renters, but which are the pieces they should look at buying that will stand the test of time?  

Well that’s an interesting question. I have a shop in Shoreditch and we have a young demographic that in the main rents, they buy things like vintage lights and things they can take with them. We don’t do a great trade in hanging lights as you would need an electrician involved but anything that’s not bolted down. I think the furnished flat doesn’t really exist so much these days so it’s up to you to furnish your home and ultimately the ambition is to own your own home so I think that you should start creating your bottom draw and taking it with you wherever you go.

And what tips can you give to home owners looking to revive their interiors without necessarily replacing their furniture?

I think the easiest thing is paint, paint a wall a colour and don’t be frightened of paint – it’s easily changeable and it’s a cheap alternative. Rugs are fantastic and vintage rugs are great, it’s something that you have for life but also you can take with you everywhere you go. I have a friend who’s a curtain maker in Liverpool and she has a great range of people who change their curtains yearly. It’s not an overly expensive thing to do and changes your life a little bit.

Ikea has been amazing really as you can reinvent yourself constantly. My parents’ generation had one 3 piece suite for the whole of their life’s whereas I think we are a generation (well certainly in the hundreds of sofas I’ve owned over the years) that replaces regularly. I think there’s an opportunity for you to cheaply change your life with accents and new items which are affordable, I also think dressing your things with a mixture of vintage and new. If you like something buy it.

Klash Chair by Standrin. Exhibiting at May Design Series.

Going back to the theme of sustainability we were talking about earlier, do you think this should just be a factor you consider when purchasing or should it really be a compulsory element in the work of the designers?

Only a quarter of us unbelievably are interested in sustainability, I think sustainability should be something we aware of definitely. I think upcycling is the new hip word, as was vintage, upcycling is a form of recycling and sustainability. I love the idea that if you put something on the street now it goes and it means somebody has taken it and they’ve got a use for it. In my business we’re notoriously bad at throwing things away and I think that eBay is a great opportunity to sell anything and upcycle things.  It’s a tragedy to see things just dumped.

YPSY by Two.Six. Exhibiting at May Design Series.

The MDS report expressed that top of people’s desires for the home are self-cleaning carpets and windows that shut automatically when it rains. Do you see design becoming more technologically focused, more about function and ease of use than aesthetics?

I think it’s a combination of the both really. We all love to live in beautiful environments but I think that the May Design Series Interiors Buying Census shows that people are relying on technology a lot more which is great as it is sustainable. It means that you can control your heating and shut your windows and close your curtains and turn the lights and heating on and off from your mobile phone which is complimentary to what we do professionally.

We live in a boutique generation so I think it’s really important that when you are at home you have the same boutique experience you would if you were in a beautiful hotel and I think people are getting used to that, but obviously the complimentary technology is great. I’m a great advocate of controlling our environments. There’s nothing worse than getting home and having to turn the heating on and waiting for the house to get warm. You want to be able to do if from your mobile phone.

Linger a Little Longer table by Jay Watson design. Exhibiting at May Design Series.

Whose house do you envy the most would you say?

Whose house do I envy? I don’t really envy anybody’s house. I’m trying to buy a house at the moment and I am very envious of it (ha-ha!) – it’s my ultimate aspirational home. It’s a big Tudor mansion in Norfolk and I suppose I’m aspiring to live there ultimately.

What, in your opinion, are the three most important products for any home interior to possess?

Lighting is everything, you need to have a creative lighting scheme. I would want to own the most beautiful lamp, I’m not a great advocate of great big light fittings on the ceiling. I think you need a really comfy sofa. That’s really important, something to sit and watch television on, and something to be romantic on. I believe that everyone should invest in a rug for life and I think that if you can design your own rug and create your own rug, that’s yours and there’s nothing nicer than standing on a lovely big thick rug in bare feet.

Fantastic. Thank you so much for joining us today Shaun.

You’re welcome.

