Monday, 28 May 2012

Ilse Crawford/Studioilse at Skandium

opening event 31 May 6.30-9pm
evening draw, weekend for two at Ett Hem, Stockholm

exhibition 1-15 June 2012
245-249 Brompton Road, London SW3 2EP

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Pod Desk – A Modern Classic

Perfect for the laptop generation, the Pod range of contemporary desks and office storage is now available online at Heal’s. The Pod is the ideal desk solution at home or in the office when space is tight.
The contemporary desks have a semi-matt finish and lacquered legs in a special scratch and abrasion proof matt paint. The writing surfaces are made of black linoleum. Gas-filled hydraulics allows the desk lids to open and close softly. Interior LED lights illuminate everything clearly. Integrated electrical wiring, roomy drawers with pencil trays and pass-throughs for cables, keep all in perfect order.

Designed and manufactured by Müller, the Green Pod Desk design won an Interior Innovation Award in 2012, and was nominated for a Design Deutschland Award in 2011. Müller are specialists in metal design and produce all their furniture by hand using traditional procedures guaranteeing excellent workmanship and unique character. The Pod desk collection highlights Müller’s craftsmanship.

The Pod Collection comprises of four contemporary desks and a pedestal filing unit. The Classic Green Pod Desk is available in store and online, and the rest of the Pod collection is available exclusively online.

Price Range: £695 - £1995

Friday, 25 May 2012

Blacksheep: Gillray's Steakhouse & Bar

Blacksheep, the leading hospitality design agency based in London, showcases its latest restaurant and bar design project; Gillray’s Steakhouse & Bar.

Situated on the River Thames with views of the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and the London Eye, Gillray’s Steakhouse & Bar, the new restaurant located in the 5* London Marriott Hotel County Hall has opened its doors. 
Blacksheep’s concept pays homage to the restaurant’snamesake James Gillray, a famed caricaturist of the late eighteenth century, and its most English of locations – the Grade II listed County Hall, built 100 years ago to house London’s government. 
Blacksheep has designed and created a quintessential English drinking and dining experience, playing on the eccentric but charming details of classic British lighting and furniture pieces.

The SAYL Chair makes every molecule work harder

Thursday, 24 May 2012


This year’s Clerkenwell Design Week sees Italian lighting luminary Artemide join the ranks of forward-thinking manufacturers who have embraced the festival as one of London’s premiere design events. Artemide’s presence at Clerkenwell Design Week 2012 is an impressive one, with a public installation in St
John’s Square and new collections on display in The Tunnel in the Farmiloe Building.

Solar Tree by Ross Lovegrove – St John’s Square
The Solar Tree by Ross Lovegrove for Artemide, will illuminate St John’s Square from May until September. Debuting during Clerkenwell Design Week, the Solar Tree is a public lighting product powered by solar energy, with an impact that is tantamount to that of an inspiring art installation.
Ross Lovegrove refers to the Solar Tree as “a project celebrating design, nature, and art, and representing the DNA of our time.”


If the Barbican’s current Bauhaus exhibition has left you yearning for more, then look to for inspiration.
1stdibs, the world’s premier online luxury marketplace, showcases immediately available to buy curated items from 1,200 prestigious international dealers in the fields of art, antiques, design, jewellery and vintage fashion together on one website. 
The Bauhaus style is easily recognizable – radically simplified forms that are both rational and functional that harnessed the potential of mass-­production in the early 20th century. An interesting selection of Bauhaus pieces can be found on, especially from dealers based in the Benelux region who joined the site in April 2012. Among the items offered are a pair of D42 Bauhaus chairs by Mies van der Rohe, which can been seen in the Barbican exhibition.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

A X a Invite you to Clerkenwell Design Week

Assemblyroom would like to invite you to their stand at this year's Clerkenwell Design Week

Monday, 21 May 2012

Are you in London seeking something "Dishy"?

