Finnish brand Iittala has teamed up with the Paris-based designers (and this year’s London Design Medalists) Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec to design Ruutu, a collection of 10 vases available in five sizes and seven colors. Ruutu, which means diamond or square in Finnish, can be combined to make seamless installations where delicate, watercolor-like palettes and light seem to melt together like molten glass. Like Ittala’s iconic Alvar Aalto collection, Ruutu is created in Iittala’s Finnish factory where each vase takes seven craftsmen 24 hours to produce symmetrical items that still look and feel handmade. Each vase has the designers’ name engraved on the base. The vases will be available for purchase in early 2015. All images courtesy Iittala. A little video where the designers discuss their design:
Following a successful collaboration in 2012, KnollTextiles and the non-profit goods for good (GFG) have teamed up again to help set up sustainable community enterprises in Malawi. For the first project, KnollTextiles sent unemployed tailors in Malawi fabric in order to make fashionable tote bags. It was a win/win for the community — the bags raised funds while the tailors gained marketable tailoring skills. For this holiday season, KnollTextiles will be producing limited-edition bracelets using Ultrasuede fabric in five colors decorated with Swarovski crystals. All sales from the bracelets will be invested in GFG’s small businesses in Africa. The bracelets will be on sale for $29 on the KnollTextiles website at Knolltextiles.com/bracelets starting on November 1st.
Hitting bookshelves this month, the neon pink, padded vinyl covered DesignPOP is a 216-page tome to contemporary product design written by designer and collector Lisa S. Roberts. Published by Rizzoli, DesignPOP includes 82 works created from 2000-2014 from Frank Gehry, the Campana brothers, Hella Jongerius, Philippe Starck, Ron Arad, Jasper Morrison, James Dyson, and other design icons. It includes 95% original photography, designer biographies, and a “where to shop” guide along with resources for each product. Though I haven’t handled the physical book and its retro-plastic cover (I was sent a PDF to review), the internal layouts with their oversized pull-quotes and high-quality photographs certainly make for a fun read for consumers. Even design-insiders should find enough new products to keep their interest. DESIGNPOP By Lisa S. Roberts HC w/jacket / 9 1⁄2” x 9 1⁄2” / 216 pages / 175 color illustrations US $35.00 / Can $35.00 / UK £25.00 Rizzoli New York All images courtesy Rizzoli.
Launched in 2010, the Christian Lacroix “Papier” range of stationary included notebooks, sketch pads, correspondence, and greeting and birthday cards. The newest collection, which applies fresh new graphics and techniques that are truly Lacroix, includes desk boxes, a butterfly paperweight (with its own colorful box), notebooks with stunning endpapers, notecards, and even an animal jigsaw puzzle.
On display last week at the WantedDesign exhibition during NYCxDesign, NASZ is an exclusive collection of contemporary products curated by Tomek and Gosia Rygalik that consists of items designed and manufactured in Poland. It has been co-created by acclaimed product designers, graphic designers, illustrators, typographers, and multimedia artists as well as design students, manufacturers, and craftsmen. The exhibition was organized by Culture.pl, an online source for the latest in Polish culture.
The Finnish home products maker Magisso has won Best Collection Design in the Global Innovation Awards at the International Home + Housewares Show, which wraps up tomorrow in Chicago. The company won for their Naturally Cooling Ceramics collection designed by Simon Steven. Naturally Cooling Ceramics was also a winner in the Fennia Prize 2014 design competition earlier this year. The beautiful collection, which includes a 1 liter carafe, wine cooler, champagne cooler, and ice bucket with integrated tongs, stays cool by simply soaking the pieces in cold water for a few minutes before filling it with food or drink. As an added bonus, you can also create your very own design or write a message on the side of the ceramics with chalk. I appreciate the simple but elegant forms of the pieces combined the low-tech way they stay cool. All images courtesy Magisso.