Month: November, 2012


KE-ZU recently went to work with Kenneth Cobonpue’s “Little People” – installing a custom made screen in one of the newest bars on the Sydney scene, Grain Bar at the Four Seasons on George Street, Sydney.

Image Courtesy TotalVenue

With Grain Bar offering a generous mix of quirky, fresh produced food (the likes of fresh oysters, hanger steaks, smoked trout poe) and delicious boozy treats to a bustling crowd, it’s the perfect backdrop for the Salago fiber coated shapes of little people clinging to the wall.

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Dali Dali! Dali in Paris! …

Following our accidental “Salvador Dali Week” a fortnight ago, we thought we may note to our French friends, and travellers that last month saw the launch of a major exhibition on the great surrealist artist, Salvador Dali, at the Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris.

This exhibition, devoted to the world of the Spanish surrealist – a prolific painter, sculptor, writer and furniture designer (!) – presents known and unknown works for the public’s appreciation. The exhibition runs to March 2013.

The authorised sofa designed by Dali “Dalips” shown above, is manufactured by bd Barcelona and is available at KE-ZU.

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FFF – Interview with a Colleague …

Getting to know your colleagues is always important.  Often we spend more time with our colleagues than our partners, friends or family.

Sometimes these employment connections are born from visiting the same café during a break, having mutual friends or living in the same area.  Other times, it’s about extra-curricular collections, and this is the premise of this anecdotal Furniture Free Friday.

In getting to know colleagues in the KE-ZU office, it came to this writers attention recently that he shares a mutual appreciation with a fellow KE-ZU colleague for collecting Interview Magazines.  There it is, connection done.

For those not in the know, Interview Magazine is the monthly publication dubbed “the crystal ball of pop” initiated in 1969 by Andew Warhola Jr., of course better known as Andy Warhol.  Turning his hand to publishing from success in the art, music and film worlds the multi-faceted icon created a magazine featuring intimate conversations between some of the worlds biggest celebrities, the magazine was usually unedited in the style of his narrative books such as “the Philosophies of Andy Warhol”.  Warhol remained credited editor of the magazine until his death in 1987.

Interview was the crème-de-la-crème of magazines, finding their way (quite cumbersomely at an A3 size) to readers the world over.  These earlier issues now find their way from these readers’ collections and into thrift and vintage stores (and into my living room).

Interview is still published to this day under new direction, but it’s the back issues which we love.  Holding a relatively large collection, a few favourite covers feature Mick Jagger and Cyndi Lauper from 1985 and 1986 respectively in illustration form.  Wonderful!

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Sydney’s Revolutionary Minds …

KE-ZU was fortunate enough to be invited to the launch of quite the two-pronged attack on Sydney’s style scene.

­The fork comprises the launch of a colourful, conceptual photographic exhibition by quirky fashion and portrait photographer Helen White, taking place the Gaffa Gallery on Clarence Street, Sydney CBD.

The photographic exhibition is a premise to the release of the bi-annual publication of Style Seekers, a free, handy and quite sexy publication exposing Sydney’s design, fashion and food culture in Sydney.

Put together by the publishing team over at Urban Walkabout, the exhibition delves into the stories of Sydney’s “revolutionary minds”, sixteen selected individuals kicking goals in the field of fashion, design, art, culture and retail, six of which revealing their story on associated podcasts.

Each portrait is elaborately styled to represent their private and public personalities, style seekers such as fashion designer Dion Lee, self-proclaimed rice paper roll queen Nahji Chu, decorator/stylist Sibella Court, owners of Grasshopper Bar, founders of the Sydney Picnic Company Simon and Natalie Thomas, swimwear design team of We Are handsome Indhra Chagoury and Jeremy Somers, and more.

The exhibition closes on 26 November 2012 – we suggest you get down there.

Contemporary Jewellery & Lighting Designer Cinnamon Lee | image courtesy Helen White Photography

Fashion designer Gary Bigeni | image courtesy Helen White Photograhpy

Stylist and decorator Sibella Court | image courtesy Helen White Photograhpy

Fashion designer Dion Lee | image courtesy Helen White Photograhpy

Grasshopper Bar owners Martin O'Sullivan & John Toubia | image courtesy Helen White Photograhpy

All images courtesy Helen White Photograhpy.

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FFF – Unreal Surreal Cooking …

Salvador Dali. Pause.  Salvador Dali.  Pause.  Repeat.

This is not how this blog post was intended to start.  But with so much to say about one interesting man, the mind races and sometimes all that lingers is a pause.

