Category Archives: Design News

Served Chill

Cool tranquility is served on ice and in spades at Campari’s 24th international office. It’s one of the best HQ we’ve seen in a while, and is totally becoming of the Italian beverage company.

Opened in Toronto in November 2015, local design firm I-V spent eight months renovating the Liberty Village building, which has had many past lives including that of film studio and a foundry. Campari’s brief was simple – ‘create a space which captures the spirit of the company and inspires the people who use it’.

Fun Fact: Campari was traditionally dyed its famed red colour by the cochineal insect. The insect is found on the pads of prickly pear cacti in Central America, they’re brushed off, dried and crushed. True story.

The biggest challenge I-V faced was a complete shortage of natural light as there was not a single window to the outside world, (maybe one of the past lives included vampire’s lair). Four ginormous skylights were installed to flood the space – which boasts 40-foot high ceilings – with light.

The interior was then hit with a huge dose of fresh white paint and pastel pink accents (for which no beetles were harmed), by way of Tea sofas by Sancal on the mezzanine, and sleek Kinesit chairs by Arper around the 16-person boardroom table. Several multipurpose breakout areas are located off the mezzanine and provide public spaces away from the primary work zone where employees sit together in a shared office.

Campari Toronto boasts one truly spectacular bar which is used for cocktail seminars, hosting clients and family-style staff lunches. Its most eye-catching feature, which continues in the theme of creepy crawlies, is the counter which is covered in a pink speckled pattern called Bacterio, created by Italian designer Ettore Sottsass in 1978.

The overall effect is a nothing short of a marvel. I-V have created a magnificently beautiful and convivial office befitting of a brand that’s been bringing people together for over 150 years.

Cin cin!

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Take it Away Tortuga

Tortuga is Spanish for Turtle or Tortoise, an animal that conjures thoughts of things old and slow.

Tortuga is also a new lounge chair by Sancal. Having just won America’s most coveted prize; Interior Design Magazine’s Best of Year award, the easy chair is on a fast track to stardom. Nothing old and slow about that.

Tortuga was first exhibited during Milan’s Salone del Mobile 2016. Comprising an integral part of Sancal’s Futura Collection which was inspired by the movie epic; 2001: A Space Odyssey, the chair was met with rave reviews and has gone on to become a best seller for the design company.

Designed by Spanish-based studio Nadadora, Tortuga the chair, took its cue from Tortuga the reptile’s unique attributes. As designers Cristina Alonso and Isaac Pinēra explain, “Inspiration was drawn from a tortoise because we wanted something that would hold you like a shell, like a shelter, and yet it is comfortable inside.” Featuring a deep bowl-shaped seat made from injection-moulded polyurethane, the shell’s covered in quilted memory foam to create a cosy cocoon for the body. The duo conceptualised a chair that was, “Very, very comfortable yet visually light that wasn’t a heavy, bulky chair.”

Like a house, the chair encapsulates its occupant, keeping them warm, comfortable and safe. And like a turtle, one can withdraw into it and curl up to relax or sleep. Nadadora designed a corresponding ottoman and coffee table to accompany the lounge chair. The chair and ottoman come on an Ash timber frame which swivels, and in Sancal’s signature style, may be stained to a range of sublime colours. The lounge chair can be modified through the addition of an oversized headrest and is available upholstered in contrasting fabric to the body of the chair.

“The table feet use the same language as the feet of the chair, in the pouf the same geometry, the cone – in the end it’s about creating harmony between the different pieces to create a family of products.”

A supreme and noble creature. Larga vida a la Tortuga!

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Tonella Hits the Right Note

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Tonella the mini lounge chair designed by Sweden’s Note Design Studio for Sancal, has just experienced two additions to the family. Can kids arrive into the world before their parents? Who knows, it’s all a bit chicken and egg for me but what I do know is that based on the reception baby Tonella received at Salone del Mobile in 2015, a collection was just begging to be born.

Tonella mini was designed specifically for areas that were spatially challenged shall we say. Be it for residential or public use, the chair was built for nooks and crannies, and what it lacked in size, it made up for in strength, comfort and appeal. After all size isn’t everything don’t you know?

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Roll on 2016, and suddenly one becomes three via the addition of a lounge chair and sofa.

There are varying reports about from where the inspiration for Tonella bloomed. Some say it all started at a vanity table, others say that Marie Antoinette’s lavish, playful style was the muse. Sancal aren’t exactly newbys to French furniture, they started out manufacturing classic, French-style chairs back in the 70’s. Now in conjunction with Note, they’ve revisited their roots and borrowed from the past.

Wine barrels are commonplace in Yecla (Sancal’s hometown) as it happens to be wine country, and the metal bars that make up Tonella’s frame are reminiscent of the wooden staves used in the barrels. One could even argue this fact is a major contender in the inspiration stakes.

Plush, lush, and wonderfully comfortable, Tonella is a beautiful and refined collection that is sure to be a mainstay in Sancal’s catalogue for years to come.

