The young Amsterdam-based duo Odd Matter, who we mentioned today in a separate post dedicated to their new work at Aram Gallery, have been busy bees lately. In addition to that project, the Dutch and Bulgarian designers recently launched a series called Node, which includes four highly expressive, sculptural lamps in copper and Jesmonite with forms designed to underscore their functions.
A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: very on-trend iridescent flatware and terrazzo coasters, gorgeous oil-slick vases from a recent RISD grad, and the debut of the booksleeve (pictured above), an innovation we never realized we needed until now.
While Portugal is probably best known, these days, for manufacturing clothing and shoes for big brands like COS, Zara, and Camper — or if you're a product designer, for supplying 50% of the world's cork — Porto-based designer and printmaker Célia Esteves homed in on its longtime flat-weave rug-making tradition when she founded GUR two years ago. After meeting a weaver in her hometown of Viana de Castelo, who for 15 years had been handcrafting the style of rug that she'd seen on "every Portuguese kitchen floor" since she was a child, Esteves decided to hire the weaver to use the same technique to produce colorful limited-edition designs commissioned from illustrators she knew and admired, like Atelier Bingo and Ferreol Babin. We recently interviewed Esteves about the project, which has collabs with Après Ski and Reality Studio on the way; scroll down to read more about how she transformed a local craft into a contemporary design brand.
It’s graduate show season in London, and though we’ll be featuring students from all over town in the coming weeks, we’ve found over the years that no show is quite as spectacular — or up our alley — as the Royal College of Art’s. With its esteemed alumni including the likes of Barbara Hepworth, Thomas Heatherwick, Tracey Emin, and David Hockney — not to mention some of our favorite contemporary designers, such as Max Lamb, Hunting & Narud, Soft Baroque, Fredrik Paulsen, and Hilda Hellström — Show RCA always boasts an impressive arsenal of postgraduate talent across a variety of disciplines.
Though she studied textiles at London's Royal College of Art, Lily Kamper spent most of her time in the jewelry department experimenting with acrylic, resin, and offcuts of Corian. The lathe became her tool of choice, enabling her to machine pillar-like, geometric forms that could transform those everyday materials into vibrant, beautifully crafted pendants and accessories.
Back in 2012, we wrote about the launch of a gallery called Beginnings in Brooklyn, which, a year later, met an untimely and unfortunate end. But two of the gallery's founders have since gone on to forge a new (ahem) beginning, this time giving it a far less superstitious name: TOOOLS, a Los Angeles–based object-design company recently started by artist Caroline Hwang and designer Joel Speaskmaker that aims to be "a new company with an old ethos: form & function." See what the duo have to say about the project, and see tons of images, after the jump.
We aren't quite sure how we missed this project — considering both our affinity for the classic Tolix A chair (we might own seven (!) of them ourselves) and our affection for the designers involved — but in Milan last month, the French company celebrated its 80th anniversary and in doing so invited eight design studios to reinterpret its most famous offering.
Our Top 5 column is a periodic nod to object typologies both obscure and ubiquitous, with five of our favorite recent examples highlighted in each post. Today, the subject is dust pans, whose utilitarian beauty is being rediscovered by a new generation of retailers and designers.
As an MFA student at ECAL, French-born artist Cécile Mestelan got into making small-scale sculptures with plaster for practical reasons — cost and ease of transport — but stuck with the material for more poetic ones: "It’s a very powerful and open material to work with; you can do so much with it, from modeling and sculpting to engraving," she says.