So without further delay, here’s today’s Furniture Free Friday.  The subject matter derived from Wednesday’s post about long-time KE-ZU supplier Spanish manufacturer bd Barcelona, however it’s the other lesser known works of the eccentric,  Surrealist Dali that grab our attention today.  Did you know Dali authored a cookbook?

The rise of the ‘food celebrity’ is unsurprising in this day and age with all things domestic taking pride of place on our television screens, blogs, social media outlets and bookshelves.  The young, passionate and all too creative kitchen, dining and entertaining masterminds all vie for a piece of the economic pie, but in 1973 when Salvador Dali penned and illustrated his recipe book, these were probably limited to the likes of past champions, Julia Child and Delia Smith.

Dali’s book, now worth hundreds to thousands of dollars incorporates color-illustrated cloth boards in a gold foil embossed dustjacket housing many full-page, full-colour illustrations and more two-colour or black and white illustrations.  Very Dali.   Oh, right, of course – and incorporates 136 recipes in twelve categories such as exotic, fish and shellfish, eggs & seafood, snails & frogs, aphrodisiacs, and a few others…

With Christmas coming (as depicted by Dali above) it might be a good time to set aside some weekend scavenge hunting!  Adios!

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The Spaniards have it…

The spirited furniture manufacturer bd Barcelona was founded in 1972 as “bd Ediciones de Diseño”, a collaboration of a talented group of architects, designers and art talents.  Since then bd Barcelona has had a few name changes but the mantra remains the same, merging art and design.

The 1970’s were a progressive time of art, design and art theory and the Spanish manufacturing house was born from a frustration of a lack of connection between theory and production.  The cause of this group of rebels resulted in the production of furniture, objects and accessories, the concepts of which being theorized the world over but unavailable in shops.  It became a vehicle for the experiential works, dealing with object perception and reacting to a societal change.

It’s no surprise then, the calibre of names which comprise the past and current catalogue of bd Barcelona products, famously designed or derived from creative greats of times past.  Names like surrealism great Salvador Dali, architectural genius’ Giuseppe Terragni, Spanish pioneer Antoni Gaudi and jack of all trades Charles Rennie Mackintosh all placing their personal stamp on works rolled out of the bd workshop.  Some pieces by Dali and Gaudi are still in production.

The current bd catalogue adopts the same approach, and employs the minds of contemporary designers such as Jaime Hayon, Konstantin Grcic and Ross Lovegrove, creating uniquely styled pieces, all of which tell a story of their own. We’ve recently written about Hayon’s Showtime (here), Grcic’s Table B and Chair B (here) and the bd Barcelona recent exhibitions in Milan (here).

As we speak, bd Barcelona is celebrating the first year in its new showroom, naturally locally on the Barcelonan coastline where current production products are showcased and available for purchase.

In exciting news, the Spanish veteran is celebrating its 40th year and to commemorate is releasing an exclusive limited edition handful of hand-painted Jaime Hayon Showtime collection vases, painted by the collection designer guru himself, continuing to successfully marry design and art.

The bd Barcelona back catalogue of product is a fascinating object essay, each with their own purpose and story, here are some of the KE-ZU favourites, and you can see the full museum here.

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Furniture Free Friday – Fashion Four…

In the manner of times past, it seems that sticking together and having a group of peers can lead to success in the arts world.  The 1960’s had the Rat Pack, the 1980’s the Brat Pack, we’re experiencing the Frat Pack as we speak but there’s a new pack emerging… and it’s brewing like an incoming storm.

Today’s FFF goes out to the newest phenomenon KE-ZU has stumbled upon; the “Russian Fashion Mafia”.  Taking the world by their own storm, these four dangerously good looking women, are trendily clawing their way to the top of the global fashion elite and taking no prisoners – a form of vogue pack hunting.  Some say there’s safety in numbers and this may be the way to go for these girls, given the rest of their lives seem wholly daring.

The glamour posse comprises Miroslava Duma, the former 21 year old Editor of Harper’s Bazaar Russia, Elena Perminova, supermodel and girlfriend of billionaire media mogul Alexander Lebedev, Ulyana Sergeenko, a successful fashion designer with an expensive fondness of the turban who recently debuted in Paris and Vika Gazinskaya, a fashion designer with an ever-changing haircut.

With globalisation and the rise of the ‘instant celebrity’, it wasn’t an easy feat being set apart from others but it seems that for these fashionistas, steering the fashion world of the Soviet was the key to the success, Duma says of current Russian fashion:

We’ve never had any history of fashion in Russia, but there has been a revolution of thinking.

