A few weeks ago I attended a preview for the new Iittala X Issey Miyake Collection at the MoMA Design Store in New York City. The collection, which combines the Finnish craftsmanship of Iittala with the iconic style of fashion designer Issey Miyake, includes high quality ceramic plates, platters, cups, and a tealight candleholder; a glass vase; and textiles including a pleated totebag, a “table flower” in two sizes, napkins, place mats, and cushion covers. A color palette of white, pink, green, gray unites the modern, yet soft pieces. The MoMA Design Store will be exclusively sell the collection through May 2016. All images courtesy of Iittala, except where noted.
All of the products in Danish designer Ole Jensen’s new collection for the Scandinavian design company Room Copenhagen are based on Jensen’s hand clay models which have been interpreted into the final industrial pieces by the manufacturer’s in-house design team. In addition to a colander and juicer, the new collection also includes a jug and two different cups designs. The jug comes with an elongated handle in two sizes (.05 liter and 1 liter) in white, yellow, and light blue. The matching Cup 1 and Cup 2 have two different handle designs and come in white, yellow, and light green. All are produced in melamine, a durable hard plastic material. They will be available in the USA as well as across Europe. Prices are $29.99 USD for the .05 jug, $39.99 for the 1 liter jug, and $19.99 for a set of two cups.
One of the best things about going to the New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF) each season is discovering manufacturers that I never heard of and becoming a fan before I’ve left the booth. At this winter’s show, that company was KINTO Co. Founded in 1972 as a wholesaler of porcelain and ceramic tableware in Japan’s Shiga prefecture, the company began to develop their own designs in glass, wood, ceramic, and other materials, for the Japanese lifestyle in the 1990s, and started a full-scale export business in 2009. Based on the simple premise of creating products “to make our lives comfortable”, their line includes a range of coffee and tea related pieces as well as other designs. New this year is the Couleur teapot set, which combines a modern design form with the classic Japanese teapot. The microwave- and dishwasher-safe set includes a pot, cup, and saucer. Inside the pot, the spout is covered by a delicate porcelain strainer that is an example of the company’s craftsmanship. KINTO also launched an elegantly glazed new tableware …
Most of us could use a bit more color in our lives. Pantone Universe is a collection of housewares, apparel, and accessories decked out in the most popular colors from the world-renowned color authority. New to the line is a collection of kitchen gear, tabletop, and food storage produced by Copenhagen-based Plast Team A/S and Room Copenhagen. The cutting boards are like giant color chips (you can have fun picking a different color for each type of food prep), while the chunky hangers will add color to your wardrobe even if you only wear black. A great gift idea for artists, designers, teachers, and design students, the line will be available from leading kitchen supply, design, and department stores this winter.
If you are the kind of person that recoils from a styrofoam cup, while acknowledging the impracticality of completely avoiding disposable plates and dishes, then Wasara might appeal to you. Designed by Shinichiro Ogata, Wasara is a single-use paper tableware collection made of non-wood, rapidly renewable materials such as reed pulps and bamboo, and bagasse, a postindustrial recycled material that is a by-product of the sugar refining process. The fifteen 100% biodegradable and compostable dishes and drinking vessels have a modern shape and a natural texture that ironically makes them hard to throw away, even if it is into a compost bin. All images courtesy of the INDEX: Award 2011.