Category Archives: found objects.

lights by flos.

How do you make a relatively uninspiring product – a recessed downlight – look exciting and new? Here’s how.

Reminiscent of a Mondrian painting in contemporary colours, it takes a second look to realise these beautifully styled, geometric images are actually spotlights, downlights, linear strip lights.

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Photography, Carl Kleiner for Flos, here

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vertigo.

I spied this pendant lamp in the interiors of beautiful spaces long before I managed to find out any more about it. I have now tracked it down, and it’s of French provenance: Vertigo by Constance Guisset. Reminiscent of a parasol, or a wide brimmed hat; it is incredibly light which means it becomes mobile when it catches a breeze, turning and floating. And casting the most wonderful, graphic shadows.

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images 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

It comes in black, turquoise, copper, white and big and small: 2m diameter (500g weight) and 1.4m.

What do you think of Vertigo? Would you have one in your space?

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bocci.

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Boc-ci  n. game of Italian origin similar to lawn bowling that is played with wooden balls on a long narrow court covered with fine gravel.

I discovered these lamps during Design Junction last year. I was quite taken with them, as was my three-year-old. In fact, they kept him entertained for quite some time.

There are many incarnations. The 57 Series will be unveiled at Euroluce trade fair in Milan during Salone Internazionale del Mobile next month. There is the 28 series chandelier, and 14 series pendant light. I’m particularly partial to this one – the 28 series desk lamp.

A bowling-ball sized glass sphere created by a complex glass blowing technique, results in the spherical shape with a collection of inner ‘satellites’. One of these is an opaque milk white glass bubble that houses a 20 watt xenon lamp. The fixture is designed to sit on a horizontal surface – desk, table, shelf, or floor. The flexible grey cable is intended to be coiled into a sculptural pattern to provide a cushioned surface on which the glass sits.

The colours are many and various. And it’s low voltage. Dimensions, 15cm diameter.

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Get one, here

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how to look like an architect.

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Browsing A Daily Dose of Architecture, (almost) daily architectural musings and imagery from NYC, as I do (almost) every day, I came across a post about these specs (add a bow tie for full effect):

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This is what Superfocus say:

Named Bauhaus in appreciation of the iconic movement created by design master Walter Gropius in Weimar in the 1920s. The Bauhaus has been a profound worldwide influence in art, architecture, graphic design, and last but not least, product design. We believe that Dr. Gropius would have approved of the sleek, utilitarian look of these Superfocus glasses.

Suitable for all sizes and shapes of heads and faces, including large heads.

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We proudly call this style Corbu. Named after Le Corbusier, one of the great pioneers of modern architecture, whose signature look was his famous, round, dark-rimmed glasses, with the temples centered on the circular rims. Look familiar?

Snugger fit than Bauhaus. Less suitable than Bauhaus for people with particularly wide heads.

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So, there you have it. Want to look like an architect? Now you know how!

Feature image via Foundation Le Corbusier, here 

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a perfect pendant.

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Often referred to as the Hand Grenade, A110 ceiling lamp was designed by Alvar Aalto for the building of the Finnish Engineers’ Association in 1952. It mixes midcentury with minimalism (how perfect!) – two cylinders, one inside the other, with a gap so the light is reflected upwards, and a perforated brass ring at the bottom diffuses the light downwards. Made of lacquered aluminium with a polished brass ring, the lamp looks fabulous hung individually or in a group.

A new version has been added with a slight reworking and a new colour combination of white and yellow or black and red: Special Edition A110 lamp designed by Mike Meiré. He was also responsible for the special edition Stool 60 (here). The white version represents day and the black version represents night.

How perfect is that?

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1 + 2    Original A110 lamp

3 + 4    Special Edition A110 lamp

Manufactured by Artek. You can get one, here. Feature image via

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a thoroughly modern mirror.

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I haven’t seen a mirror this fabulous since Gubi introduced the elegant Adnet Circulaire L, (here). Many styles away, this one is set to inspire a multitude of copies, with its simple, geometric form and clean finish. It is a truncated cone, made of aluminium.

The images they have produced are beautiful and clever – is it a hook? Is it a table? Is it a random object? Is it big or small? The final image reveals the mirror – a very contemporary piece to hang on a wall or place on the floor. It is also a hook. And a table. And a random object. And it comes in both big and small.

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All images, Daily Icon. Edvard Mirror Collection, by Jean-Francois d’Or, for Reflect+, here

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stool 60 turns 80.

This stool is about as good as it gets. An iconic form – simple, practical, stackable, durable. I have two at home and I use them as bedside tables… and something to stand on if I need to reach beyond tip toes. A perfect little piece of design.

