Sunday, 18 December 2011

A Christmas thank you from Relay

2011 has disappeared as if a mere blink of an eye. It started with Ӧrsjӧ supplying all of the bedroom lighting for the new Radisson Blu Stockholm Waterfront (interiors by RPW Design) and Zeitraum winning not one but two Interior Innovation Awards at IMM Cologne.   

During the year we provided Rvw Mollis chairs and Zeitraum Morph Bar stools to Virgin Atlantic Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3 (interior design by Glock, supplied by SCP Contracts), Zeitraum collaborated with new illustration paper Wrap for Show 2 at Viaduct, Ӧrsjӧ exhibited at Clerkenwell Design Week for the first time (but not the last!), we started our collaboration with Mitab by delivering Lobby sofas to the new Westfield shopping city at Stratford (thanks to Conran Contracts) and ended the year working with Edge Architecture and Design and Viaduct to deliver Morph Bar stools to the 5th Floor cafe at Harvey Nichols. 

You can now also find us on Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook. Don't forget to follow and "Like" us for instant updates on new product launches and project installations.

Phew! We're off to put our feet up before it starts all over again in January. 
To everyone that has supported us this year, we say a huge thank you. Have yourself a merry little Christmas and we look forward to seeing you all in 2012.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

A bit of France in Miami

On the hectic week of Design Miami and Art Basel we made a happy detour to the Wolfsonian Institute to visit 'Liberty, Equality and Fraternity'. Curated by Matali Crasset, with exhibition design by M/M Paris, the show plots the influence of French design from the 1940's to the present day.

Featuring works by Jean Prouve, Philippe Starck, the Bouroullec brothers, Pierre Paulin and Michel Ducaroy, the exhibition explores the impact of design - its creation, dissemination and the resulting shift in French social ideals. Film presentations ran alongside the main gallery displays including edited clips from the wonderful 'Playtime' by Jacques Tati (below) and 'L'enfer' by Henri-Georges Clouzot.

We particularly loved the staged installation formatted by Crasset and designed by M/M Paris. Boldly painted in the colours of the French Tricolour and assembled to serve as stools, plinths and barriers. Based on Swiss-born French architect Le Corbusier's 'Modulor', 'a measuring system derived from the proportions of the human body', the pieces are available to buy from the Wolfsonian (and funnily enough, they are on the Relay Christmas wish-list).

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Tramshed 2011

A video from Tramshed 2011, with a cameo by Relay, Mitab and Ӧrsjӧ courtesy of De La Espada.
(Updated with HD Vimeo version)

Thursday, 6 October 2011

London Design Festival 2011 - Our Highlights, Part 2

We're starting Part 2 in Covent Garden and then heading west.

In the piazza at Covent Garden, Sebastian Bergne created the world's first LEGO greenhouse. Yes, a fully functioning greenhouse made of transparent LEGO bricks. (LEGO also had their own pop-up in association with ICON at Central St. Giles).

Online design store Theo materialised in Monmouth Street with a week long pop up. A chance to play with products before purchasing, Theo's temporary store stocked the wonderful desktop accessories by Australian duo Daniel Emma and was the first UK stockist for Tattly temporary design tattoos from Swissmiss founder Tina Roth Eisenberg.

If we keep moving in a generally west direction, Outline Editions hosted an exhibition by graphic artist Noma Bar entitled "Cut It Out". An embossing machine disguised as a giant black dog allowed visitors to re-create their own Noma Bar work, all of which were signed and numbered by the artist.

Jumping over to Brompton Design District, Michael Anastassiades took over an old jewellery store and filled the original display cases with a beautiful selection of silver ware and lighting in brass and onyx. 

A couple of doors down, Skandium presented a comprehensive retrospective on Swedish architects and designers Claesson Koivisto Rune called "On Yellow". Furniture, lighting, rugs, jewellery and architectural models designed by the small but prolific studio were dotted across the store, like a treasure hunt and identifiable by the yellow perspex squares they all sat on. Again, Ӧrsjӧ were well represented with both Aria and Baklava by CKR included in the show. 

As always, Mint's show was unmissable. This year, "Mint Explores" brought together fashion and furniture, cellulose that felt like concrete, as well as lighting and textiles from as far afield as Mexico and Chile.  

