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A Self-Taught London Designer On How to Make Furniture That’s Poetic But Not Pretentious

EJR Barnes is interested in the ways furniture can become poetic or dreamlike when reframed with unexpected materials, forms, and juxtapositions. His creations engage a wide range of materials and techniques — birch plywood, gilded silver leaf, lacquered oak, powder-coated steel, pressed cane, cork, paper pulp slathered in wheat paste, even faux fur or scruffy suedes. Through all of this experimentation, Barnes seeks a quiet sort of subversion.
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EJR Barnes vintage furniture finds

EJR Barnes — Your New Favorite Instagram Follow — On His Top 10 Vintage Furniture Finds

Elsewhere on the site today, we're featuring the London designer EJR Barnes, whose work first came to our attention via his smooth, aptly named Buffalo Mozzarella chair. But we were actually first introduced to Barnes via his Instagram, where he chronicles his favorite — and often completely obscure — vintage furniture finds, from Borsani daybeds to Vignelli glassware to Kukkapuro lamps. Click through for a glimpse at Barnes's current obsessions.
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Oscar Piccolo’s London Home Is a Perfect Reflection of His Creative Approach

The first time we saw photos of Sicilian-born, London-based designer Oscar Piccolo's home, featured on The Modern House, we had to chuckle — it's not every day you find a guy whose name means "small" in his native Italian living in a cozy one-room flat in London. But the second time we saw it featured, on Architectural Digest's Clever site last week, where our very own writer Zoe Sessums described how Piccolo has thoughtfully transformed the space over the past three years, we began to notice all the ways in which his home suits him perfectly in more than just name.
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How Do You Capture Kinetic Motion in a Still Photo?

That's the challenge Kinfolk magazine recently gave London-based photographer Aaron Tilley for its current Architecture issue. Tilley's work is often concerned with motion or the moment just before motion begins; his subjects include bread whose slices appear caught in mid-tumble or paper sheets that seem to be floating on a table's edge. For Kinfolk, however, the still-life photographer was asked to create the effect of a Rube Goldberg machine — a series of photos in which one action triggers another and another until the payoff in the final frame.
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A Showcase for Experimental Craft — And Iridescence — On View in London

Like Salon in New York, the Collect fair in London has recently evolved to become a platform for enabling more risk-taking work, showcasing the latest possibilities, processes, and technologies at play in the field of making. The peripatetic London gallery Seeds, a longtime SU favorite, returned to the fair this year with newly commissioned works from nine contemporary designers.
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You’ll Never Believe How These Ombré Ceramics Are Made

We've seen designers do a lot of crazy things with ceramic in our career, but Philipp Schenk-Mischke's incredibly bizarre process might be our favorite yet — he uses a body vibration plate, co-opted from the fitness industry, to gently jiggle his way to a unique, slumped ceramic form.
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Studio Ilio_opener

A Furniture Collection in London Made From 3D Printing’s Leftovers

Years ago, when London-based designers Seongil Choi and Fabio Hendry met as students at the Royal College of Art, they were asked to make a stool — which, at the time, they had very little interest in doing. Yet by channeling their common backgrounds in industrial design and their interest in finding uses for low-value, abundant resources, they inadvertently developed an innovative process — called Hot Wire Extensions — by which they have now made many, many a stool, and so much more.
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Marcin Rusak Manufacture

Liquefied Metal, Applied Like Spray Paint, Creates Texture in a New Collection

The London-based, Polish-born designer Marcin Rusak first rose to prominence a few years ago exploring how natural materials — and, in many cases, live ones, like flowers and bacteria — could be harnessed and transformed into a wholly new aesthetic. Now, Rusak is developing a more industrial-based offshoot called MRM (or Marcin Rusak Manufacture), and the brand's first collection takes as its starting point a similar urge to recast commonly found natural elements as something otherworldly.
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Modular by Mensah opener

This Modular Furniture Collection Might Unglue You From Your Phone

Kusheda Mensah is a British-born Ghanaian designer, based in London, whose Modular by Mensah Mutual collection began from the realization that face-to-face interaction is deteriorating from the rise of social media. As an "artistic remedy," Mensah developed 20 interlocking modular pieces of furniture, representing the closeness and connection shared between humans, as well as the human form itself.
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In a New Series, A Sicilian Still-Life Artist Says Goodbye to Beige

The Sicilian-born, London-based designer Oscar Piccolo has a self-professed obsession. He is compelled to take vases and arrange them just so, manipulating how the light shines through, meticulously moving through tableaux until arriving — ecstatically — at just the right one. This fascination, he admits, “is becoming a bit of a problem.” Yet at the core of this compulsion is a relatively simple proposition: “All in all, my work explores the relation between objects and their positioning.”
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Contra Naturam Bench

The Finnish Designer Using a Traditional Moroccan Wall-Surfacing Technique to Make Furniture

Amsterdam-based designer Tuomas Markunpoika aims for “tedious functionality” in his designs, but to us there is mystery and wonder in the bulbous, colorful slabs of material that compose his furniture. His new series of works is called “Contra Naturam,” or against nature — a mauve bench, a coffee table and chair in grayish and springy greens, and a side table and console in pale yellow and cream. Each looks cut from the earth or plucked from a stage set, at once natural and totally fake.
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