Nendo x WonderGlass

The Fizz takes a sneak peek at ethereal new furniture by Nendo, guaranteed to melt your heart of glass

BY DEE IVA

Previewed at January’s IMM Cologne fair, ‘Melt’ is a ghostly collection of cast glass furniture by award-winning Japanese design studio Nendo in collaboration with Venetian lighting brand WonderGlass.

WonderGlass has previously produced elegant lighting ranges with design luminaries including Marcel Wanders, Jaime Hayon, John Pawson, Raw-Edges and the Bouroullec brothers, but this is the Murano-based firm’s first stab at furniture.

ABOVE: Molten slabs of glass are cast into a sculptural chair
RIGHT: Oki Sato from Nendo examines his handiwork

ABOVE FROM TOP: The ‘Melt’ collection includes side tables, chairs, a dining table and vases; Oki Sato with Maurizio Mussati of WonderGlass
BELOW FROM LEFT: The hot glass glows under the watchful eye of WonderGlass craftsmen; Up close and personal, the surface of the glass retains texture from its molten state

Nendo designer Oki Sato was taken with the properties of flowing molten glass. Having seen how the craftspeople in the WonderGlass workshops approached this lava-like material, he decided to create a set of furniture that was dictated by the natural flow of the glass. The gravity-formed ‘Melt’ range uses a special technique of removing pliable material from glass molds to process it further by hand. Hot glass sheets were laid over steel pipes and suspended between steel bars to allow the glass to cascade into shape.

Breathtakingly icy, the ‘Melt’ range will be one of the coolest collections on show on the WonderGlass stand at Salone del Mobile in Milan this April. Budding ice queens take note…
wonderglass.com  nendo.jp/en

Salone del Mobile 2019 runs from 9-14 April at Fiera Milano, S.S. del Sempione 28, 20017 Rho, Milan, Italy

LDF 2017 – Lee Broom goes back to black

Lee Broom On Reflection for London Design Festival 2017.jpg

The Fizz takes a walk on the dark side to see Lee Broom's new collection of black beauties...

BY DEE IVA

DF Lee Broom Portrait (Image credit Arthur Woodcroft).jpg

Brit designer Lee Broom has been a firm Fizz favourite ever since he arrived on the design scene in 2007. His mix of clean lines, luxe materials and classic-with-a quirk stylings made him an instant star. Since then he’s become an award-winning designer and a major international brand stocked in savvy stores all over the world.

For London Design Festival 2017, Broom has raided his extensive archive of furniture and accessories to take a handful of his iconic designs over to the dark side. Pieces that were previously cast in white marble, brass and chrome have been reissued in jet black to mark the tenth anniversary of the Lee Broom brand. 

ABOVE: The surreal all-black tableau installation for LDF17 at Lee Broom's Shoreditch flagship store
ABOVE RIGHT: Lee Broom, pictured with his 'Crescent' lights
BELOW FROM LEFT: 'Fulcrum Candlesticks Black', from £295; 'Fulcrum Light Chandelier Black', £1,025

DF Fulcrum Candlesticks Black .jpg

During LDF, Broom’s showroom on Rivington Street will host ‘On Reflection’, a surreally blacked out darkroom to showcase his new capsule collection. Most of the designs will be in a limited edition of 10 but the new ‘Fulcrum’ and ‘Carousel’ lights will be available from November.

BELOW: 'XL Carousel Black' chandelier, £6,750; 'On The Rock Black' glasses, limited edition of 10, price on application

ABOVE: 'Hanging Hoop Chair Black', limited edition of 10, price on application; 'Podium Globe Vase Black', £395

We’re hoping to hop on to the blackened hanging ‘Hoop’ chair at some point, black martini in hand. A little black magic goes a long way…
leebroom.com 

'On Reflection' runs from 20 to 24 September at Lee Broom, Electra House, 95 Rivington Street, London EC2, as part of the London Design Festival 2017. Open Wednesday-Saturday 10am to 7pm, Sunday 11am to 6pm

Lee Broom portrait: Arthur Woodcroft

Astep

We're completely entranced by a new lamp by Astep that charges your phone via a single flickering flame. Sounds too far-fetched? Read on...

BY DEE IVA

We like to think there’s still magic to be found in the design industry every now and then. Things that shouldn’t work, products that shouldn’t be possible, installations that confound. Well, new Danish lighting company Astep has us under its spell with ‘Candela’, a clever table lamp by Argentinian designer Francisco Gomez Paz (right).

We spotted 'Candela' in April at the Palazzo Litta during this year's Milan Furniture Fair. At first it looked like an old-fashioned gas lamp with its soft flickering flame glowing hypnotically above an opaline glass lampshade. Closer inspection revealed it used bioethanol, a clean natural fuel derived from plants, to create the flame which generates its own electricity, powering LED lights within the shade and also handy for charging mobile devices via an inbuilt USB port.

ABOVE AND BELOW: 'Candela' table lamp by Francisco Gomez Paz, €530 + VAT. Available to pre-order now.

It’s the first product from Astep, whose founder Alessandro Sarfatti is descended from grandfather Gino Sarfatti, founder of iconic Italian lighting company Arteluce, and father Riccardo Sarfatti, founder of Luceplan.