However, we will end our highlights in the eye of the storm - at the V&A Museum. For the third year, the V&A became the hub (both physical and digital) for the Festival's activities. Exhibits were dotted liberally throughout the galleries, encouraging you to wander, often into rooms you weren't previously aware of. British-ish, curated by Giles Deacon, and Industrial Revolution 2.0, curated by Murray Moss, saw pieces scattered throughout the galleries. it was sometimes difficult to tell which installation a piece belonged to, but it hardly mattered. It was a pleasure to wander and discover.


(Further pieces, along with project and designers names can be found in our Facebook album)

Impossible to miss was the 10 metre high Timber Wave by Amanda Levete dominating the main entrance. A serious feat of engineering, construction was apparently completed with minutes to spare before the press launch.

Inside, the other major draw was Textile Field by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, in conjunction with Kvadrat in the Raphael Gallery. A 60 metre raised carpet, it became a giant bed for weary visitors to sit back, relax and contemplate the famous Cartoons.

Also open at the V&A with impeccable timing is the Power of Making. Open until 2nd January and free, its worth a visit.  

And so we come to the end of another LDF. What does LDF 2012 have in store for us? Watch this space!

Monday, 3 October 2011

My London Design Festival by Suzie Hogan

While you're resting after Part 1 of our LDF Highlights, why not take a look at this short video filmed by Suzie Hogan. Sums it all up rather well and if you're particularly eagle-eyed you might just spot the Relay boys. 

My London Design Festival from Suzie Hogan on Vimeo.

Follow Suzie on Twitter @suziehogan

London Design Festival 2011 - Our Highlights, Part 1

The fact the London Design Festival lasts 9 days is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it gives you more time to get around all the events you want to see. A curse because the longer the festival lasts, the more events are added to the program. In all there were over 300 events across London, and only the most intrepid (or those with a teleporter) were ever going to get to all of them. The lesson we learned from last year's LDF and tried to employ this year was prioritise, prioritise, prioritise. 

There was a greater sense of cohesion amongst the new "design districts" this year. It felt more co-ordinated so events within a district happened at similar times so you didn't feel obliged to dart back and forth across town. Tuesday saw the launch parties in the Shoreditch Triangle and Clerkenwell showrooms, Wednesday Fitzrovia, Thursday was Brompton and so on. Better for the feet this way.
Our main focus was of course Shoreditch and Tramshed. SCP and Michael Marriott installed a 7 metre tall orange plastic totem on Curtain Road, for the benefit of those people who still did not know where their store was. Inside, the store had been turned into a Design Department Store with everything from erasers to sofas.

Just around the corner, the online design bible Dezeen took up temporary residence on Rivington Street with Dezeenspace. A pop-up shop with a 1m x 1m gallery platform for young designers to showcase their wares, with a new designer a day. (Dezeenspace is still in residence until 16th October, so you still have time to catch it)
Moving north, Twentytwentyone had two events in their two premises. The newly expanded shop on Upper Street (literally, a hole was punched through the wall to the former cafe next door just days before) was the focus for a re-launch of Robin Day's 1952 lounge chair. Meanwhile their River St. showroom hosted a show entirely in marble from Italian company Marsotto. We have our eye on the Tilt table by Thomas Sandell.   

Heading ever so slightly west, next stop was Viaduct, who debuted Show 3, focusing on new and exciting forms of lighting. Ӧrsjӧ were well represented with both Baklava and Lean included in the show.

Designjunction was the cool new kid on the block. After a successful debut in Milan this year, Designjunction itched up in London and took over the sprawling basement of Victoria House. Presenting collections from UK and European brands, there were also exhibitors from Australia and New Zealand, like new company Resident and a shop focusing on smaller items with a British connection, curated by Scene. We particularly liked new British company Another Country's second collection.  

An absolute highlight of this year's festival was Hemma, an exhibition of contemporary Swedish design for the home at the Swedish Ambassador's residence. Ambassador Nicola Claes opened the doors to her stunning Adams designed home, packed the furniture into storage and gave the space to new and established designers and manufacturers from Frederik Farg to Orrefors, Anna Kraitz to Front. The first image at the top of this post shows Mia Cullin acoustic screens with Svenskt Tenn lighting in the entrance hall. Below is some beautiful glass from Simon Klenell.

