News
06.08.2007
Pro Design


Pro Design
Last month, the annual spring orgy of design known as the International Contemporary Furniture Fair spilled over into events and exhibitions throughout the city, flooding the scene with new products, experimental prototypes, and even reproductions of Peggy Guggenheim’s bat glasses. Our editors combed through it all to bring you a sampling of standouts to consider for residential, office, or public spaces.


ALCOVE SOFA BY RONAN & ERWAN BOUROULLEC FROM VITRA
The Breton-born, Paris-based Bouroullec brothers say their Alcove Sofa was inspired by the Arabic al-kubba, a cushioned room for lounging and sleeping. And it does seem to shut out the world as it envelops users in padded comfort. More than just ample cushioning, the high back and sides are also designed to dampen sounds. Zippers at the corners give the back and sides some sway. The Alcove Highback adds 16 inches and more privacy, suggesting an office life for the sofa as a meeting unit. MC

BOTANIST FLORA FROM ORANGE22
Flexibility is the name of the game with the Botanist series from LA-based Orange22. It’s available in three sizes: bench, end table, and cocktail table. The bent aluminum furniture can be finished in seven wood veneers or an indoor-outdoor powder coat that is weather and UV resistant and comes in red, white, blue, and black. While the waterjet-cut flower motif is au courant, custom logos and graphics can also be cut into the aluminum. MC

PICK CHAIR FOR BBB BY DROR BENSHETRIT
Born in Tel Aviv, educated in Holland, and designing in New York, Dror Benshetrit has always approached furniture as pieces of art. His new plywood-and-aluminum Pick Chair from by BBB is an embodiment of this concept. Easily transformed from 2D wall art into 3D functional seating, this foldable (and surprisingly sturdy) cantilever chair saves space in a poetic way. MP

LAX 3X WALL-MOUNTED SHELF BY MASH STUDIOS
A sliding folded aluminum panel is the main feature of this flexible wall-mounted shelf (58 inches by 15 inches by 13 inches) and a signature detail of the minimal LAX Series collection by the West Coast’s MASH Studios. The hardware-free, white powder-coated doors smoothly slide along the shelf (available in simple plywood or luxurious solid walnut), creating a versatile storage space and a clean look. MP

PARAMETRE BY 3FORM
Similar in concept to the hanging shoe organizer, Parametre, the latest patent-pending product from the progressive manufacturing lab 3form, is a partition system made from four layers of polyester sewn into 1 1⁄2-inch-deep cellular structures. It can hang vertically from ceiling-mounted tracks or horizontally between easily movable posts, and it is durable enough for indoor or outdoor applications. Parametre is available in an opaque sheet, but it is the patterned version perforated with circular, triangular, or rectangular apertures that casts the longest, most interesting shadow. AS

CHAIR BY ENZO MARI FROM HIDA
When Italian designer Enzo Mari decided to collaborate with Japanese furniture manufacturer Hida, he did so for one reason alone—the wood. Hida had developed a technique to compress the soft wood of the common sugi tree (a member of the cypress family) to a third of its size with steel molds, creating furniture-quality lumber and a sustainable solution to Japan’s timber shortage. Mari’s designs are spare, taking their inspiration from traditional Japanese furniture and emphasizing the rosy color and supple grain of the wood, knots and all. AS 


Clockwise: Catnip for the typographically obsessed, the Font Clock by British designer Sebastian Wrong from Established & Sons displays 11 classic 20th-century fonts (plus one 18th-century script) arranged in random combinations. Available in three sizes, the clock is sold at Matter in Soho (www.mattermatters.com). Helen Louise Gifford’s Silver Lining makes hash of the notion that compact fluorescents can’t shine by encrusting the energy-saving bulb with a multitude of decoratively shaped incandescents affixed to a wire armature (www.helenbilt.com). The product development company Designtex introduced Sonic Fabric by the Texas-based artist Alyce Santoro. The durable, multipurpose, and audible fabric is woven from polyester and reclaimed cassette tape recorded by the artist with the sounds of street life in the city (www.designtex.com). Gudrun Gunnlaugsdottir is an Icelandic designer who understands the importance of built-in poetic uplift. Her Rocking Beauty, a pressed composite of plywood, aluminum, and Makrolon strips, makes the most of its minimalist form with laser-cut flowers inserted in the void (www.bility.is). LD

Matt Chaban, Masha Panteleyeva, Aaron Seward, Lisa Delgado