Kueng Caputo_Etage Projects 5

Kueng Caputo’s Kaleidoscopic New Furniture, On View in Copenhagen

Since the beginning of their practice, the Swiss duo Kueng Caputo have been obsessed with what happens when colorful particulate matter is somehow fused together. After all, their first, attention-grabbing project was a series of chairs in which pigmented sand and mortar were hardened in a mold and then chiseled into shape. Their newest works, currently on view at Copenhagen's Étage Projects in a exhibition called Ciao Amico Mio, follow in that same vein.
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Up and coming Swiss designer Dimitri Bähler

This Swiss Designer Blends the Rational With the Emotional to Create Some of the Most Beautiful Objects We’ve Seen

"When I started at ECAL at age 18, I actually didn’t know much about design," admits Dimitri Bähler. "As a kid, I was more interested in music, fashion, and illustration, along with biology and chemistry. In fact, I've always combined those two poles of interests: the rational and the emotional." That seems as good a way as any to describe Bähler, a young Swiss designer whose work has always seemed the result of both meticulous planning and wild experimentation. In many of his pieces, a relatively strict basic form is married to a more complex and renegade surface treatment.
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123.Max Bill opener

Bauhaus-Inspired Sculpture From a Master of Swiss Graphic Design

Design obsessives know the late Max Bill primarily as a major figure in the Swiss graphic design scene of the 1950s and beyond. But a new exhibition catalog from a retrospective on view earlier this year at the Fundacion Juan March in Madrid reminds us that the designer was the ultimate polymath — an architect, silversmith, painter, industrial designer, and, most stunningly, sculptor of the geometric stone and metal pieces seen in the first half of this post (which sent us on a major Google Image search).
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e7’s Zinc Project Was One of This Year’s Salone Satellite Standouts

Our last bit of Milan coverage this week comes from a brand-new design studio comprised of three ECAL grads — Giulia Chéhab from Italy, Micael Filipe from Portugal and Romain Viricel from France — whose Zinc Project caught our eye in the very last row of this year's Salone Satellite. A table and shelf series made from galvanized zinc, the project was inspired by the aesthetic irregularities that arise from the galvanization process.
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The slopes in Verbier are said to be Switzerland's most challenging; only the most athletic skiers — and their unfathomably fearless skiing prodigy 3-year-olds — vacation here.

At the New W Verbier in Switzerland

If you're a fan of the W Hotels chain, which at the moment comprises nearly 50 properties in more than 25 countries, you probably fall in to one (or both) of the following categories: you're young, wealthy, extroverted, and appreciate things like fire-juggling bartenders, or you really, really love design. It's not that the W's interiors are suited to every taste — especially since half the fun of them is that they're mostly designed by different firms, from Patricia Urquiola (Vieques) to Yabu Pushelberg (Guangzhou) — but you do have to tip your hat to any corporate entity that puts this much investment into our little corner of culture, including the annual W Hotels Designers of the Future awards. The latest W to take cutting-edge design to a novel locale is the new W Verbier by the Amsterdam firm Concrete, which Sight Unseen had the good fortune to visit last month.
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Kueng_Caputo_Couples_opener

Kueng Caputo: Never Too Much at Salon 94

Kueng Caputo’s first moment of fame came a few years ago from a series called “Copy,” where the two design-school friends would purposefully mimic a recently released work from a major talent by creating an exaggerated or distilled fakery of that piece. The process was meant to be a tongue-in-cheek homage to the original artists as well as a way for Sarah Kueng and Lovis Caputo to explore how those pieces had acquired their specific character or value. Whatever lessons they learned from that experiment must have stuck, for in the last two years, the Swiss design duo have released two collections that seem predestined for design greatness.
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Josephine Choquet_Sunglasses

Sunglasses by Joséphine Choquet & Virgile Thévoz

We're planning a bigger story on up-and-coming designer Joséphine Choquet in the new year, but before then, we wanted to share with you some work the French-born designer recently sent us: these gorgeously styled shots of the Luns sunglasses she created earlier this year in collaboration with fellow ECAL master's grad Virgile Thévoz. "The sunglasses use classic as well as more witty acetate patterns, as a tribute to this material, which carries on the essence of vintage and kitsch yet remains utterly contemporary," the designers write. There are 10 different models at the moment, in search of a producer, with a second collection already in the works for 2014.
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Mess In Messe Platz

At Design Miami/Basel 2012

When Design Miami rolls around each winter, it’s hard to resist the siren’s song of sunshine in December, no matter how much you've decided you hate standing in line for parties or how high the hotel rates might balloon during that frenetic week. We’ve been known to pool resources with friends far and wide in order to hop on flights and hightail it out of New York on the promise of a stolen afternoon at the Standard’s pool, or even a press brunch at some Collins Avenue hotel du jour. But we’ve never made it to the event that started it all: Design Miami/Basel and its legendary accompanying art fair. Lucky for us, then, that we alighted this year on the perfect correspondent: Marco Tabasso, known in design circles as Rossana Orlandi’s right-hand man, who took advantage of a rare two-day break (the gallery sat this year out, after having debuted a massive Nacho Carbonell installation in 2011) to zip around the Swiss metropolis, capturing everything he saw for us on proverbial film.
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Zieta may be a designer, but he’s first and foremost a researcher: He’s spent the past eight years working on his PhD while refining the industrial processes behind his FiDU technology, the fact that he ended up with a hit furniture line on his hands being merely a bonus. At least part of that focus can be credited to his geneology: “My grandpa was a metalsmith, in a very, very old way," he says. "He made horseshoes, and we make this very innovative and modern art.”

Oskar Zieta’s Metal-inflating Facility

When Oskar Zieta was given the honor of creating a site-specific installation in the Victoria & Albert Museum’s sprawling central garden during this year’s London Design Festival, he had a fairly significant advantage. With his own high-tech metalworking factory in Poland capable of producing large-scale inflated-steel structures, he had the means to fabricate whatever flight of fancy he and his team might possibly dream up, no matter how ambitious. And yet standing in his way was an obstacle far more prosaic in nature, one it would take ingenuity moreso than technological muscle to surmount: teeny tiny doorways. “The doors were really small, and all the ideas of getting to the garden by a helicopter or by a crane had to be rejected because of the risk of destroying the museum’s façade,” he told the fair’s bloggers at the time. But for someone like Zieta — who’s spent the past eight years monomaniacally experimenting with the proportions of the metal sheets he welds at the edges and then blasts full of air — it read like an intellectual call to arms.
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