David Fox design is pleased to announce its latest collaboration with Ocee Design. At this years Clerkewell design week, Dishy, a revolutionary new seating and sofa concept will be shown for the first time at the London showroom 8 St Johns lane, Clerkenwell, London EC1M 4BF.

Friday, 18 May 2012



17 Fitzroy Street, Cambridge CB1 1ER.

5 Bedford Street, Norwich NR2 1AL.

9-11 High Street, Brentwood CM14 4RG.

14a Jubilee Street, Brighton BN1 1GE.

61 Fairfax Road, Swiss Cottage, London, NW6 4EE

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

THONET to display the Mobile Bending Machine at Design Junction

Crest have announced that THONET will be presenting the Mobile Bending Machine at the 2012 Design Junction. Between 19-23 September, two employees of THONET will show how the backrest of the famous coffee house chair (no 214) is bent.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Record-setting financial statement from Carl Hansen & Son

Carl Hansen & Son is releasing a record-setting financial statement, featuring rising sales and improved earnings. The company is realizing its strategy for internationalisation and acquisitions of Danish manufacturers of handcrafted furniture and has high expectations for 2012. The acquisition of P.J. Furniture underpins Carl Hansen & Son’s growth strategy and desire to bring Danish icons of design to the international market.

The furniture manufacturer Carl Hansen & Son is pleased to be able to present a financial statement that once again sets new records for the company. After the record-breaking year of 2010, sales as well as earnings have increased in 2011, which means that not only has the company survived the crisis, it has emerged strengthened on the other side.

Sales have gone up by 15 per cent, and Carl Hansen & Son has experienced growth in the majority of its markets. In Denmark and Japan, sales have been stable. Exports currently represent 70 per cent of the Group’s total revenue.

Knud Erik Hansen, CEO of Carl Hansen & Son: “In addition to our strong financial statement, Carl Hansen & Son is well on its way to realising the strategy of being an internationally organised group. In 2011, we established sales organisations in both New York and London as part of our expansion strategy into more markets. Because we invested during a recession and developed our network, we hold a strong position today, especially with the American market showing signs of recovery.”
Carl Hansen & Son expects to see growth in 2012-2013 of more than 50 per cent, with 30 per cent in the form of organic growth and the remainder coming from acquired activities resulting from the acquisition strategy launched in connection with the takeover of Rud. Rasmussen Snedkerier in December of last year. 
“P.J. Furniture will be gradually integrated into the Carl Hansen & Son Group and will help strengthen our brand. We feel certain the products will have no trouble taking their rightful place among our other world-class designers and high-end furniture classics. Ole Wanscher’s collection comprises excellent products and our expectations are very high. In this regard, we have both the obligation and the opportunity to manufacture and market some of the finest Danish furniture on the international market,” says Knud Erik Hansen.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Q&A with ELLE Decoration UK Editor-in-Chief Michelle Ogundehin

The following Q&A with ELLE Decoration UK Editor-in-Chief Michelle Ogundehin has been designed to answer the most frequently asked questions about the Equal Rights for Design campaign.

Why is ELLE Decoration UK campaigning for Equal Rights for Design?
There are estimated to be 250,000 designers in the UK, so even if you’re not one, you’ll probably know someone who is. Our campaign is about people, not profit.

These are the people who make your life easier, more efficient, comfortable and beautiful so you can get on with whatever it is you choose to do. Don’t they deserve a little respect? Plus, the creative industries are a major part of the UK’s economy, contributing 5.14% of the UK’s employment total, 10.6% of exports and 2.9% of Gross Value Added. If designers continue to receive such pathetic protection, why would anyone bother to become one? And that’s a lot of jobs and money to lose from the economy. Granted, most creatives work for love and passion, but fair recognition should also be part of the deal.

