Friday, 4 December 2009

Harri Koskinen and Vuokko at Rohsska Museum

Awarded the prestigious Torsten and Wanja Söderberg Award last month, Harri Koskinen was given a solo exhibition at the Rohsska Museum, Gothenburg. Curated as a retrospective, the exhibition shows his breadth as a designer; including furniture, textiles, glass, clocks, lamps and included examples from what have already become classics to his very latest creations.
We at Relay loved his ‘Fatty’ containers (below), amazingly produced 10 years ago. New designs included ‘Folded Light’ (shown in red) which sat alongside ‘Pur’ tablelamp for Marset and ‘Asteroide’ chandelier for Venini (also a new design). New textiles included monochrome designs for Marimekko.

Other Marimekko designs at Rohsska Museum could be found in the retrospective for Finnish designer Vuokko Eskolin-Nurmesniemi ‘the fashion queen of modernism’ and the woman responsible for giving Marimekko their instantly recognizable style.
The exhibition covers 40 years of amazingly stylish and contemporary designs which are as fresh as her 2010 collection which is also including in the exhibition.

Kosta Boda Art Hotel

While visiting our friends at Örsjö Belysning, we had the opportunity to stay at the new Kosta Boda Art Hotel. Famed for their glass designs, Kosta Boda opened their Art Hotel in July 2009.

Asking their artists to design specific rooms and areas within the hotel, our favorites included the hotel lounge by Ludvig Löfgren, with furniture by Duxiana (below).

We also loved the Spa designed by Åsa Jungnelius, who recently showed in London at the Vessel Gallery, as part of the London Design Festival in September and at Super Design in October (see our earlier post).

Check out this video for a closer tour of the Kosta Boda Art Hotel.

Welcome to Örsjö

Deep in the Swedish countryside, set in a wood of fir trees sits the small town of Örsjö, the namesake of lighting design house – Örsjö Belysning. We at Relay were very lucky to get a tour of their factory and a sneaky peak at their new collection, which will be launched at the Stockholm Furniture Fair in February.
The Örsjö collection is created by some of Scandinavia’s leading designers including Norway Says and Jonas Bohlin, as well as Matti Klenell (who designed Mushroom, pictured below ready to be packed). With its white lacquered steel and optional orange highlights Mushroom is a perfect illustration of Örsjö’s desire to produce classic designs with a contemporary edge.

With 60 years of hands-on production the Örsjö factory is filled with skilled crafts people and technicians who expertly create their unique and beautiful lights. Seeing such skill at work, it is now obvious how Örsjö is able to produce unique commissions alongside their standard production. Over their long history they have had a great deal of experience developing customised lighting solutions resulting in several close collaborations with architects and clients.
We cannot wait to the Stockholm Furniture Fair and the launch of their 2010 collection.

Friday, 13 November 2009

WEBWEB is 10!

Zeitraum’s WEBWEB is celebrating it’s 10th birthday this month. To mark its first decade the German manufacturers are giving us a new unit height of 23cm, ideal for paperbacks and DVDs. The super-stylish shelving system, available in a variety of handpicked woods, is testament to flexible design…and if you don’t believe us check out their new online planning tool. It is so straightforward it will not need any separate explanation. Try it out here!

Happy Birthday WEBWEB, here’s to another 10 years!

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Blurring the lines

If September was design, design, design in London, then October is art, art, art. Frieze and Zoo have set up their respective camps in central London this past week and the art world has arrived en masse. Not wanting their moment in the spotlight to end, the design elite are getting in on the act.

The last few years has seen an enormous boom in the "design art" business. Canny art galleries (and, increasingly, a new breed of dedicated design galleries) have realised big name architects and designers producing limited edition works can be just as collectible (and profitable) as art. This has led to a certain blurring of the lines - where does art end and design begin? When is a designer a designer and when are they an artist?

There was an impressive array of design art on display in London this week. First up, at the Pavillion of Art and Design in Berkeley Square, rare Pierre Paulin pieces rubbed shoulders with small edition Ettore Sottsass glassware, Lichtenstein prints and the iconic Robert Indiana LOVE sculpture.

London based Carpenters Workshop Gallery showcased several of their designers including Studio Job, fresh from their success at the Telling Tales show in the Victoria & Albert Museum. They also had a unique installation by rAndom international entitled You Fade To Light. Triggered by physical interaction with the audience, the bank of tiny mirrors turns the viewers reflection into light.

Moving down Piccadilly to Haunch Of Venison, we saw Brit design star Thomas Heatherwick's latest work, Extrusions, holding it's own next to a Dan Flavin light installation. Beautifully twisted and highly polished benches formed on the worlds largest extrusion machine, these prototypes have been elevated to art status.

Another short stroll brings us to Belgrave Square, and Super Design. Here we find the Bouroullec brothers designing ceramic lights for Bitossi, Barber Osgerby teaming up with the venerable Venini glass company from Murano in Italy for a series of limited edition interlocking vases and Marcus Tremonto designing several lighting pieces produced by The Apartment.

Is it art? Is it design? We'll let you make up your own mind on that one. One thing's for sure - strollng around the beautiful squares of London looking at all of these pieces in stunning surroundings was a very pleasant way to spend a sunny Autumn day!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Under Wraps

Relay is proud to announce its participation in Under Wraps, an international design launch to be held at Ferrious, Manchester.