Table by British Artist Jack. Exhibiting at May Design Series.

designjunction presents ‘A Child’s Dream’

Posted on September 17, 2014 by Liz

designjunction has launched an exciting exhibition for 2014 in order to raise funds for Teddy’s Wish, a charity that aids research into the causes behind SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), neonatal death and stillbirth and supports grieving families. This is in collaboration with distinguished family-run British brands Anglepoise® and ercol, who have kindly donated the products used in the project.

Tom Dixon, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

‘A Child’s Dream’ invited 19 of the UK’s leading designers from the field of architecture, design, fashion and graphics to customise the iconic Anglepoise® Type75™ Mini desk lamp and Stacking chair, from ercol’s Originals collection. These are to be displayed this week at designjunction2014 in an exhibition curated by British designer Anthony Dickens.

Emma Mawston, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

The line-up of designers behind the uniquely interpreted products is an all-star cast, including; Tom Dixon, Wilkinson Eyre, Benjamin Hubert, PearsonLloyd, Paul Cocksedge, Ab Rogers, Sir Terence Conran, Topshop, Tony Chambers, Samuel Wilkinson, Faye Toogood, Kristjana S. Williams, Michael Sodeau, Donna Wilson, Afroditi Krassa, Bethan Gray, Rachel Galbraith, Philippe Moulin and Emma Mawston. Some of the designers comment on their superb end-creations below.

Sir Terence Conran, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Michael Sodeau, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Afroditi Krassa, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Afroditi Krassa on ‘Drip Chair’: “We may dream and plan as much as we want but life is unpredictable and we wanted to capture this and translate it onto a chair. Using clinical apparatus and colored dyes we have left it to gravity, time and chance to embellish the chair.”

Kristjana S Williams, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Benjamin Hubert, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Samuel Wilkinson, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Samuel Wilkinson: “We wanted to create an intervention that highlighted the beauty of the ercol Stacking Chair, something fantastical and unexpected as if from a Child’s dream. The result is the representation of a magic fabled animal, a chair that gives you happy and playful thoughts when you see it.”

Rachel Galbraith, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Faye Toogood, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Paul Cocksedge, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Paul Cocksedge: “The lights only come on when the two heads touch each other, and whichever way you position them for that touch, it will stir a visual memory of a child nuzzling up to its mother. It can be seen not only with humans, but across the natural world… This reconfiguration of the classic Anglepoise taps into the imagination whereby everyday objects take on human attributes, in this case to embody a gesture of caring and affection that is universal.”

Bethan Gray, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

PearsonLloyd, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Wilkinson Eyre, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Wilkinson Eyre Architects: “When thinking about the title ‘a child’s dream’ the first thing that springs to mind is colour. How bright and vibrant a child’s dream might be, full of bold colours and shapes and a great innocence. We have focused on those bold colours and shapes in an irregular, sporadic fashion, bringing playfulness and purity to the lamp.”

Tony Chambers, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Donna Wilson, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Topshop, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

Topshop: ‘There should be a place where only the things you want to happen, happen.’ (Where the Wild Things Are) “When we are young, the jungle is a mysterious place, a realm of adventure and the imagination.  For our chair, we wanted to reference the magical worlds that you can disappear to in dreams.”

Ab Rogers, A Child’s Dream. Photo Credit Ruth Ward.

All funds raised will go directly to Teddy’s Wish, including ticket entry for the show. The lamps and chairs will be available to buy online through silent auction at thedesignjunction.co.uk/charity from 12 September until midday on Sunday 28 September 2014.

 

Benoît Malta’s Bearable Discomfort

Posted on August 21, 2014 by Liz

Society’s technological advancements are rapidly progressing, at all times having a strong influence on our physical behaviours and environments. For many people a typical day now involves sitting down and working at a computer for nine hours, to then go home and sit at a different desk perhaps continuing with some freelance work, browsing the internet or just resting on the sofa (usually with some kind of electronic device in front of their eyes or on their laps). Even lunch breaks involve an inactive, seated position; everybody is tired. Physical activity has become a chore, something we must factor into our lives for an agreed amount of time, but it’s also fine to disregard this if we ‘don’t feel like it’. And for many of us, we never feel like it.