Shouldn’t everyone have a right to profit from great ideas?
Good design and great ideas benefit us all for sure, but how would you feel if you devoted your life to inventing something that changed the world, or even just made things a little prettier, but no-one gave you any credit for it? Let alone paid you? Would you think that’s fair? Isn’t it better all round to acknowledge who thought of what first, who collaborated with who, and credit them accordingly?

What is the Equal Rights for Design e-petition?
The ELLE Decoration UK Equal Rights for Design petition is to prompt the government to look into the disparity between the protection afforded to intellectual property concerning design, and that of other creative disciplines.

What is intellectual property?
Intellectual property simply means that the owners of ideas are granted certain exclusive rights to protect those ideas. The tricky bit is that such ‘ideas’ are often intangible, unlike bricks and mortar. Nevertheless, musical tunes, literature, even words, phrases and symbols are already commonly recognised as intellectual property, and routinely protected via extensive copyrights, trademarks, patents, industrial design rights and even trade secrets in some cases.

What is the current problem for design in the UK?
In the UK, art, literature, film and music are afforded automatic copyright protection for 70 years after the death of the originating author/s. Whereas for design, registered designs are protected only from the date of issue and for just 25 years. And worse, if your work is unregistered (costs sometimes prohibit the registration of every permutation of a design, especially for young designers), protection lasts for only three years!

Isn’t that hypocritical?
Originally, the cover was low as it was only intended to protect things like car parts, and industrial components, and the rule setters believed that longer cover would impede industrial progress, i.e. inventors would sit back and not bother innovating if they continued to get paid for something they’d already done.

Why should people be able to make money off something they created ages ago?
What we’re asking is why protect some creative disciplines, and not others? Additionally, we’re flagging up that the law is out of step with what currently constitutes design, in other words we see ‘design’ as an endeavour on a creative par with art or writing. This isn’t about nuts and bolts anymore. This is about creative ability. So why is ‘design’ deemed less worthy of protection? Are designers felt to invest less ‘labour, skill or judgment’ in their work (the criteria governing copyright eligibility) than authors, musicians or artists?

At least designers get some protection. Can’t they take someone who copies their work to court?
Well yes, but design rights are currently only enforceable through the civil, rather than criminal courts, and because it’s usually a David (the designer) vs Goliath (copyists) situation, most Goliath’s bank on the designers giving up through lack of funds, time or emotional energy.

In fact there are too many recorded cases of small companies being driven out of business trying to protect themselves due to the crippling costs of litigation. And even if they win, the offence isn’t seen as criminal, so going to court is no real deterrent in the minds of the bullies who continue to bank cash off the back of another’s originality, even as cases go through court! So in theory, legal protection is there, but in practice it’s worthless. And it’s also why young designers who’ve exhibited their wares at exhibitions and shows in the hope of getting a commission or job, subsequently see their work appear on the high street before they’ve even managed to get a prototype made. Again, often, even if they have clear proof and funds, they don’t cause a fuss because they don’t want to jeopardise future possible business. A catch 22 weighted towards the predators.

What about old designs? Why should the UK care about them and designers long gone? That’s just manufacturers profiting off a back catalogue isn’t it?
The licence to produce the work of these seminal designers also comes with the responsibility to protect and maintain those legacies for the benefit of historians, the design-interested, students and future designers, whether that legacy comes in the form of foundations, dedicated museums, private houses or a body of work.

Manufacturers also pay royalties to the designer’s descendents where relevant. And let’s not forget, in many cases they were fundamental in translating those designer’s dreams into realities. That’s why, let’s say in the case of furniture, the manufacturers also have the ‘right’ to be remunerated. For a writer, substitute the publisher; for a musician, imagine it as the producer/record label etc. In other words the artist/designer or producer/publisher/manufacturer are working in partnership. One could not exist without the other. Don’t they deserve a little pay back for that? After all, we’re not asking for protection ad infinitum, just for parity of protection with music or literature.