Each of the members of the Russian Fashion Mafia now regularly appear front row at all major fashion shows, NYC, London, Paris and Milan.  They are the new darlings of the fashion world and they’re here to stay, chicly dipping their fingers into many pies… online media outlets, magazine editing, styling, fashion designing, photography, hospitality and of course A-list parties.

Keep an eye out for these successful youngsters – before time either you, your girlfriend, your mother, or your flatmate will be wearing one of their designs, reading one of their stories, watching one of their catwalks or if Duma has her way, drinking one of her coffees.

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A Zoom in on Lens…

Here at KE-ZU we love diving into our product catalogue and learning more about said product and the creative driver behind it. Looking above our heads to our intelligent lighting system, we catch a glimpse of one of our most intriguing products, the genius “On Line” lighting system by Belgian architect/designer Bart Lens for manufacturer Eden.

Lens, a fascinating subject, leads a design team of go-getters, taking regular objects, analyzing their use and turning them on their heads in the name of progression and design.

The Eden On Line lighting system evidences such a policy.  On Line is a captivating track lighting system, the track housing a state-of-the-art magnetic system used to hold any number of prescribed On Line lighting components, the LED based components are similar in styling yet each one of them has their own little personality, “Knick”, “Out” and “In” each employing 16 CREE high power LED, available in colour temperatures of 2700K and 3500K at 1000 lumens.  “Turn” and “Dot” in the spotlight family offer exchangeable optics with Dot offering different beams available in red, green, blue and cold white.

This system lends itself to adaptability and flexibility, having the ability to easily customize and tailor a lighting plan that suits the user and its intended space by mixing up the components and their position.

The beauty of the On Line system is not only in its intelligence, it’s found in its simplicity and elegance.  Taking home a Red Dot Award in 2011, these high quality lights are a hit the world over, KE-ZU recently installing them in the coveted Momofuku Seiobo in Sydney.

Lens’ other projects are as equally impressive as they are diverse. The Bart Lens hallmark of manipulating and understanding light and shape isn’t lost in any of his work.

Lens’ other work for Eden and also available at KE-ZU:

TABLECLOTH table and light… a structure resembling the draped form of a starched tablecloth.  The Tablecloth table and light is a self-supporting plastic structure and can be utilized indoors or outdoors and has a light battery life of up to seven hours, just long enough for the party you could say.

FOOL MOON is a collection offering suspension, table lamp, floor lamp or a wall lamp – all beautiful luminaries that whether hung vertical, horizontal or at odd angles appear to be light emitting saucers overhead.  Subtly radiating a soft glow, the FOOL MOON collection is available in white, or optional remote control LED colour fittings.

I-LIGHT is sleek and stylish, comprising suspended vertical chromed brass tube which house an LED Light fitting that highlights and stylises a pendulous ball suspended beneath the tube.  The structures find themselves adding spatial separation and a unique ring of light in any space.

SPHERE is moulded ABS plastic rounded suspension offered in three sizes.  The customisable lighting option demarcates the space it illuminates with its gentle pod-like form.

An appealing feature of Sphere is its ability for its interior and exterior to be specified in any Pantone colour reference – making them an individual and adaptable suspension for any space.

Even a quick visit to Lens’ portfolio website Objetb’art will show a perfectly designed aesthetically catalogue – considered in such a way that speaks volumes of his work.

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A family of B’s …

Industrial design genius Konstantin Grcic has leant his hand to bd Barcelona and now offers Table B, the first piece to drop from the ‘Extrusions Collection’, a family of furniture synthesizing industrial aesthetics and manual processing.

Drawing obvious visual inspiration from bd Barcelona’s Hypóstila shelving unit, a signature piece from the Spanish manufacturers 1970’s catalogue, Table B seems to transcend time, adopting a striking visual of lineal sophistication.

Winning favours and taking top honours at the 2011 Red Dot awards, the Table top finds itself made of extruded aluminum with scotch anodised polish in silver or matt black.  From one side appearing to float seamlessly and from the other, dipping to expose its hollow length.

Offering three options of legs; natural timber, concrete and stainless steel, Table B becomes a marriage of materials, all of which striking and bearing different visually weights, the latter two having the ability to live outdoors.

Adding a chair model to the collection, Grcic offers Chair B.  Complimenting the visual style of Table B and finding itself equally as attractively engineered, Chair B is a sleek, folding timber chair with a lightweight concealed aluminum under-seat structure available in different colours for some sneaky fun.  The fun doesn’t stop there however, with Chair B’s X-shaped legs having the ability to stack horizontally – a mean feat from the adaptable Grcic.

Bd Barcelona’s Table B with natural timber legs is currently available for viewing at the KE-ZU showroom.

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