Inactivité, Benoît Malta

Assisting our aversion to physical movement are the products created to make life easier for us, from autonomous vacuum cleaners to self-making beds (yes, really). There is no motivation to use our bodies as we simply don’t need to. However, the adverse effects of this are endemic, with many people suffering from spinal issues, muscular diseases and other health issues. In making us more comfortable, designers are in fact creating a widespread discomfort. So what is the solution?

Inactivité, Benoît Malta

For one designer, it is simple: to take this discomfort and incorporate it into products, using it to put the body in motion and thus out of its chronic stationary postures. Recent École Boulle graduate Benoît Malta has developed a collection of objects based on the idea of discomfort, thinking of alternative ways to use products that will create a need for physical activity and stimulation. The French designer wished to question the perception of the home space, altering familiar habits and allowing people to become more aware of their bodies.

Inactivité, Benoît Malta

The resulting collection consists of a chair, lamp and small shelving system, designed to promote mobility and improve wellbeing. The chair proposes an alternative way of sitting, with only two legs instead of the usual four to stimulate different parts of the body through a passive situation. Malta worked with ergonomists and physical therapists to ensure the structure would appropriately activate different parts of the body affected by daily inactivity.

Inactivité, Benoît Malta

Malta’s lamp is inspired by Roman scales with a mercury switch that turns the light on when it is horizontal. A weight allows the lamp to balance and remain lit, but this moves often so that the user must switch the light back on with a gesture that stretches the arm out of idleness. Finally, the small ledges for storage are inspired by climbing holds. Placed at different heights, these too require the user to stretch in order to reach the item that is needed.

Inactivité, Benoît Malta

With ‘Inactivité’, Malta creates activity from ordinarily passive circumstances. The collection is an amazing example of what is now needed from all designers in order to transform sedentary ways of living. In addition to this, it challenges traditional perceptions of objects, creating pieces of furniture without archetypal vision. This is ‘bearable discomfort’; for our bodies and our health, but also for our minds and for the future of design.

Flowers Blossom into Flames: Experimenta

Posted on August 8, 2014 by Liz

The flame becomes a flower and the fuel becomes water in this transformation of the classic kerosene lamp by Giuseppe Bessero Belti. The Italian designer, who currently resides in Paris, has designed a collection of vases by repurposing oil lamps and combining them with 3D printing, mixing old and new in a reinterpretation entitled Experimenta.

Experimenta – Bombé Viennoise

Belti began with the traditional oil lamp, which can be simplified into five parts: ‘the chimney’ glass in various shapes, ‘the wick’, the fuse that dips into the fuel, ‘the burner’, the nozzle from which the flame emerges, ‘the collar’, the ring for fastening the glass and ‘the fount’, the container for the fuel. This has undergone multiple changes due to the technological innovations and scientific progress made in the 18th and 19th centuries. Designers of the time were constantly experimenting with the oil lamp, creating new shapes for the burner and the chimney that affected its efficiency. The design was guided by the emerging industry, oriented towards the mass market.

Experimenta

Experimenta – Globe

Fast forward to the current world of design and what can be found is a rediscovery of craftsmanship, an emerging maker spirit that responds to the consumer’s desire for unique products of high quality and high artistic value. Belti decided to combine this trend with the use of 3D printing technology, creating a sharp contrast between industrial production and craftsmanship.

Experimenta – Kosmos

Experimenta – Matador

The Experimenta vases are composed of a cylindrical 3D-printed nylon container, repurposed glass vessels in all their variations from the 18th and 19th centuries, a ring and a series of adapters to fix the glass vessel in place. Water takes the place of kerosene in the container and a flower blooms from within, a vivid and naturally beautiful wick and flame.