Showcasing the best of European Design including brands Droog, ABR and naughtone, Ferrious has also given over their beautiful showrooms to Buzzispace, Örsjö and Zeitraum, who fresh from their successes at London Design Week will be making another welcome outing.

The launch night will also see the UK unveiling of a new, revolutionary product from James Dyson. Launched in New York last night the ‘Air Multiplier’ desk fan, like all great Dyson products, mixes revolutionary engineering with practical design.

Dyson has created a product that he hopes will provide a greener alternative to office air conditioning and a safer and more efficient product for use at home. He says “I’ve always been disappointed by fans. Their spinning blades chop up the airflow, causing annoying buffeting. They’re hard to clean. And children always want to poke their fingers through the grille. So we’ve developed a new type of fan that doesn’t use blades.” Unlike top-heavy conventional fans, the Dyson fan has an energy-efficient motor at its base, meaning it has a low centre of gravity and does not topple over.

We haven’t seen it yet, but cannot wait till Thursday night to see it up-close and in action. If you're as impatient as us, check out this film for a peek.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

100% finished!

After four long days 100% Design London is finished! It's been hard work but well worth it. Buzzispace proved to be a real crowd-pleaser and enjoyed a lot of attention. All the products got love from the visitors but the new acoustic wallpaper, Buzziskin, proved to be a particular hit. Thank you from Relay to all those who made a special visit to come see us.

Having spent four days in Earls Court we saw a lot of design and wanted to highlight our top pieces.

Top Collection

The Capsule Collection by Ziglam & Brook for Deadgood with Bute fabrics. Created from offcuts of waste fabrics arranged to make a graduated run of colour tones and textures, the collection proves that ecological does not mean it cannot be contemporary.

Top Chair

Koln by Toni Palleja for ABR made up for the general lack of furniture at this years 100%. Coupled with his Bonn tables they made quite an impression with their retro lines mixed with contemporary processes and finishes.

We could not mention ABR and not talk about Maria USB by Luis Eslava. Complete with glowing LED heart no further explanation is needed...ave maria!

Top Lighting

Designer of the moment Benjamin Hubert made 100% Futures a must-see. His Labware series of lights proved a big hit with us at Relay and with more exciting products in the prototype stage Hubert is definitely a name you will see a lot in the future.

and finally our Top Accessory went to Torr, a vase by young belgian designer Nicolas Bovesse. Mixing marble, blown glass and stainless steel Torr' asethetic for science experiments at home echos Hubert's Labware. Clever and fun...we want one!

Minipoint by Ӧrjsӧ for Wallpaper*

Designed by Studio Construction/Bergboms for
Ӧrjsӧ, the Minipoint collection made a welcome cameo on the Wallpaper* stand at 100% Design London this week. Amongst the rows of magazines and city guides the lighting collection looked very smart in white. Also part of the Wallpaper stand was shelving by Vitsoe. Designed by Dieter Rams in 1960 and celebrating its 50th birthday next year, the 606 Universal Shelving System still looks contemporary...timeless.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

The (Design) Week so far....

So, 100% Design kicks off tomorrow at Earls Court. Please visit us with Buzzispace at Stand H16. The stand is looking superfine, even if we do say so ourselves. We're pleased to be neighbours of Deadgood and we know we are in good company by having Decode, Naughtone and our friends from No Chintz all in the vicinity.

100% Design is only one part in the London Design Festival whirl, so what else have we seen this week?
It's impossible to see everything, but as previously stated, we were impressed by the Eclectcollect pop up store.

We loved Michael Marriotts take on New York icon Kiosk at SCP East. Studio Toogood came up trumps with a very Memphis cafe at Portobello Dock. Words cannot do it justice.....

B&B Italia showed three interesting re-interpretations of the Naoto Fukasawa designed Papilio chair....

....and the Poltrona Frau showroom opening had the best cocktails in town.
All this and it's only Wednesday!

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Lina Meier at EclectCollect

Lina Meier was the highlight of the Eclectcollect Pop Up showcase held at Studio 1.1 tonight. Putting forward her BarDeco collection for its long-awaited UK debut, it did not disappoint. Taking inspiration from minimal graphic design and the linear barcode, Meier's collection created bold combinations of form and material. For example the 'BarDeco Lampshade with Hook', combines powder coated steel and solid oak with the rubber of exposed electrical cables, and with a hook so that you can hang it anywhere in the room. We at Relay couldn't be more impressed.

See more of Lina Meier's work at the Eclectcollect Pop Up until 27th September.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Relay Event

We thought we would get a head start on London Design Week (which officially starts tomorrow) by holding our first 'Relay Event' on Wednesday night. Kindly hosted by the amazing 'Do' on Beak St (thank you Andrew and the Do team), we collaborated to bring you the latest collections from Ӧrjsӧ and Zeitraum. Thank you to everyone who came along and made the evening a real success. We had a great time!

Big talking points for Örsjö were Ginko, their Wallpaper awarding winning pendant light, and Lean (below). Designed by Jenny Bӓck this beautiful floor light caused a real fuss on the night with it mix of brass, steel and rubber.

Zeitraum also caused a stir with their beautiful wooden furniture with many of their designs becoming the centre pieces of the display. Honourable mention needs to go to Tavola (an amazing American Walnut dining table), Code 1 shelving and High Noon (arched floor light) which added some drama to the lighting display.

The Zeitraum/Örsjö showcase will be in Do until the end of the month...after which we will be popping up for another 'Relay Event' watch this space!!