Andreu World Design Competition – A Must Do …

AW DESIGN COMPETITION

After visiting expert manufacturers and friends Andreu World at Salone Milano, we picked up a flyer promoting the 2014 edition of their famed design competition.

For new visitors to the KE-ZU Blog, the AW Design Competition is an annual, international affair, the judging panel invariably consists of industry movers and shakers and the winner receives the chance to have their work form part of the AW production catalogue (including the international promotion that goes with it!). If you’ve checked the currency conversion, the €3,000 prize money won’t hurt either!

It seems only yesterday that we were encouraging our Australian readers to share with us their ideas and contributions to AW’s 2013 competition, doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun.

All the information can be found at AW’s website here, including images of past winners and accolade recipients. We would highly encourage our local readers to enter, we’d love to see your contributions!

You’ve got until 1 December 2014. Good luck now!

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The Wood Collector …

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There is no question that Lzf Lamps have mastered the art of wood.

Their lighting products use and manipulate this natural material, allowing us to appreciate its inherent beauty and admire its strength and agility.

Thus it came as no surprise to discover that Lzf are the brains behind The Wood Collector -  a calm and sincere blog devoted solely to the admiration of wood in all its forms. It is like a metaphorical expansion of Lzf’s lighting products.

Sandro, co-founder of Lzf Lamps explains his fascination with wood:

That it gets old and gnarly with age! Seriously though, it’s like a feather duvet in winter, it’s about comfort, homeliness, warmth. Everything that we love about furniture, architecture, nature: it is all related to wood. It’s the craftsmanship, the know-how of how to work with this anarchic natural material. You have to understand the material to make something from it. You can’t just pour it into a mould, you have to select it, love it, it has uniqueness, individuality and in a way you must respect it for it to work with you.

There can be a lot of time well spent at The Wood Collector, its contents peacefully forcing a kind of soulful reflection by conveying such a passionate story.

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Matisse is a Work of Art …

Vondom's Frame and Adan Image courtesy Matisse Beach Club

Vondom’s Frame and Adan
Image courtesy Matisse Beach Club

Proving that they’re only behind due to time zone, Matisse Beach Club in Scarborough, Western Australia opened its doors recently to reveal a contemporary design with Vondom product galore!  We’ve seen a lot of Faz, Frame, Vertex and Adan in the new venue.  Cannot wait to get over there! 

Vondom's Vertex chairs Image courtesy Matisse Beach Club

Vondom’s Vertex chairs
Image courtesy Matisse Beach Club

Vondom's Faz Sunlounger Image courtesy Matisse Beach Club

Vondom’s Faz Sunlounger
Image courtesy Matisse Beach Club

Vondom's Frame and Adan Image courtesy Matisse Beach Club

Vondom’s Frame and Adan
Image courtesy Matisse Beach Club

Vondom's Frame Image courtesy Matisse Beach Club

Vondom’s Frame
Image courtesy Matisse Beach Club

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MMM – La Femme (fatale ennui?) …

Image courtesy culturetheque

Image courtesy culturetheque

French band La Femme’s musical style certainly is a unique one, they form a concoction of 1960’s French pop and 1980’s electro and we couldn’t be happier about it. Thankfully colouring outside the lines and going much further than necessary, this almost 10 minute A/V extravaganza is like an adventure to a place where sense or logic isn’t important and French sex appeal rules. Most certainly fun, but you’ve been warned.

La Femme’s latest album ‘Psycho Tropical Berlin’ has garnered much critical acclaim and went straight to No.1 in the French digital charts, no doubt helped along by this psychedelic trip vid (we almost didn’t upload), created for the lead single ‘Amour Dans Le Motu’.

Whilst new to us, the band has been praised by Hedi Slimane who used La Femme’s version of Oh Baby Doll in his Saint Laurent Paris campaign with super-now-super-model Cara Delevingne. Chic credentials.

Go on, it’s Monday…take the time.

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Neri&Hu: It’s here …

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Neri&Hu product in the KE-ZU showroom

Shanghai based architects Neri&Hu (Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu) are hot property. Named Wallpaper* Magazine’s Designers of the Year, their work is becoming recognizable as their style and influence soars. The duo is a careful blend of both a deep-rooted affection for Easterrn culture and sophisticated international experience

Whilst their passion and unique flair for architecture continues, the talented pair have expanded into product design, producing an exclusive collection with De La Espada.