Experimenta – Rochester

Experimenta – Rochester

Experimenta breathes new life into the old glass, and sets a standard of uniqueness, but one that could still be available to many. It is currently at the prototype stage, but WIN hope to one day have a flower burn bright on our shelves.

Making Design History: 25 Years of Starck and Duravit

Posted on August 4, 2014 by Liz

“If you’re lucky enough to have a good idea, you’re duty-bound to share it.” Philippe Starck.

July 2014 marked 25 years of French designer Starck working with international bathroom product developer Duravit. During this time, he has shared a vast amount of ideas with the company including designs for timeless bathroom classics and concepts for everything from innovative shower-toilets to the architecture of the company’s office and showroom at its German headquarters.

Philippe Starck by Jean-Baptiste Mondino

The charismatic partnership began in 1989, when Duravit wrote to Starck and proposed that he joined them in developing innovative designs to take the sanitary ware market by storm. In return, Starck invited them to visit and consequently they decided to work together – a decision that has since proved incredibly successful: together, Philippe Starck and Duravit have made design history.

Starck recognised that it was not necessary to reinvent the wheel in order to create contemporary shapes. Instead, he based his design on the re-discovery of ancient forms, taking archetypal objects and translating them for Duravit into ceramic and acrylic in a way that had never been done before. In 1994 he unveiled his first creation for the designer bathroom manufacturer: the Starck 1 range, based on archaic objects such as a washbowl and bucket. Next came the launch of the Starck 2 ceramics range in 1998, inspired by the motion of water. Although very varied in form, the resulting washbowls, washbasins, toilets and bidets all carry Philippe Starck’s distinctive design signature.

25 Years of Starck

They say that the best things come in threes, in this case the addition of the Starck 3 range, unveiled by Duravit in 2002. These were more pared-down forms, able to blend effortlessly into any bathroom. However things didn’t end there, the success story continued in 2011 with the first ever shower-toilet, also designed by Starck. He then went on to design the first steam shower, the St.Trop, based on the idea of a painting (the shower door represents a large picture frame, the white background forms the canvas and the person taking a shower becomes the motif, completing the ‘work of art’).

Starck has clearly had a strong influence on Duravit’s products and on the company as a whole. He even went a step further by designing a whole building for Duravit that reflects their dedication to good design. The resulting structure, the Duravit Design Center in Hornberg, is extraordinary in terms of both its exterior form and its interior finishings, featuring an outrageous giant toilet spanning three floors cut into its front façade. Visible from far and wide around the Black Forest, it definitely makes a bold design statement!

Duravit Design Center, Hornberg

The combined talents of Duravit and Starck have been a winning combination and we look forward to many more years of great design from both!

Talent in Textiles: Interview with Rose Sharp Jones

Posted on July 8, 2014 by Liz

Featured in a previous blog of top picks from Clerkenwell were some quaint crochet cushions, created by skilled designer Rose Sharp Jones. WIN were initially drawn to her stall upon spying a range of beautifully patterned notebooks and we bonded over a mutual love of stationary (it borders on obsessive for us!) We soon noticed the cute knitted details on her stools and chairs and the aforementioned cushions, and business cards just had to be exchanged! Here we find out a little more about the creator behind this charming collection…

Firstly, where did your love for textiles and handmade items initially stem from? Is your background fairly creative?

I always loved to draw and make things when I was a child, and learnt to knit when I was 8.  I studied art throughout school and after leaving I did a foundation course where I specialised in textiles, going on to do a BA and MA course in Textile Design.

And what inspired you to set up your own business?

After finishing my MA course I realised I wanted to be involved in the whole process – designing and making fabrics, and products from them.

Which are the most gratifying aspects of your work?

I really enjoy the making process, developing new ideas and pieces through experimentation with yarns, stitches and different techniques. I also enjoy working on commission pieces with clients and seeing them happy with the end product.