This would probably be a good place to pause and put your feet up. We'll be back with the west London action in a separate post. You can see more images in our Facebook album.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Mitab and Ӧrsjӧ at Tramshed 2011

Mitab and Ӧrsjӧ joined forces last week for the London Design Festival 2011, coming together to exhibit at Tramshed. Here are a selection of photos. More photos from Tramshed can be seen in our Facebook album HERE.

Open House Weekend

Before we got into the swing of the London Design Festival, we took a small detour via the former Commonwealth Institute building in Kensington which was open as part of Open House weekend.

Designed in the austerity years following WWII, many of the materials used in the building were donated by Commonwealth countries, including the copper for the spectacular hyperbolic parabaloid roof.  

Mothballed for over a decade, this incredible building is due to re-open as the new home of the Design Museum in 2014. This was the last time the public would see the building in this format. When it re-opens the interior will have been drastically altered by the master of minimalism, John Pawson, to provide extensive exhibition space for the museum, allowing them to properly display their permanent collection as well as temporary exhibitions. We weren't about to miss this final opportunity for a snoop around. Below is a selection of photos, paying particular attention to that roof.


Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Grey Goose Loft at the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse

Virgin Atlantic recently teamed up with Grey Goose Vodka to create the new Grey Goose Loft cocktail bar on the upper deck of the Virgin Clubhouse at Heathrow. Providing personalised cocktails from award-winning mixologists and regular DJ sets, it also affords the weary traveller a chance to kick back and relax in some beautiful Mollis lounge chairs from Rvw or perch on some Morph Bar stools from Zeitraum. Here are just a few images. Certainly beats the Ryanair boarding queue!

Interior design by Glock and furniture supplied by SCP Contracts.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Mitab and Ӧrsjӧ at Tramshed 2011

The 2011 London Design Festival is fast approaching and is bigger than ever. Back for its 9th year, design districts are springing up all over London and there is so much to do that unless you have a tardis or a will of steel you won't make it to everything. Our advice is to pick up a copy of the yellow ICON Design Trail distributed across the city to make best use of your time.

Having said that, can we recommend you make some time to visit the Tramshed in Shoreditch, where Mitab and Ӧrsjӧ have joined forces to present some of the hottest names in Swedish design. Furniture by Form Us With Love, Swedish Ninja and Jonas Wagell will sit alongside lighting by Claesson Koivisto Rune and Matti Klenell.

Form Us With Love have quickly established themselves as a force to be reckoned with on the Swedish design scene and look set to emulate the international success of Claesson Koivisto Rune. Matti Klenell is the master of quiet craftsmanship, preferring to let his work do the talking, while Jonas Wagell and Swedish Ninja bring a certain sense of joy and fun to their work.

The Tramshed debuted at last years LDF and has already become a "must see" show. New collections by Søren Rose and Benjamin Hubert for de la Espada, the ever-fresh Ercol and new British design from the likes of Plant & Moss and Reeves Design will all be complimented by a seminar series conducted by Sam Grawe, who until recently was Editor-In-Chief at American style bible, Dwell.

Our hotlist for the rest of the Festival includes the CKR retrospective at Skandium, Hemma at the Swedish Ambassador's Residence, Noma Bar's "Cut It Out" at Outline Editions, John Pawson with Swarovski in the stunning St. Paul's Cathedral, Viaduct's Show 3 and if all else fails, make sure you give yourself a couple of hours at the V&A. Acting as the festival hub, the V&A will play host to a myriad installations, displays, talks and workshops. The perfect one stop shop if you're pressed for time during LDF.

For more details on the events happening across London check out the LDF website and Twitter feed. If you are a Twitterer, use the hashtag #ldf11 to search for posts and promote your event. We'll be tweeting as we go - you can follow us HERE.

See you at the Tramshed!

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Relay (re)presents Mitab

We are very excited to announce Relay Design Agency has been appointed as the UK and Ireland Agent for Swedish furniture brand Mitab.

Mitab specialise in furniture for pause and interaction. Furniture that compliments and enhances its environment rather than dominating it.

From their base in the city of Tranås, on the banks of Lake Sommen, Mitab have consistently worked with the top design talent of the day to develop and manufacture a strikingly graphic and energetic collection for the contract market. The current stable of designers include Form Us With Love, Joel Karlsson, Swedish Ninja and Jonas Wagell.

We are extremely proud to be working with Mitab and feel they add an exciting new dimension to our portfolio. We will keep you posted on all new developments, but in the meantime if you would like further information or would like to request a brochure, please contact us via our website. Further information can be found on