The partnership of Neri&Hu and De La Espada is perfection with the high aesthetic values of the former being met by the latter’s skillful craftsmanship. The collection, which was first launched at New York Design Week 2013, includes seating, tables, lighting and accessories, and features the skilled woodwork that De La Espada is renowned for.

The Neri&Hu for De La Espada range was introdouced into KE-ZU’s family of international designers and manufacturers late last year and is now on the KE-ZU showroom floor!

Solo table

Solo table

The oval Solo tabletop sits on two sets of three legs, each arranged in a triangle and is available (as with most of the collection) in American black walnut finished with a Danish oil, American white oak finished with a Danish oil or a white oil, or brown stained European ash.

Solo chair & stool

Solo chair & stool

Solo lounge chair

Solo lounge chair

Inspired by a classic, the Solo updates the Eames Shell Chair, transforming it from its industrial roots to a comfortable upholstered alternative.  Optioned as a dining chair, lounge chair and barstool – this sophisticated chair is perfectly situated both domestic and commercial settings. The piece is titled “Solo” due to the isolation one can obtain from reclining in the lounge chair.

Duet chair

Duet chair

Keeping its namesake close, two pieces of wood work together as a duet, creating the overall shape of the above chair.  Duet is available in American black walnut, American white oak, or European ash.  Originally slated as a variation of the classic Bentwood, the Duet Chair takes a methodical and almost organic shape that is sure to win favours in the contract and hospitality markets.

Opium Sofa

Opium Sofa

Inspired by the opium beds which have been in China since the Tang Dynasty, the Opium is a contemporary sofa with a strikingly simple profile, featuring deeps arms, which can double as a shelf or side table.

Trio tables

Trio tables

The Trio series comprises various models, all with a three-leg construction that provides an interesting focal point.  Crafted from American black walnut, American white oak or European stained ash, the Trio series is available as a console table, coffee table, oval coffee table and a side table.

Tray Desk

Tray Desk

Drawing on their experience with the Narcissist dressing table for KE-ZU supplier bd Barcelona, the Tray Desk and dressing table responds to a modern lifestyle with its lightweight craftsmanship and multi-functionality. Tray  holds a fabric-lined drawer, which when closed, provides access to a concealed compartment from the desktop.  A fully adjustable mirror folds out to three different angle combinations, providing versatility so yearned for in our fast-paced environment.

Extend mirrors

Extend mirrors

Offered in three different sizes, inspiration for the Extend Mirror series comes from the bamboo ladders so prevalent in Chinese country homes.  Using this as a model for design, the Extend Mirrors are floor standing and sit against a wall in a relaxed manner and is available in walnut, oak or ash.

 

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Salone Milano 2014: Where Architects Live …

WHERE ARCHITECTS LIVE

Conceived as a cultural accompaniment to Salone Milano, “Where Architects Live” was held in Pavilion 9 at the Rho Feria Milano.

“Where Architects Live” was a fascinating installation, which looked at the balance between leading contemporary architects’ concepts of their own domestic space and living environments and their work. Specifically curated for Salone Milano 2014, the exhibition provides a fascinating, rarely seen insight into rooms designed by eight of the world’s most respected architects such as Mario Bellini, Zaha Hadid, Daniel Libeskin, Shigeru Ban, David Chipperfield, Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas.

Seeing a direct correlation between the work of these notable architects and their private spaces gives an insight into the between how we as creatives relate to our world around us.

 

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Salone Milano Day 4: EMU

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EMU’s Salone Milano stand was a fascinating mix of angles, shapes and lines: representative of their 2014 collection, heavy on the same.  Displaying on home turf, the Italians showed that they can ‘do it better’ with a rounded out collection set to dominate the outdoor furniture market.

Again working with a who’s who of international designers with Pritzker Prize winner Jean Nouvel with his MIA collection, Arik Levy with Shine and Chiaramonte Marin with Golf and Snooze, and Samuel Wilkinson with Grace and Urban, the EMU stand was a flurry of business.

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Opting to keep their collections within the colours of their brand identity, there was no missing the EMU stand!

