By Le Vin Chin
Blickfang, the show for design and shopping, came to Basel again last weekend. Here are some picks from the event:
The “Karawane” collection of Pour les Alpes, Annina Gähwiler and Tina Stieger, was a strong feature of the blickfangselected strand of the show – and also my favourite pieces overall. In keeping with the name of the collection itself, the side table is called “Khan” and the stool, “Rani,” once more summoning impressions of the orient. However, it turns out the pieces are actually made using straw plaiting techniques from the Swiss Argovia (Aargau), marrying forms and traditions from East and West.
Werenbach’s “for Cosmonauts” watches are a marketer’s wet dream, being almost literally made of story. As it’s related, the housings of the watches are made from materials reclaimed from Russian Soyuz spacecraft: the “Steel Collection” from the engine, the “Aluminium Collection” from the outer hull. The story goes that founder Patrick Hohmann had to undertake two epic trips to Kazakhstan to obtain the materials. It’s powerful, mythic branding, perfect for the form, the object and the target audience.
The “Spine Stool” by Studio Rene Siebum, mimics the movement of the spine – and is therefore great for the posture, and for the core! A popular piece, the stool won Blickfang Basel 2015’s MINI Design Award in the category “Furniture and Product.” Rene Siebum was one of five young Dutch designers invited to represent “Dutch Design” at the fair.
Scarves from the “Composed Elements” collection by Studio Inge de Vor. Inge de Vor is also one of the visiting Dutch designers and her designs are hand-created (the “elements”), then composited into larger designs, then digitally printed.
Basel’s own Arno Wolf won the MINI Design Award for “Furniture and Product” last time, in Stuttgart, and they presented their rich assortment of designs – inspired by the work and craftsmanship of the namesake grandfather – again, here. This very elegant candlestick is called “Lichtenau” and is made of solid brass.
These “Stalaclights” by David Graas, another of the five visiting Dutch designers, are 3D printed buildings that clip on to any standard modern LED bulb. The fact that they are fantasy versions of skyscrapers from the Art Deco-era makes them cool. The fact that they hang, upside-down, makes the final effect rather eerie and dreamlike. The “Stalaclights” are printed by Graas’ 3D printing company, LAYERS.
A great spin on the re-use concept, Kenneth Christensen’s “UnCopyable” range promises to make your furniture personal by incorporating pieces of your own old tables, chairs, doorframes and mantelpieces into their pixelated surfaces.