What about those companies that bought a licence later? If they weren’t involved with the original designer, why should they profit?
It’s really still as above. They also inherit the responsibility attached to that designer’s legacy, and the permission to only create the designs as the author originally intended. And there’s never a guarantee of continued success, which is why good manufacturers constantly reinvest their money into research and development, which hopefully enables a new generation of designers to create the classics of the future. The rip-off merchants circumvent all of this. They care only about quick profit for themselves.

Most classics made today aren’t ‘original’, they’re all modified, what with industrial progress, so unless you’re lucky enough to find a vintage one, we’re all buying reproductions! How do you define authentic?
Let’s not confuse two issues here. 1. Who owns the right to reproduce a design, and 2.The fact that even licensed models may differ from the very first versions.
Authentic within the terms of our copyright discussion means made by the manufacturer who legally owns the licence to reproduce the design. And I use the word reproduce deliberately, as yes, today’s versions of an ‘original’ design may well have the benefit of the progress of technology such as improved safety factors. Let’s take the ‘Barcelona’ chair, first designed for the German Pavilion at the 1929 Barcelona Expo, as an example; it was quite probably manufactured by several different companies before Mies van der Rohe, the originating designer, sold the design rights to Knoll in 1953. The extremely rare, ‘originals’ i.e. the six debut models, are indeed structurally very different from today’s chair. The upholstery was pigskin for starters, and the frame was put together like a complex jigsaw puzzle. But these details are moot. Bottom line is Knoll alone owns the right to reproduce the chair, or modify it with agreement from the Mies Foundation, and as such each Knoll-produced chair comes replete with a stamp of authenticity, a serial number, signature and logo. Anything ‘Barcelona’-esque without these is an unlicensed copycat.

Are there any designs which have never changed?
Yes, the Thonet family has never sold the rights to their classic bentwood café chair. So it’s still made by the original manufacturer, in the same way as it has been for the last 150 years, and all revenue still goes directly to the Thonet family.

Some classic items are really expensive, why should only the wealthy have access to these designs?
This isn’t about wealth, it’s about desire, as certain pieces have become aspirational symbols of a designer lifestyle, and lest we forget, they’re also luxury items. These pieces were never intended as democratic design, just as not everyone can own a Hermès handbag or Roland Mouret dress either. We should encourage people to spend what they can afford, certainly no more than they feel any item is worth, but also to have the confidence to be original in their choices. Yes the ‘Arco’ lamp, Eames lounger and ‘Barcelona’ chair are exquisite, but they’re not the only lights and chairs in the world! Just as a Birkin isn’t the only handbag in existence.

If the copyists can make things cheaper, why can’t the licence-holders? Agreed, if an authentically created ‘Barcelona’ chair from Knoll retails for £4k+, how can someone else possibly sell the same thing for £400? But let’s think about this for a moment. To sell the chair for this little simply means a lot of corners will have been cut in the chair’s manufacture. It’ll be low-quality leather, which probably won’t be used on all sides of the cushion (common practice is to substitute fabric or pleather where they think you won’t look), the frame will be hollow, rather than solid, and the steel used, lower grade than usually specified, i.e. less than the recommended 12mm thickness. The cushion will be filled with cheap foam, which makes the chair uncomfortable; cushion buttons won’t be sewn on properly etc.

If the design piece looks the same, what’s the problem?
It may appear superficially to be the same when seen in isolation but you only have to put an original next to a copy as we did in the windows of The Conran Shop recently and you’ll immediately be able to tell the difference. But more crucially, comfort and longevity will have been compromised. If the foam used is low quality then the cushioning will be very stiff. A quality chair will have seats you sink into, not bounce off. Plus how long do you think a chair should last? An authentic classic could be handed down to the next generation, ageing gracefully, and gaining patina and character as it goes. And, they’ll hold their value. Think of them as an heirloom or investment for life, just like a painting, but more useful! So per use, they’re actually pretty economical after the initial outlay. Whereas your cheap chairs will look rough in six months and be in the skip after a couple of years.

