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 …

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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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Salone Milano Day 3: Vondom …

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Vondom have released a tonne of new seating, tables and accessories.

Famous for their use of glamour models in promotional imagery it came as no surprise to find these beauties roaming around the Vondom stand. In stark contrast to Sancal, their neighbours in Hall 10, Vondom shone with brilliant white surfaces, mirrored and reflective plastic plinths and in perhaps homage to Times Square, the largest screen we saw at Salone Milano.

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At first count, Vondom exhibited over 15 new collections from established partnerships with Karim Rashid, Ramon Esteve, Fabio Novembre, Ora Ito, A-Cero and new relationships with well known designers such as Jorge Pensi, Estudi{h}ac, Gabrielle + Oscar Buratti, all bearing the Vondom trademark of roto-moulded plastic.

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We’re still recovering from the sensory overload that was Vondom Milano 2014, so we’ll save a rundown of the new product for our Post-Guide, and leave you with these images.

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A Conversation with Jasper Morrison …

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Andreu World’s Jesus Linares & Jasper Morrison

Part of the new Andreu World catalogue is the On chair family by Jasper Morrison.  Morrison is a highly-acclaimed international designer who presented his first design for Andreu World to the KE-ZU team abroad.

An intriguing story: the On collection spent over a year in the design phase, beginning with a singular chair and growing into a full range with armchair, stacking and upholstery options.

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Andreu World sought out Morrison, confident that he would understand the chair that Andreu World were looking for to round out their 2014 catalogue.  Meanwhile, Jasper was so impressed with Andreu World’s capabilities and manufacturing techniques that it seemed from early on, a match made in heaven.

Whilst analyzing the Andreu World product, Morrison saw things he never before thought possible: an exciting venture for a designer who told KE-ZU how joyous a process it was working with a company of such craftsmen.

If you put bad designers with bad companies you’ll get bad product

… Jasper noted, stating what now appears to be the modest designer’s way of celebrating this new working relationship.  A major strength of Andreu World is recognizing collaboration opportunities where both parties bring their best qualities to the table (no pun intended) in order to achieve superior product; that formula applied here is testament to the extraordinary On collection.

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Salone Milano 2014 Day 2: Kenneth Cobonpue

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Taking part in a collective stall “Made in Philippines” Kenneth Cobonpue and Hive presented their 2014 collection as a family affair in what is a diverse and exciting year ahead for Kenneth Cobonpue and Hive.

Kenneth Cobonpue brought along the fam, together with the latest product. Seeing new collections for the first time gave KE-ZU an opportunity to understand the size, form and material components of the newest product from our regional friends.

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Calyx Collection

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Nauticus by Luisa Robinson

Nautilus by Luisa Robinson

The Nautilus Lamp, designed by Luisa Robinson captured all our attention. The shade is made of rattan moulded into the shape of oceanic mollusks with a hint of vintage Hollywood glamour.

Trame, Poppy & Fan Coral

Trame, Poppy & Fan Coral

The furniture fair veteran Chiquita provided serious comfort (really, you must try it) as we took in the fresh collections Calyx, Trame, Whisk and Fan Coral – an art piece designed by Kenneth Cobonpue himself. Fan Coral which is made of handwoven steel and Filipino wood that was left over from previous projects, gracefully spread its wings against the light of the Made in Philippines’ Salone Milano stand.

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Salone Milano Day 2: bd Barcelona

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Weaving and dodging tripods, cameras, microphones and excited visitors only added to the excitement at bd Barcelona. Their mantra Design Meets Art was proudly displayed on the wall at their Salone Milano stand. ‘Camp bd’ was the place to be with celebrity designers Oscar Tusquets and Jaime Hayón bringing with them all the excitement that their new designs hold.

Jaime, in his trademark upbeat fashion, presented his Gardenias collection, an indoor translation of 2013’s outdoor collection. The indoor version materializes the whimsically romantic essence of the outdoor version, the powder coated aluminum frame adopting velvet in deep and warm colours.

Hayon's indoor Gardenias

Hayon’s indoor Gardenias

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Tusquets’ Xai

On his way to an interview with Archiproducts, Óscar Tusquets carefully examined Xai, the now famous bedside table he designed and developed in collaboration with Deyrolles, inspired from a 1942 painting by Salvador Dali.  He seemed pleased, as was the roundabout of visitors who lined up to snap photographs as little Xai stared on.

Shanty in one of the two available colour combinations

Shanty in one of the two available colour combinations

An exciting new collection for bd Barcelona is Shanty by Nipa Doshi and Johnathan Levien (who we met at the Nanimarquina stall). It seems that each year a star emerges as Salone Milano and this year it appears to be Doshi Levien. The new cabinet, currently in prototype stage, is inspired by the shanty style of living in developing countries. The collection is completed with a complimentary mirror.

Constructed of MDF with a glass top, Shanty is available in solid colours of green, blue, black, white with two multi-coloured versions and along with Hayón’s Showtime credenza (in new materials and colours), they join the fanciful collection of casegoods from bd Barcelona.

 

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