The story started 80 years ago when Finnish architect and designer Alvar Aalto tested the sturdiness of his three-legged stool by repeatedly throwing the prototype to the floor at the Korhonen furniture factory. The simple wooden stool represented a new approach to furniture design, and a continuation of the brand of modernism initiated by Bauhaus. The use of wood instead of tubular steel was revolutionary at the time. Aalto had spent several years working on the stool’s design and the development of its curved, L-shaped legs.

Stool 60 was first introduced to the international public at the Wood Only exhibition in London in 1933, to rave reviews.

The stool celebrates its 80th birthday with two special editions:

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The colours of the Stool 60 Anniversary Edition are taken directly from Aalto’s Paimio Sanatorium (1928–1933): the yellow of the floors, the green of the walls, the turquoise of the handrails and walls, and the orange, white and black of the furniture. The Paimio Sanatorium is considered to be the most important functionalist building by Aalto.

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And German artist Mike Meiré’s Special Edition features four different colour ways – a red, black, white and birch stool, recalling the Bauhaus movement. A more industrial approach with sulphur yellow added to the black, white and birch. The third colour way is birch, white and light pink. The fourth is minty turquoise with birch and black.

Which would you choose? You can get one (or two…), here

All images, artek

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hampstead emporium.

Hampstead Village in North London is a village in the true sense, and the most wonderful place to amble around. It is home to the wonderfully exuberant and eccentric Hampstead Antique Emporium, a narrow winding arcade of tiny antique shops, tucked behind Perrins Court.

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Each is a place you want to peruse at leisure, where every piece for sale has a history. The owners are passionate about their wares, and that passion shows. Three of my favorites:

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1. Maud and Mabel (feature image and above) exudes calm and serenity. The backdrop is natural and neutral, and the products are all tones of white, pale beige, pale blue and eau-de-nil. Karen has styled the shop to within an inch of its life – it is beautiful. She carries wonderful ceramics by top ceramicists; the tightly edited selection mean the pieces form a cohesive whole. There is a distinctly Japanese feel (2 of the ceramicists are Japanese) and the Japanese raku ware are standout pieces, as well as plates painted with a pattern of old lace. Other items are staunchly Brirish and utilitarian – string, scissors, cards, towels – but all things of beauty. Table linens and a small collection of clothing are soon to be added (hooray!)

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2. The Modernist stocks vintage jewellery from the 1930s to the 1970s, mainly Scandinavian and American; beautiful sculptural pieces, each one a statement. Vintage silver, copper, bronze and jewel-coloured 1950s enamels; it is the mid-century Danish stuff that really resonates for me – vintage Georg Jensen, Henning Koppel and Nianna Ditzel, amongst others (I have a silver choker from here that I adore). The owner Nicole’s interest in American Modernist copper jewellery was sparked by a piece her mother had bought in New York just after the war; spending time in NY she became hooked. Scandinavian silver was later added and the result is an amzing collection of unique pieces.

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3. Loved Again is all 50s snd 60s homewares – sorbet-coloured melamine plates, baskets, mid-century furniture and plastics. It’s all about shape and colour, sourced from all around. Monica is a cook and it shows in the wonderful collection of 1950s kitchen aids, later to become household objects during the rise of mass production. Babycham glasses inprinted with sweet baby deers are best sellers and about as iconic of the era as it gets.

Hampstead Antique and Craft, 12 Heath Street Hampstead NW3

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folklore.

Islington in North London is home to an abundance of design stores, from the big players – Twentytwentyone, Coexistence, Aria – to the smaller independants, to the wonderous antiques and ephemera shops that line the cobble-stoned Camden Passage.

The latest addition to Upper Street is Folklore, a collection of simple and functional, often recycled, homewares, furniture, art and lighting. The aesthetic of the interior is raw and natural but refined, with pale walls, white painted floors and reclaimed timber panels, all housed behind a simple, dark framed shopfront. There is a wonderful cohesion between interior and product, with the products displayed on hanging shelving made from reclaimed scaffolding planks which have been sanded back and left untreated. With the ethos that ‘better living is possible through design’, the product focus is clearly on well crafted and functional pieces.

Products are sourced globally, for ‘simplicity, craftsmanship, quality and durability’. Some products are unique to the store; of note, a dining table by Soren Rose Studio in Copenhagen, and textile designs by local artist David Shillinglaw. Others are recognisably current and sought after – Scrapwood Wallpaper by Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek and the PJ60 Desk Lamp by Orsjo. One of my favorites is the recently relaunched J110 by Danish design house Hay (see my previous Hay product review, here) and some beautiful, simple clever lighting pieces like the Pulp pendant, made, unbelievably, from old newspapers.

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collage jpg1 J110 chair (image by Hay) / 2 111 Navy chair / 3 Nicolle chair / 4 Dip chair

It is definitely worth a visit! Details, here