From what we’ve seen it’s a bold and creative design that carries on the legacy of those two stellar brands. Innovative yet approachable, ‘Candela’ melds old world aesthetics with hi-tech 21st century technology, continuing in the tradition of elegant Scandinavian flame luminaries. This is what we want, right here, right now…
astep.design

Foscarini

An old Scottish pattern has been transformed into a modern lighting fixture for Italian lighting brand Foscarini

BY DEE IVA

Ah tartan… The very thought of it makes us think of blankets, biscuit tins, scarves and, of course, kilts. But this traditional Scottish pattern has been given a new, more up-to-date lease of life by award-winning Milanese designers Ludovica+Roberto Palomba  (right) with the ‘Tartan’ suspension lamp for Italian lighting company Foscarini.

The Palombas captured the abstract patterns of sound waves and transferred them to mouth-blown glass lampshades echoing the weave of traditional tartan. An acid-etched surface also brings an illusion of softness to the matt-finish lampshade.

ABOVE AND BELOW: 'Tartan' suspension lamp, from £366

Available in pale grey or pristine white and with an LED option, ‘Tartan’ diffuses light through the shade while providing a direct downward beam from its centre. If you’re looking for a smart update of the ubiquitous paper lantern, look no further…
foscarini.com

IKEA Viktigt collection

Celebrating craft and natural materials, IKEA’s new 'Viktigt' collection is on our wish list…

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

We’ve long been fans of Ingegerd Råman, the renowned Swedish glassware and ceramics designer known for her minimal aesthetic. So imagine our delight at this April’s Milan Furniture Fair, when we discovered Råman had collaborated with IKEA to create ‘Viktigt’, a limited edition collection for the home, including understated furniture, lighting, storage and tableware.

ABOVE TOP: Ingegerd Råman with her subtle 'Viktigt' range for IKEA
ABOVE: Compact, light 'Viktigt' furniture includes a bamboo and woven paper-cord chair, £45; easy chair, £95, with woven paper-cord seat and backrest; and natural fibre sofa, £145, and armchair, £95

Launched in a verdant Tortona roof terrace apartment, ‘Viktigt’ (which means ‘Important’ in Swedish) celebrates craft and the handmade, with tactile, simple pieces created from rattan, seagrass, water hyacinth and bamboo. The range also features subtle glass and stoneware pieces, including a water carafe, jugs, bowls and plates, as well as a compact sofa, chairs and stools, pendant lamps, planters, rugs and baskets.

Råman worked with IKEA designers Nike Karlsson and Wiebke Braasch, and drew on the skills of artisan craftspeople in Poland, Indonesia and Vietnam. ‘The collection is about craft. It’s a project between the craftsmen and the designer. It has lots of energy and, for me, it represents love.’ Harnessing craft techniques from mouth-blown glass to hand-woven rattan, many pieces are unique, breaking away from Ikea’s usual sleek standardisation.

ABOVE: Renewable chic: 'Viktigt' water hyacinth hanging planter (set of two), £18; bamboo dish, available in two sizes, £9 and £12; and bamboo pendant lamp shade, also in two sizes, £20 and £30

Less is more in Råman’s book, and the collection is defined by its poetic but pared back functionality. ‘I take away, then take away some more,’ she says. Her glass jugs, for instance, are streamlined, with sculptural spouts but no handles. ‘Handles are simply non-essential.’ Pieces are designed to be ergonomic, but also to look good when on display. ‘When you’re not using the serving plates they are as beautiful just stacked together,’ says Råman.  Her palette is equally restrained, with signature clear, white and tricky-to-create black glass (the latter produced with help from expert European craftsmen).`

Always aware of touch and feel, she’s also passionate about everyday rituals. ‘Just pouring fresh water into a clear glass is in fact extraordinarily spectacular. The love of food is the basis of my interest in usable things – objects you use every day. For me every day is equally important,’ she says – so forget saving that gorgeous tableware ‘for best’!

ABOVE: Tactile 'Viktigt' tableware, including glazed black stoneware serving plates, £6.50 for a set of four, £13.25 for larger set of three; glass carafe with glass, £9.75; white serving plates, as before; clear glass jug, £6.25, bowl, £11.25 for a set of two, and bowl, £9.50 for two-pack, carafe, as before; renewable water hyacinth basket, in two sizes, £15 and £19

Some of the challenges of the natural materials proved to be an inspiration, as with the water hyacinth storage baskets. ‘I found the heavy brown fibre difficult to work with. However, resistance can be an advantage,’ recalls Råman. ‘The result was two large, patterned baskets in black and light brown, which became my favourites.’ Råman also encourages users to create patterns across various pieces, such as the reversible, black-striped seagrass rugs, which can be used in diverse combinations. ‘It’s a rhythm I’ve tried to capture.’

ABOVE: 'Viktigt's covetable craft pieces span black and clear glass; renewable seagrass flatwoven rug, £25

IKEA has just launched a book about the life and work of Ingegerd Råman, and an exhibition of her work is on show at Stockholm's Nationalmuseum this summer. ‘Viktigt’ continues the trend for quiet, low-key, natural craft-led pieces, embraced by designer Ilse Crawford in IKEA’s earlier ‘Sinnerlig’ collection, which we flagged up in our Spotlight section in May 2015. Think the opposite of built-in obsolescence. ‘I want to make objects that can live a long time without feeling out of date,’ says Råman. Now that is important…
ikea.com

Ikea’s ‘Viktigt’ collection launched in May 2016 and will be in global stores for a limited run of around three months. Exhibition 'Ingegerd Råman' is at Sweden's Nationalmuseum until 14 August 2016 at Kulturhuset Stadsteatern, Sergels Torg, Stockholm, before transferring to Vandalorum art museum, Skulpturvågen 2, Vårnamo from 3 September to 27 November 2016