Eat your heart out Marie Antoinette. tonella_lounge_0003_tonella_1442

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Zen and the Art of Antii Kotilainen

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Last week we blogged about Arper’s intrinsic understanding of colour, and the sublime tones that they apply to their product. That led us to consider other collections where Arper have displayed complete assurance when creating colourways that identify the design as much as its form does.

The Catifa collection is case in point of inspirational use of colour, but as Arper have a variety of furniture ranges each with their own unique colourway, we thought we’d walk you through another stunner.

Aava by Finnish designer Antti Kotilainen, was once upon a time available in timber only. However the chair has recently been released with a polypropylene shell, in you guessed it, a combination of colours that take the design to a whole new level and in a wildly different direction than its timber counterpart.

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I would describe them as colours that are not very obvious if you like. Almost like you wouldn’t think of using or even really liking them unless you take the time to consider them appropriately. And then they smack you over the head with their gorgeousness. Aava whispers of a longing for natural surroundings, the ocean, pebbles, forests and sunlight.
That’s my description anyway but what do I know. Why not take the concept behind Aava from the man himself;

1. What is your approach to design?
Design work is based–quite inherently–on observation. A designer observes his environment, his own emotions and life-experiences, and also the work at hand. Only by observing closely the world around him–culture and nature alike–can a designer come up with products that he knows will enhance one’s surroundings and to be of use to many.

2. What is your philosophy on furniture design?
All pieces of furniture take their size and their basic gestalt from the human body. Furniture design is communication: it mediates human emotions, meddles in with them, and functions as their atmospheric seedbed. Much like music does.

3. What is your design ethic?
I believe that a soft-tone can make a more convincing argument than shouting out loud. When a designer has the patience to give his products temperate and soft-spoken expression, he can expect people to respond to them better and more willingly all over the world.

4. How do you evaluate good design?
Good design usually manifests in organic, effortless and indisputable appearance, combined with practicability and convenience. When the manufacturing process and the use of the product become one with the perfected form one gets an impression of something inevitable and absolute. Absolute as a paper clip.

*Interview is courtesy of Arper Stories – Interview with Antii Kotilainen

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The Cool Charm of Catifa’s New Colours

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Arper have taken their famous Catifa 46 and Catifa 53 chair collections up a notch (as if that were possible) through the release of two brand new colour ranges for the celebrated chairs.

The legendary Italian manufacturer has many distinguished attributes and their use of colour is one of their finest as the new Catifas will attest. The colourways differ between the 46 and 53 designs, with each boasting tones that hold their own as striking standalone pieces whilst perfectly coexisting in any combination.

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Catifa 46 is available in a playful, on-trend range with pretty 1950’s tones and cool pastels reigning supreme. These include Old Pink, Petroleum Blue, Yellow, Ivory, Smoke, Green, Black, Anthracite, Red, White and Moka. The palette applies to the polypropylene shell as well as powdercoat options for 4-leg and sled bases. Catifa 46 is still available with a single colour or bi-colour shell option which combines your choice of colour in a gloss finish on the back of the shell, whilst the interior has a matte white finish.

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Catifa 53 is available in a sophisticated, masculine palette of earthy shades like Yellow-Gold, Anthracite, Ivory, Sand, Caramel, White, Black and Moka. The Catifa 53 is now available with a single colour polypropylene shell only.

Arper do it again with refined, effortless cool that is totally hot.

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Red Dot Award Recognises Story Telling Gold

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LZF have added another feather to their illustrious cap as winner of a Red Dot Award 2016 in Communication Design for their Telling Tales campaign.

The three part campaign, inspired by Edward Hopper paintings and the 1954 film-noir masterpiece Rear Window by Alfred Hitchcock, is set at night. The cover of darkness provides the perfect backdrop for loads of gorgeous lamps and the captivating nocturnal happenings of its characters.

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Valencia-based Masquespacio Studio art directed the campaign, alongside LZF co-founder Mariví Calvo. The ensuing images are beautifully arresting and pose more questions than they answer.

While lamps certainly feature in the photo-realistic scenes, they are not the solo stars of the show. The stories themselves are told from the perspective of an anonymous female voyeur as she imagines the lives of the people she watches.

The storytelling component of the campaign takes the reader on a journey, as author Grassa Toro explains “What is fantastic is not what you see, but rather when I imagine everything I’m not seeing… [from her building, the narrator of Telling Tales] sees very little, and imagines a lot.”

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The Red Dot Award is deserved recognition for some highly ambitious publicity. As LZF co-founder Sandro Tothill observes ‘We are competing with communication and graphic design studios from all around the world. That we’re actually in that top fifty cadre of companies receiving the Red Dot Award in Communication Design is as much of an achievement for us as being given a Red Dot Design Award.’

