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From Superman-inspired lights to the relaunch of Tom Dixon’s iconic Pylon Chair, we check out what’s new in the world of product design

New Casimir collection ‘questions’ classical furniture-making
Casimir celebrates 30 years as a designer Photo: Ringo Gomez Jorge

Belgian designer and self-described furniture artist Casimir has commemorated his thirtieth anniversary with a six-piece furniture collection, with plans for a further six pieces to be added at a later date.

Designed and produced in Casimir’s studio, the collection was inspired by and subverts classical furniture-making techniques and was designed to last more than 100 years. It combines everyday functionality with unusual and abstract forms.

It currently consists of two consoles, a mirror, side table, a cabinet rack and a low table rendered in oak and walnut, materials chosen for their ‘authenticity’.

"The concept of the design process is more important than the function of the result" - Casimir

Three ladders, a cabinet and an ‘experiment with furniture legs’ will complete the collection.

Casimir said: “The Casimir-oeuvre is mainly about re-thinking and/or questioning classical furniture and bringing other wooden-constructed items and techniques into furniture. Our style strips the furniture to its essence, to what it was originally designed for, reverting to the ‘archetype’. Even in their simplest form our designs are different.

“Although we build furniture that is usable, the concept of the design process is more important than the function of the result,” he adds.

More on Keyword: CASIMIR

The new collection consists of six pieces of furniture made from oak and walnut Photos: Jean Van Cleemput
Photos: Jean Van Cleemput
Pylon Chair testament to structural engineering says Tom Dixon
Tom Dixon designed the brand’s iconic Pylon Chair in the 90s

Originally conceived in his metal workshop in the early 90’s, the Pylon Chair was Dixon’s attempt to create the world’s lightest metal chair.

Now, more than 20 years later, the Pylon Chair is being relaunched as part of a new collection, consisting of a series of lightweight and semi-transparent occasional pieces designed as an homage to the original collection, which was inspired by the humble electricity pylon.

"It felt like a crash course in primitive structural engineering" - Tom Dixon

Billed as ‘a light, strong, sculptural celebration’ and ‘an exercise in pure unadorned structure’, the pieces are made from thin steel rods, measuring just 3mm in diameter, arranged in intricate triangular lattices that create pieces that are both lightweight and incredibly strong.  

Tom Dixon, creative director at Tom Dixon, said of the process: “The making and remaking of the Pylon chair countless times to try and reinforce weak points and prevent collapse taught me how to make things properly. It felt like a crash course in primitive structural engineering.”

“The results made me believe more in the underlying structures of an object rather than their surfaces, and leaves me in awe of the skill of the structural engineer.”


Tom Dixon designed the brand’s iconic Pylon Chair in the 90s
Sequel collection combines craftsmanship and sustainability says Dr Alasdair Bremner
Dr Alasdair Bremner founded Alusid with Professor David Binns

Alusid, a creator of eco-friendly surfaces, has partnered with Parkside to launch the Sequel range, the brand’s first collection of batch-produced sustainable tiles.

Debuting at Clerkenwell Design Week, the tiles are made from 98 per cent recycled materials and are billed as the ‘most waste-efficient and sustainable’ tiles on the market.

Made from shards of glass from kerbside collections, broken sanitary ware and glaze waste from ceramic manufacturing processes, the tiles are produced in Alusid’s manufacturing base in Preston, Lancashire, and are available in three different colourways – Greenwich Green, Shoreditch Blue and Paddington Pink, and three different sizes – square (100mm x 100mm), metro (200mm x 100mm) and large metro (300mm x 75mm).

Dr Alasdair Bremner, who co-founded Alusid with Professor David Binns at the University of Central Lancashire, said of the new collection: “We’re very excited to be launching the Sequel tile range with Parkside, and very proud of the sustainable process we’ve pioneered to create it.

“Our goal is to expand Alusid’s production capacity – without sacrificing our crafted quality or compromising our commitment to recycling and recyclability. Our partnership with Parkside is a big step towards achieving that.”

More on Keyword: ALUSID

The tiles are made from glass shards, glaze waste and sanitary ware
The tiles are made from glass shards, glaze waste and sanitary ware
New furniture cubes push technical boundaries, says Paul Kelley
Paul Kelley

British designer Paul Kelley has created a modular magnetic cube furniture system that enables users to create multifunctional, adaptable pieces, where they are in complete control of the design and function of their furniture.  

Inspired by contemporary artists Donald Judd and Josef Albers, Kelley’s cubes provide a flexible furniture solution that users can tailor to their exact specifications and needs. Available in a number of finishes, including copper, wood, bronze and concrete, the cubes offer limitless configuration options and can be connected to create anything from tables, chairs, room dividers, stools and benches. 

"We have pushed technical boundaries, whilst managing to keep the design quite simple" - Paul Kelley

Compact, lightweight and easy to store, the cubes feature a flexible magnetic system that makes them easy to assemble/disassemble, whilst also being strong enough to be used for almost any purpose. 