Do you work from home? And how do you balance running a business with day to day life?

I work from a studio space in east London that I share with other designers.  It can be hard to keep a good work/life balance, having a separate studio space away from home has definitely helped me to do so.  I also find that having defined tasks for the day/week ahead and lots of to-do lists help!

You also teach a range of knit and crochet classes – what does a typical lesson with you entail and where could we sign up?

At the moment I teach a beginners crochet class where we start with the complete basics and learn a range of stitches.  I also run another workshop where I teach further techniques to make crocheted squares that can be used to make a blanket or cushion.  I teach these lessons at the yarn shop Sharp Works in south London.  I also teach private knit and crochet lessons which tend to be quite varied as they depend on what the client wishes to learn.  These can be arranged by contacting me.

How do you approach new designs – what is your process and how do you see each piece through to completion?

I normally start with drawing, and then a research period to develop design ideas further.  After this I begin swatch experiments to try out different stitches, yarns and colours.  Once I’ve decided upon these I then write patterns for the pieces I need and begin making them, making adjustments to the pattern or design if required.

What are your favourite pieces to make and why?

I wouldn’t say that I have a favourite piece to make, although I do enjoy working with the furniture pieces, finding techniques and yarns that are suitable for the piece in question, taking inspiration from the furniture piece itself and developing fabrics that are appropriate for use.

Your work includes furniture, cushions, mittens, hats, bags and you’ve just launched a stationary collection too! Do you see your ranges expanding further? Where would you like to be in five years’ time?

At present I’m not planning on introducing any additional types of products, just some new designs for existing ones!  I will be introducing a range of knitted cushions later this year, as well as a couple of new furniture pieces.

I do enjoy designing across a range of products though, so I’m sure the range will expand at some point!

Have you ever collaborated with other designers, or is this something you would be interested in doing?

I have discussed collaborative projects with other designers in the past and would definitely like to work on such a project at some point.

Finally, where can we find you on a weekend off, what are your favourite ways to spend time?

Enjoying having a break, meeting up with friends and family, going to exhibitions and other events and travelling whenever possible!

The Great Outdoors

Posted on June 23, 2014 by Liz

Walden, ©Jäger & Jäger

With summer well on its way in the UK (at last!), the majority of us are relishing the chance to spend some time outdoors, enjoying barbeques, picnics, rooftop bars, trips to the beach and open-air cinema screenings – it’s a novelty that doesn’t last long but definitely raises everyone’s spirits. So why not take it further, and spend the next three months basically living outside? It’s definitely a possibility with the garden object/well-furnished shed/ concept home design, Walden.

Walden, ©Jäger & Jäger

Designed by Nils Holger Moormann for German shed and wooden house manufacturer Aicher, Walden is essentially a wooden box that compactly fits within it everything a person could need to enjoy their garden, and then some! The project was inspired by a short story written by Henry David Thoreau, a 19th century American writer and philosopher. Entitled Walden, the story is about the author’s life and his coexistence with nature. This notion of the simple life is what the object Walden is based upon; it invites one to live outdoors, in harmony and simplicity.

Walden, ©Jäger & Jäger

For the garden enthusiasts, there is storage space for wheelbarrows, rakes, shovels and a hosepipe. For those who prefer lounging in the sun, there’s a ladder to an upper level with sliding sun roof – if the heat gets too much, go back down and enjoy sitting in the cabin, which also incorporates a table for ant-free picnicking. Finally, when the sun goes down, a campfire can be created in the swinging cauldron, kept alight by firewood which can be stored in the space right next to it. The birds will also be kept happy with a birdhouse and feeder.

Walden, ©Jäger & Jäger

Walden is neat and compact, it offers outdoor essentials within a charming and practical container and can be enjoyed by family, friends and individuals alike. If only it had a bedroom – there’d be no need to return to your house!

Walden, ©Jäger & Jäger