What if the item of interest was only required for a year or so? I’m into that look right now?
Then perhaps you’ll be bothered by the human cost of your flightiness. The only other way these knock-off cheats can cut costs is on labour, i.e. forget about safe working conditions and fair pay for staff, assuming it’s not child labour; jettison ecologically aware environmental practice, waste management and so on, all of which, if ignored, might well contribute to getting that price down, but have a high long-term cost. Plus they’re not giving anything back. Not to the heirs, the foundations, or the designers of tomorrow who could really benefit from a little support. Not to mention, the threatened loss of legitimate jobs and businesses, whose outlets are forced to close due to unfair competition. And you, the consumer, are being conned if you think you’re investing in something worthy, only to find out it’s a fake.

What if it is impossible to find the desired item for the amount of money available to spend?
Then that’s where we at ELLE Decoration UK must do better. We hereby dedicate ourselves to finding those Style-for-Less items that you’ll love just as much, as well as talent spotting the future classics so you can inject some originality into your furniture investing if you have a bit more to spend. There’s loads of great stuff out there, so no-one ever has to resort to phony fakes. They aren’t worth it, and you deserve more.

Sign the ELLE Decoration UK Equal Rights for Design e-petition to change the UK copyright laws here

A X a

This year’s Clerkenwell Design Week will see a new and exciting collaboration between British furniture designers Assemblyroom and the independent British menswear company Albam. Coming together under the moniker of A x a the two brands will present a collection of classic contemporary furniture that promotes good quality, honest materials and British craftsmanship.
A x a will be based in The Shed at The Farmiloe Building, Clerkenwell for the duration of the event 22nd – 24th May.

Back for its third year in The Shed at The Farmiloe building, Assemblyroom will be teaming up with the independent British menswear label Albam under the title of A x a.
Assemblyroom creates contemporary furniture which is comfortable, durable and refined. Assemblyroom’s furniture is manufactured employing the best of British craftsmanship and uses the highest quality materials that have been carefully selected for their function, aesthetics and sustainability. Assemblyroom’s furniture is made by hand and to order.
At this year’s Clerkenwell Design Week Assemblyroom will be showcasing their upholstered Finsbury range as well as launching three new products; the Long Eaton bench and stacking chair in FSC English oak and the Allesley table with FSC English oak top with a powder coated metal base.
In addition Assemblyroom will be presenting two collaborative pieces under the moniker A x a; the Long Eaton bench and the Allesley table, both finished with Albam’s signature leather detailing.

Albam – Modern Crafted Furniture
Albam launches a concise collection of functional furniture alongside Assemblyroom in it’s first foray at Clerkenwell Design Week. Launching with a modular shelving system and large plan table crafted from powder coated steel and English Oak. Each piece is born out of a requirement of the Albam brand – Simplicity, Honesty and Quality.
Complementing the own brand pieces, Albam will present two pieces from the Assemblyroom collection with Albam hand crafted leather detailing.
These are shown under the moniker of A x a
All pieces are crafted by Albam’s extended design family in England.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Kusch+Co 3000 Njord Scoops Red Dot Award

From among more than 4,500 submissions from all over the world, the new armchair 3000 Njord from Kusch+Co, Design by Scaffidi & Johansen, got shortlisted for the red dot award.  After a several-day selection process, a jury of 30 design pundits awarded the sought-after "red dot award: product design 2012" to the new series. The jury commended 3000 Njord for its outstanding craftsmanship and its exemplary design language. 

arturo alvarez returns from Light and Building

View the new 2012 designs launched by arturo alvarez here

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

May day! May day!

Earlier on this year Assembly Room were delighted when British fabric manufacturer Camira approached them to ask if they would be interested in supplying the furniture for their new London Showroom in order to showcase a new range of their fabric. The showroom will shortly be opened in the heart of London's design district, Clerkenwell.