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Spring/Summer 2023 Edit: Our Top 10 in Furniture Design This SeasonAuthor: Radmila Durasinovic
Spring/Summer 2023 Edit: Our Top 10 in Furniture Design This Season
As we step into the second half of 2023, 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 attention with their playful spirit, creative concepts or functional innovation, to those carefully chosen for their topicality, addressing issues of sustainability or democracy in design, we bring a curated selection of our 10 favourite new designs in 10 categories (Lounge/ Table/ Storage/ Chair/ Commercial/ Reissue/ Outdoor/ Lighting/ Installation/ Trending) to celebrate the creativity and ingenuity of designers and manufacturers shaping the design landscape in the first half of this year.
Nika Zupanc’s design for Moooi turns the ordinary into something extraordinary, making it our top pick of this season’s lounge collections. The Slovenian designer plays with scale to create an ample seat with a chunky woven texture, providing a sense of comfort and security. Inspired by navy knots used to secure ships, the Knitty Lounge chair is created with extra-large yarn. While knitting is usually associated with small, delicate objects, in scaling up the pattern, Zupanc gives a new perspective on something familiar and comforting to all of us.
Organic shapes and playful geometries abound in this season’s table designs. However, for us one stood out from the crowd—designed by Studiopepe for Sancal, Bold is a sculptural piece that pays homage to the Memphis group. It is defined by a simple yet striking concept: an irregular and oversized table top is pierced with three geometric shapes (rectangle, circle and triangle), which simultaneously serve as the legs of the table. The monocolour version enhances the sculptural qualities of this audacious design, while the two-colour version highlights the dynamic visual game created by the protruding shapes.
The modular Semiton system designed by Garcia Cumini for Arper ticks all the boxes when it comes to good storage design. Composed of an aluminium base and accompanying modules—closed storage, shelving or table tops—in a broad range of finishes, the (re)configurability of the collection makes it adaptable to different needs and styles, while additional flexibility is created in allowing the storage modules to be used from both sides. The Semiton collection demonstrates that with strategic design, storage can be transformed from a practical necessity into a visual focal point that adds an abundance of style and functionality to a space. In embracing these fundamental principles of modularity and flexibility, Garcia Cumini have truly managed redefine spaces in a way that is “free, spontaneous and open to a new functionality” with this new collection.
With his new design for Blå Station, Johan Ansander's aim was "to offer a generous seating experience with very few components, and with the backrest as one visually open piece,". Inspired by the formal simplicity and masterful use of moulded plywood in classic designs by Alvar Aalto and Thonet, the OM chair was born. We believe the Swedish designer has undeniably accomplished his objective—in delivering a seat that feels sturdy and inviting despite its nimble construction, OM captures the essence of what a good chair can and should be.
Post pandemic, Poltrona Frau has returned to developing creative solutions for public spaces, launching the BAY SYSTEM in collaboration with Foster + Partners. The design of the flexible seating system was informed by analyses of the different ways people occupy waiting spaces, resulting in a modular kit-of-parts that prioritises choice, comfort and craft. With a vast array of layouts, materials and colours within its two main ranges—BAY Gate for areas with short waiting times, made of hard-wearing materials, and BAY Lounge tailored to longer periods of relaxation, with more comfortable seating—the system offers a high-quality integrated solution to various seating needs, making it our top choice for the commercial sector this season.
Gerrit Rietveld's iconic Crate Collection has been relaunched in a collaboration between Rietveld Originals and HAY. Initially designed to make use of surplus wooden shipping crates, the collection encompasses Rietveld's mission to create functional and affordable furniture with minimal production costs from sustainable materials. The simple forms with balanced proportions and honest construction of the pieces precisely mirror this intention rooted in a democratic approach to design. Since the original vision behind the collection tackles issues that are just as relevant today as they were 90 years ago, the timely collaboration on Crate is our favourite reissue of 2023 to date.
Vondom‘s first collaboration with French designer Jean-Marie Massaud has birthed the Milos collection, which reflects the identity of the brand "born between the sea and the mountains in Valencia". Inspired by the Mediterranean landscape, the curved designs of the collection are reminiscent of rocks gently shaped by winds and waves. The concept based on a synergy with nature and Massaud’s vision of maximum comfort for outdoor living reflected in the forms, materials and textures and generous dimensions of the collection make Milos our top pick of this season's selection of outdoor furniture.
The launch of Black Flag by Konstantin Grcic at Flos' immersive Euroluce 2023 display left a strong impression on us long past the closing of the event. A simple wall-mounted form resembling a flag that extends up to 3,5 metres into a sleek and highly functional luminaire—a concept so simple yet at the same time expressive and original. Its brazen functionalism makes it a piece that simultaneously commands attention, yet remains humble in its purpose.
Not all design revolutions are visible: the message behind the collaboration between Italian furniture manufacturer Tacchini and research-based design studio Formafantasma. In the pursuit of greater sustainability, together they created Tacchini FLOCK presented at this year’s Milano Design Week. It addressed the issue of discarded coarse wool from sheep farming, often viewed as a by-product, in contrast to the high value of soft Merino wool. The project demonstrates that there are still suitable applications for coarse wool fibres—taking inspiration from historical methods of mattress production in Italy, Formafantasma introduces a more sustainable process for the manufacturing of iconic Tacchini designs using surplus sheep’s wool to replace industrial foam. In the design world, whose primary mode of communication is through graphical means, installations like Tacchini FLOCK are crucial in drawing attention to innovative research that often goes unnoticed due to its invisible nature. With this installation, Formafantasma translate their research outcome into a compelling visual language, highlighting the significance of continued innovation in manufacturing practices to achieve greater sustainability.
This year is all about the 70s, as evidenced by the resurgence of vibrant colours and patterns, as well as textural richness and organic shapes in the new collections of major brands. Modular seating systems with an emphasis on comfort and informality have also been a major preoccupation of designers this year, undoubtedly influenced by iconic pieces like Bellini’s Camaleonda sofa, or the characteristic sunken lounge interiors of the decade. In keeping with these trends, a design that we consider entirely encapsulates this vivacious era in design is the Jagger collection designed by Kristian Sofus Hansen and Tommy Hyldahl for NORR11. Consisting of eight modules that can be combined to create various fluid seating arrangements, this contemporary reinterpretation of seventies design successfully combines the elevated visual and tactile experience of a highly sculptural and aesthetically pleasing design with many possibilities for its functional application.
June 16, 2023Return of the Seventies: Top Furniture Design Trend for Spring 2023
Author: Radmila Durasinovic
As the hype surrounding the Salone del Mobile 2023 slowly begins to fade, it is an opportune moment to reflect on the current trends in the furniture and design world spotted at the industry’s most significant event. Vibrant colours and patterns, textural richness, soft organic shapes and versatile modular systems with an emphasis on comfort and informality were at the fore at this year’s edition of the Salone, indicating that the seventies are indisputably making a comeback in interior design.
June 16, 20233daysofdesign 2023: Highlights from Copenhagen’s Creative Districts
Author: Radmila Durasinovic
Copenhagen is known worldwide as a forward-thinking city that champions design excellence, innovation, and sustainability—and every year it’s also home to 3daysofdesign. Of the 13 districts that form the vibrant festival network—each with its distinctive character represented by iconic landmarks on the festival map, each embodying an essential aspect of Copenhagen's identity—we’ve selected our favourites, bringing you the most interesting exhibitions and most captivating designs presented at this year’s 3daysofdesign.
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