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Autumn/Winter 2023 Edit: Our Top 10 in Furniture Design This SeasonAuthor: Radmila Durasinovic
Autumn/Winter 2023 Edit: Our Top 10 in Furniture Design This Season
Before we step into the new year, we take a moment to look back on the new collections presented by leading manufacturers in the design industry this past season. From those that have captured our hearts with their expressive form to those that have earned our respect by honouring traditional crafts, extending the legacies of legendary designers, and prioritising the well-being of our planet, we bring a curated selection of our 10 favourite new designs in 10 categories (Chair/ Lounge/ Sofa/ Table/ Commercial/ Textile/ Lighting/ Sustainable/ Reissue/ Limited edition) to celebrate the creativity and ingenuity of designers and manufacturers shaping the design landscape in the second half of this year. For a recap of the highlights from the first half of the year, check out our Spring/Summer 2023 Edit.
Designer Simone Bonanni claims that “ergonomics are useless if the aesthetic is wrong”, and proves that good design doesn’t compromise on either. His recently launched Hana Chair for Moooi combines a timeless aesthetic with maximum comfort. Inspired by the unfurling of a flower, Hana—meaning blooming in Japanese—is distinctive in its petal-like form and offers generous proportions and customisability. While trendy with its organic shapes and curved lines, it is clear that Hana was designed to last, making it our top seating choice this season.
Designed for HAY by Norwegian designer Andreas Bergsaker, the Chisel Lounge Chair presents a fresh take on the moulded plywood chair. Named after the classic carpentry tool, Chisel lives up to its name as a solid reinterpretation of a well-known typology. With a distinctive silhouette that assuredly reflects the chair’s construction and ergonomics, Chisel is an honest and inviting piece for various uses. Its versatility is further enhanced by the range of wood types and colours available, rendering Chisel either a subtle companion or an effective statement piece.
Claiming to be “the most relaxed sofa ever”, the SANDER Sofa is a manifestation of comfort and coziness, but with a bold, rather than soft, presence. In creating the sofa, David Wendt, head of design at OUT, was inspired by postmodernism and art movements of the 70s and 80s. “I wanted to design a sofa that was unconventional and expressive - without becoming gimmicky. The unexpected design is an interplay of the sophisticated upholstered crowning and the hand-sewn covers. This creates a symbolic language of form that evokes associative images such as clouds or marshmallows.” What makes SANDER our choice is that it goes a step further to meet the needs of contemporary living, with durable, easy to maintain upholstery and simple assembly on top of the mountains of charming comfort it promises.
“In the bold stance of its form, the Knot table conveys a modern narrative rooted in timeless craftsmanship,” reflecting District Eight's unwavering appreciation for tradition. Inspired by Asian weaving techniques, Knot is defined by the intricate “woven” legs that form the table’s distinctive base. In combining the solidity of wood with meticulous handiwork and traditional references, the design reveals that beyond a simple knot, lies a rich world of meaning.
The Scene collection designed by London-based studio Industrial Facility for +Halle places the idea of choice at the forefront of design. A single system that can adapt to the differing needs for hard or soft public spaces, privacy and community, Scene is an effective solution to the essential requirement for multifunctionality in today’s commercial and public spaces. With a variety of linear and angled modules with differing widths, high and low backrests, Scene elegantly and effortlessly “builds a scene that has a multiplicity to it without overwhelming the space”.
Hand-knotted in virgin wool, The SUNSET rug, transforms Alejandra Gandía-Blasco’s study of the materiality of light into a stunning and lively design object. Thus Gandía-Blasco makes the intangible tangible, capturing the essence of a sunset through the layering of colours and abstract forms. In translating her photograph “Sunset in Ibiza 19.34 October 2015” into a rug, the designer bridges the fields of digital photography and textile design, demonstrating the wealth of an interdisciplinary approach to design.
Designer Umut Yamac presents a collection of pendant lamps for Vibia, the result of his exploration of thread and its potential to create dynamic light sculptures. Technical threads are pulled taut between two Aluminium rings to create conical and cylindrical forms that can be combined to create an impressive installation. The resulting manages to be both ethereal and monumental, its translucent forms arrested in movement, a feat for which it stands out among this season’s selection of lighting solutions.
At this year’s 3daysofdesign, Mater launched new collections in Matek®, the company’s patented circular waste material made, for these collections, from a mix of post-consumer E-waste with wood or coffee shell waste. The new Compound Collection and Lily Tables designed by OEO Studio are a reflection of both brands’ commitment to circular design, with one Compound Lounge Chair containing 5.3 kilograms of waste materials. Both collections are characterised by their elegant, minimalist design and versatility of use, demonstrating a harmonious blend of sustainability and aesthetics.
This season, Gubi has brought iconic designs by renowned Finnish designer Paavo Tynell back into production, after a period of meticulous study of original pieces and lengthy process of experimentation to master the technical processes and manual craft techniques. The collection pays homage to Tynell’s love of brass and features designs first launched between the 1940s and 1950s, with brass and bamboo shade options, the latter chosen by the Danish design brand as a sustainable alternative to Tynell’s original aspen shades. The designs join GUBI’s existing Tynell collection in bringing classic 20th century glamour back into vogue and celebrating the body of work of one of Finland’s most legendary designers.
In 1962, Nanna Ditzel presented her visionary take on “casual modern living” at the Cabinetmaker’s Guild exhibition in Copenhagen, featuring a distinct lounge chair that was never placed into production. This year, Fredericia places the piece into production for the first time in a limited quantity of 100 pieces. Originally named nothing more than “Lounge Chair”, Fredericia calls the piece Chaconia, after Trinidad’s national flower paying tribute to the island state that inspired so much of Ditzel’s work. With most limited-editions focused on new colour variants of already available pieces, this sensitive recreation of a piece of sleek, avant-garde sixties design extending the legacy of one of Denmark’s greatest designers presents an exciting moment of this season.
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