Telling Tales is told in three volumes and will be published in an all-inclusive book for worldwide distribution:

Julie & Nelson – Volume I

Lana & John – Volume II

Ana & Silver – Volume III

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Something Wicked This Way Comes

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Something of an auspicious occasion, we’ve been involved in some seriously fruitful R & D sessions with Derlot’s Alexander Lotersztain at our Auckland showroom this week.

Alex and the product development team at UFL got together to brainstorm pipeline projects and put the finishing touches on collaborative pieces which will be launched to market in the coming months.

With the development of new product comes the bonds that grow from partnership and creative cooperation. The outcome is next-level design; something that wildly exceeds expectations and hurls new product into the market where before there was just the same old.

Alex has been named top 10 most influential designers by Scene Design Quarterly, and one of 100 most influential designers worldwide in &fork by Phaidon. He is the design adviser in a number of government and private projects, regularly presents at design events and conferences, and judges on design panels throughout Australia.

Watch this space…

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Maersk Crosses the Line

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In April 2016 we completed a fit-out alongside Stack Interiors for shipping company Maersk Line’s new Auckland premises. Having completed Maersk’s original fit-out some 10 years ago, it was a pleasure to be invited back to the drawing board.

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Stack created sleek, well-appointed headquarters, specifying a range of furniture including Enea’s Lottus Conference chair, Office chair, Lounge chair and AL table. German manufacturer Wilde and Spieth’s Typus table, the Dual table by Andreu World, Arper’s Colina lounge chair and Catifa 46 chairs. Horm’s Albino occasional table, our own Panama modular seating and a custom built 6.5m boardroom table.

Maersk Line’s latest refurbishment is timeless, comfortable and sophisticated, and is sure to remain on-point for another decade.

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Photos by Rebecca Swan

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Figueras International Seating

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UFL are delighted to welcome Figueras International Seating into our fold of European suppliers. World leaders in the design and manufacture of seating systems for theaters, auditoriums, and concert halls, Figueras have recently fitted out the magnificent Len Lye Gallery in New Plymouth with their Flex 6036 armchair. Designed by Patterson Architecture, the gallery which was purpose built to house the works of kinetic sculptor Len Lye, makes a profound statement and demanded furniture which was on par with its architecture.

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In 2014 Figueras was awarded the Spanish National Design Award for its work to date. This is the highest award in the field of design and innovation bestowed to companies in Spain. Figueras’s attention to creating quality designs which incorporate the latest technological advances, leverages their specialized engineering and design capabilities to produce innovative solutions like fixed and mobile seating systems, platforms, telescopic tribunes and mobile floors. Despite humble beginnings as a small carpentry workshop in Barcelona, the company have now completed over 40,000 projects worldwide and installed 10 million seats into such high-end projects as the White House Press Room, The United Nations in Geneva, and the Philharmonic of Paris. The product is now available for projects within New Zealand exclusively from UFL.

With the creation of new division Figueras Engineering & Consulting in 2006, the parent company consolidated its course of carrying out custom-design projects by offering comprehensive engineering solutions particular to the individual client. Each new seating system or model is developed to meet the needs of the project, with particular emphasis on making the most of available space. Figueras are experts in optimizing space and enhancing profitability through movable seating systems that allow a single space to accommodate a range of different uses.

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Sublime New Collections by Mobles114

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Mobles114 unveiled two breathtaking collections at Salone del Mobile this year. With wire furniture currently so on-trend, the Spanish manufacturer delivered undeniable crowd-pleasers.

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Martin Azua is the creative genius behind Rambla. Delicate to behold, Rambla’s tough, its namesake is the famous promenade in Barcelona which runs from the heart of the city to the port. Historically one could hire tables and chairs on the street, for a rest and a drink with a friend.

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Azua works in Barcelona and combines teaching and product design, with interior design and temporary installations. Highly committed to the environment and society, his work is based on abstraction and experimentation. Among his more famous projects is the Basic House which has formed part of the permanent collection at the MOMA in New York since 2007.

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Rambla is available in crisp green, yellow, charcoal and white. Manufactured from steel rod, its contemporary shape reinterprets tradition and the most cosmopolitan Mediterranean lifestyle. The chairs are roomy and comfortable, with relaxing arms and an optional polyurethane foam cushion.

Stackable Tube boasts a distinctive, well-resolved design. Gentle curves defy the industrial origins of the collection which is manufactured from continual steel tube. Available in a sophisticated colour palette of white, blue grey, black, chestnut brown, olive grey and anthracite, Tube is simple and smart, perfect for hospitality projects or residential interiors.

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Tube is the brainchild of Eugeni Quitllet, a designer who is making a huge name for himself in Europe designing for the likes of Vondom, Kartell, and Lexon. With an international career that started with Philippe Stark, Quitllet now runs his own studio in Barcelona. Expressive and unique, Quitllet resists trends, he has been described as a tireless seeker and a lover of technology, defining himself as a ‘dreamsigner’, a designer and dreamer, following his own instinctual process.

 

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