“We have pushed technical boundaries, whilst managing to keep the design quite simple,” says Kelley.  

“This is an exciting new departure for me and shows what can be done to create a new product,” he adds.  

More on Keyword: PAUL KELLEY 

The copper cubes features a flexible magnetic system
The cubes can be easily reconfigured
BC Barcelona Design celebrates life of Alessandro Mendini with launch of his final design
Mendini worked with brands including Swatch and Alessi

Design Studio BD Barcelona Design has released Cristallo, a limited-edition cabinet created by the late architect and designer Alessandro Mendini, who died in February.

Part of BD Barcelona’s Art Editions collection, the Cristallo, Mendini’s final design, is based on a concept that Mendini referred to as Tarsia Urbana (Italian for urban marquetry), and was inspired by the classic shape of a cup trophy.

Set on a rectangular dark-wood base, the cabinet features a unique y-shape. It is made from sycamore veneered MDF and has glossy red, blue and green panels, with circular inlays in the sides, as well as an intricate graphic of a trophy superimposed on the front.

BD Barcelona described the commission as a ‘thank you’ for Mendini, who had worked with the company since the early 80’s and was a frequent collaborator.

“Cristallo is a limited edition and was manufactured with care. For us, it is a celebration. History wanted it to be Mendini’s last design throughout his long and rich career,” the brand said in a release.

“Alessandro Mendini was a unique person characterised for his great generosity amongst many of his other qualities. His passing has left behind a huge void.”

Mendini, speaking on his work with the company before his death in February 2019, says: “It’s an essence, a treasure, the memory and fundamental energy necessary to produce a vital collection that is sophisticated and coherent. It is fertile, prepared, appropriate and elegant. BD ignited discussions and accumulated so many heterogenic objects, designs and proposals and models that little by little became museum pieces”

More on Keyword: BAUX

The Cristallo was Mendini’s final design
Golran commemorates 10 years of Carpet Reloaded
The Golran brothers

Family-run rug manufacturer Golran celebrated the tenth anniversary of its iconic Carpet Reloaded collection at this year’s Milan Design Week, with an exclusive selection curated by Patrizia Moroso, art director of Italian furniture brand Moroso and a longtime collaborator and early appreciator of the ‘expressive potential’ of the collection.

A reimagining of the Persian rug, the Carpet Reloaded collection interprets ancient Persian traditions through the use of unusual colours, and is designed to subvert the traditional elements of a Persian rug – floral motifs and intricately woven patterns – to create something fresh and new.

The carpets are crafted by hand, making each rug completely unique and unrepeatable, and vividly coloured thanks to natural dyes –  ranging from emerald green and yellow to fuschia and purple – reacting with the company’s bleaching and dying processes.

"The blend of ancient and contemporary was a perfect match for Moroso’s designs"

“When Patrizia Moroso saw this collection it was love at first sight. She immediately decided to include some of the pieces of this unique collection into the Moroso catalogue,” said the Golran brothers; Eliahu, Elia, Benjamin and Nathan.  

“The blend of ancient and contemporary was a perfect match for Moroso’s designs and matches its eclectic collections.

“For our tenth anniversary it was natural for us to invite Patrizia Moroso to make a personal selection of the most interesting and precious rugs from the collection.”

More on Keyword: GOLRAN

The rug selection was on show at Milan Design Week
Lasvit lighting collection inspired by Superman, says Marcel Nahlovsky
Lasvit’s Marcel Nahlovsky

Lasvit, a glass and lighting design company based in the Czech Republic, has launched Crystal Rock Raw, an extension of its Crystal Rock lighting collection.

Created by Arik Levy, a photographer, designer and filmmaker, the collection was inspired by Kryptonite, a fictional green crystalline material from the Superman universe, and is designed to express the tensions between nature and man, light and reflection, transparency and mass.

Billed as ‘the offspring’ of the Crystal Rock collection, Crystal Rock Raw features a series of pendant lights designed to mimic the raw and natural appearance of real minerals. The lights feature a crude surface that captures the rough beauty of glass combined with a delicate appearance reminiscent of a shooting star.

"A younger sibling to our Crystal Rock collection that will shine with the same splendor" - Marcel Nahlovsky

Marcel Nahlovsky, general manager of collections at Lasvit, said: “The manufacturing of the Crystal Rock vases and pendants is very precise, using all handmade processes.

“Throughout the development we also tried some new methods and technologies and came up with a different type of finish, which we found astonishing and didn’t wanted to leave behind. The result is the Crystal Rock Raw, a younger sibling to our Crystal Rock collection that will shine with the same splendour.”

More on Keyword: LASVIT

The lights were inspired by Kryptonite
The lights were inspired by Kryptonite
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DJW offer a way to interpret your story through the use of technology. We can provide Audio Visual consultancy to assist in the planning stage, follow up with AV system design, supply and installation, and provide a bespoke control system to suit your operational needs.
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