 

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Salone Milano Day 4: Enea …

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We shall not even attempt to convey how excited we were to see the soaring light boxes that announced we had arrived at Enea.

We’d heard of intended new releases from Lievore Altherr Molina and true to their word, the creative trio’s designs took centre stage.

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New to the ENEA fold is Ema, a line of stackable chairs that would put Jack and the Beanstalk to shame.  Again available in a variety of material options, it is inevitable Ema will exhibit similar success to the Lottus collection.

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Salone Milano Day 4: Sancal …

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For many years Sancal has adopted a method for releasing new furniture, an organized and cohesive full-frontal attack.   Every year a uniform collection is released, with all of the included pieces towing the party line; an exciting governing concept.

This year we see the Gráfica Collection, arguably Sancal’s most creative and stimulating yet.   Gráfica, we learnt, translates to “graphics”, and you can see why 2014 for Sancal is the year of the graphic.

The Sancal stand at Salone Milano was a sum of its parts – a space divided by both graphically printed paper forming walls, and canopies (in the form of a new design by Nadadora Studio of Tartana).

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We can assure you, after three full days of pounding the Milano pavement, a welcome treat at Sancal’s Salone space was a few lollies lovingly handed to us, ensuring that the sugar rush coincided with the excitement of the Gráfica collection.  We never did ask why the lollies were gifted, but as we took in the sweet, colourful and fun new collection it dawned on us that these tasty morsels very closely resembled the essence of Gráfica.

Both expanding on and adding to the 2013’s Tierra Collection, Sancal have successfully delivered a comprehensive collection in their usual style: a fun yet practical aesthetic of sharp manufacturing technique suitable for all markets and above all, insanely popular.

Employing the skills of designers of previous pieces such as J.M. Ferrero (who looked every bit as fashionable as his Casta chair, now available in new textiles and sizes), Ionna Vautrin, whose Pion collection now includes a dining table, Estudio{h}ac filling the void in the Tea collection with a bar stool (making all our dreams come true), Juan Ibáñez adding a bench for the Nudo collection  Nadadora Studio providing Elephant with a facelift, and Rafa García providing Nido with metal feet.

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New to the Sancal fold is Scrivo Design and Perrine Vigneron & Gilles Belley, with the Collar chair and Barnaby respectively and fine arts gun Elena Castano-Lopez with the Bang! Cushions.

Returning with new designs is Sancal veteran Rafa García with the Rew and Nap sofas and Nadadora with Tartana, an acoustic dome and Silla40, a collection of four chairs celebrating every decade of Sancal’s existence. Fine arts gun Elena Castaño-López returns with Bang! Cushions and Sancal Studio presents Perigallo, a stool, the inspiration of which a Spanish fruit ladder.

An exciting year ahead for both Sancal and KE-ZU!  With the expansion of the Sancal catalogue and our efforts in local manufacturing reducing lead times to an almost lightning pace!

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Salone Milano 2014 Day 3: Nanimarquina …

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The 2014 nanimarquina campaign at Salone Milano rests heavily on a few key products.  While 2013 saw the inception of the vast Naturals collection, this year the Spanish rug queen has an emphatic design message.

We couldn’t help but get excited as we walked past Nanimarquina to see the familiar pattern and high craftsmanship of the Losanges rug by the Bourroulec Brothers, albeit with a face-lift!   The hugely popular piece is now available in red and white!.  Sharing front row airtime with the new Losanges (Losanges III perhaps?) is Marti Guixe’s Ghost rug.

Losanges in new colours

Losanges in new colours

Marti Guixe's Ghost rug

Marti Guixe’s Ghost rug

In meeting Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levien, it helps understand just why the designs coming from their studio have carried them to the forefront of the 2014 design scene.  On face value, the juxtaposing outfits of Doshi’s sophisticated black and Levien’s colourful high prints give a reassuring sense that all bases are covered; their work tells a similar story.   The Doshi Levien piece for Nanimarquina: Rabari is handmade in India and references unfinished Indian embroideries, the inspiration comes from the Nomadic community of the Rabaris of the Kutch region.   Available in three sizes and two colour combinations – Rabari is a unique and carefully designed piece from this exciting duo!

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Rabari’s two colour combinations

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Rabari

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Rabari’s two colours

 

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