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Swedish designer Erik Olovsson

This Former Acne Art Director Makes Furniture With a Graphic Eye

When we first encountered Swedish designer Erik Olovsson two years ago in the basement of Rossana Orlandi, he had but two products to his name — a wavy-lined metal and marble clothes rack and a modular, geometric shelving unit, both created in collaboration with his fellow graduate and graphic designer Kyuhyung Cho. Since then, Olovsson has been developing and tinkering with the beautiful projects he's unveiling in Milan this week.
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Tijmen Smeulders minimal Dutch design

Here’s (More) Proof That Dutch Design Has Gone Super Minimal

It’s rare to come across a body of work and a design approach as radical as that of Dutch designer Tijmen Smeulders. Give his portfolio a quick browse, and you'll find only the barest essentials: dimensions, material, and year of production. Focused on technical exploration and highly sculptural, his pieces offer the viewer no explanation of their existence or even a hint as to the concept behind them — they are pure form.
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South Korean designers Craft Combine

A South Korean Design Collective Making Treasure from Trash

At the heart of Craft Combine, a South Korean design collective run by four students currently studying at Hongik University, is a fascination with materials and processes from the perspective of different disciplines; between the four of them, there is expertise in photography, metalwork, product design and textiles. But what often holds those interests together is a commitment to environmental responsibility and a need to re-examine the things we throw away.
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Colorful geometric design objects by Schneid

Colorful, Geometric Designs by a German Studio On the Rise

Though Julia Mülling and Niklas Jessen of the German studio Schneid consider themselves makers of all things — from textiles to furniture to the amazing, stackable dishware set above — it’s lighting that fills the majority of their portfolio. Creating a lamp, they say, “feels very free, almost like making a piece of art — where you don’t have to follow the rules like when you design a chair.” So it’s no wonder that when we ask who their influences might be, they don’t first cite Ettore Sottsass or some other member of the Memphis Group who could have inspired their colorful, totemic Junit series, but rather light artists like James Turrell and Olafur Eliasson. “When you see their art, you realize how affected you can be by the use of light and color,” Mülling says. “That’s very inspirational to us.
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erikaemeren_opener

Erika Emerén is Doing Magical Things With Concrete

Swedish designer Erika Emerén's current practice involves dyeing and casting concrete in an experimental process that she has very little control over, then using it to make chairs, tables, and soon, lamps too. "The results always vary, especially when I'm mixing different colors," she says. "But that's what I prefer, to make something unique. The that I can't control is what makes the design interesting."
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The Hip New Face of Brazilian Design

Pedro Paulo Venzon Is the Hip New Face of Brazilian Design

History looms large over Brazilian design — how to compete with tropical modernism? Sergio Rodrigues? Lina Bo Bardi? Everyone's got it pegged, which is why the work of Pedro Paulo Venzon is so exciting: He's the first young up-and-coming Brazilian designer we've seen who's totally nailing the delicate balance between paying homage to the legacy of his forebears, and developing an aesthetic that's new, cool, and relevant to the international contemporary scene.
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Isabel + Helen Constructivist Kinetic Sculptures

Isabel + Helen’s Constructivist-Inspired Kinetic Sculptures

What happens when restrictive graphic forms are expanded into three-dimensional objects? The kinetic sculptures produced by London-based duo Isabel Gibson and Helen Chesner seem to be one modern-day answer. In their projects, references to historical art and architecture movements are offset by an unabashedly free creative approach that escapes all formal restrictions. Even the final pieces are difficult to categorize: Are they sculptures, products, or props?
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Studio Cofield Emerging Designers

Brooklyn’s Cofield Is Scaling Up

Though Sara Ebert and Jason Pfaeffle studied in the same industrial design program at Pratt, it wasn’t until they started working together on a post-grad project for West Elm that a partnership developed. As they started spending more time together, they would often ask each other’s opinion on personal projects. They soon realized they shared a creative point of view; love blossomed and their design studio Cofield was formed.
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frama_studio_blue

Meet Frama, the Studio That’s Reinventing Danish Design

Copenhagen-based Frama is forging a new direction in contemporary Danish design, giving its clean lines and mid-century shapes a new sense of warmth and sophistication. In addition to producing handsomely understated products — some designed by its in-house team, others commissioned from top Nordic talents — the studio has recently begun to branch into interiors, infusing them with character by blending old and new contexts, materials, and influences. Simply stepping into their showroom and studio, which is housed in a centuries-old pharmacy with original woodwork, you can easily see how effortlessly they meld the two together.
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