Category: Design News

Congratulations Yellowtrace! …

We are ever so proud to announce that our super good mates over at Yellowtrace have won Best Online Design Publication at the 2013 Sydney Design Awards!

Recognizing work throughout the design community, The Sydney Design Awards celebrates excellence, diversity and culture in Sydney’s design industry and the awards night last week saw Yellowtrace distinguished with top honours!

Congratulations Mama & Papa Yellowtrace!

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LZF Lamps’ New Newsletter! …

Eminent members of the lighting design community and super popular KE-ZU supplier LZF Lamps have released their Newsletter No. 17.  Always full of interesting morsels of info, this one doesn’t disappoint.

With material on their London Design Junction (and a great video), the Spanish Rojo Exhibition at Sala Vinçon (pictured), the making of their exhibition stand and an interview with  Luca Fois – No. 17 is a great way to start the day!

Find the newsletter here.

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Design Week Mexico – Hola! Let’s Go! …

Design Week Mexico, 9 days of design, 103 events and more than 1,000 participants and kicks off this week!

Celebrating its fifth year, DWM was launched in 2009 by a group of professionals with a simple, but very touch aim; to position Mexico among the design capitals of the world, and support and nurture up and coming Mexican designers.

So far they’ve set quite the high standard and reputation throughout the design community and 2013 looks set to improve that standing even further.   Learning and growing from the past, DWM achieves growth each year, not only achieving their primary aims vernacularly, but adding more international partners annually.

Teaser Design Week México 2013 from Design Week Mexico on Vimeo.

Taking Mexico’s design culture and community and projecting it to an international spotlight, DWM 2013 is jam packed full of goodies and personalities, no doubt continuing to spark the interest of the larger design community.  With speakers such as Nanimarquina, Rossana Hu, Tatiana Bilbao, Bethan Wood, guest country Brazil, Design House 2013, the annual design race and so much more (remember there’s 103 events!).

We are particularly looking forward to seeing Neri&Hu’s inspirational collaboration with the godfather of Mexican design, Luis Barragan. Neri&Hu Design and Research Office, is an inter-disciplinary award-winning architectural design practice based in Shanghai, China. Founded by Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu, the emphatic designers behind many collections available at KE-ZU.    DWM’s press release states:

“In the Luis Barragan+Neri&Hu exhibit at the Mexican Museum of Modern Art, visitors will make their way down a dark corridor lined with pigeon holes, through which they will peek to see sketches, models and other displays that recreate living spaces. As visitors walk through the corridor, they will unveil the secrets behind the wall. Revaluing the wall to create an introspective and intimate atmosphere was one of Barragan’s most important contributions to architecture. One of his most famous premises was:   “Before inhabiting space, man has to inhabit himself.” Under that principle, the body becomes a screen to understand the world as owning the space remains a constant concern. Lyndon Neri & Rossan Hu have questioned the foundations of the house typology and have transcended these to the public space, creating massive but controlled scenarios.  The room was always an impression of life. A print that could take many forms, but always leave traces, signals, vestiges and always remain unfinished.  Inhabiting a space requires exploration in order to discover its secrets.

The value of this exhibit relies on how it places Luis Barragan in an international context and presents his influence on a foreigner’s vision.”

An exciting and inspirational exhibit no doubt.  Continuing on their mission to accompany DWM to greater heights, Neri&Hu have opened the doors to their factory for acclaimed filmmaker Juriaan Booij to masterfully craft the video below.  A stunning piece set to whet any appetite.

De La Espada Factory from De La Espada on Vimeo.

DWM is making a Mexican getaway even more appealing – but for those in the United States or the sophisticated Northern Americas it’s a not to be missed event!

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Kenneth Cobonpue’s Manila Showroom! …

We’re pleased to share the news and fabulous visuals of KE-ZU supplier and friend Kenneth Cobonpue’s new showroom opening in Manila, Philippines.

The original showroom was located in Cebu, a historical southern Island of the archipelago to the bustling Capital, landing a very fitting prized address at the Residences at Greenbelt in Makati, one of the sixteen cities which comprise metro Manila.

The exciting new space provides a muted backdrop, the perfect canvas to paint the picture of the Kenneth Cobonpue brand.   The stunning new venue showcases the versatility of Kenneth Cobonpue furniture and hive [design by hive] lighting, with each piece standing strong in the beautifully styled space.

Hagia daybed & Hagia occasional tables

Ziggy chair and Ziggy end table

La Luna lounge chair | Ziggy collection

Kenneth Cobonpue product is manufactured in the Philippines, more often using vernacular production methods and materials to create the unique yet instantly recognizable pieces.   Although Kenneth Cobonpue product is available worldwide, should you be planning a trip, or already are in the Philippines (lucky you), the luxury of having a large collection of Kenneth Cobonpue furniture in one place is incredibly rewarding and not to be missed.  A fabulous way to help understand the history of the country and see it continuing in such a respectful and creative way, all part of the Kenneth Cobonpue mantra.

A huge KE-ZU congratulations to the Kenneth Cobonpue team!

Cabaret lounge chair

Hive’s Poppy suspension

Hive Carousel & Papermate suspensions, KC Tropez sofa, & Kaja table

Hive Cloud & Poppy suspension

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Norwegian Wood – The Oslo Chair …

Some believe in fate, others believe in creating your own destiny, and others simple luck.  Whether these are separate entities or inextricably linked to one other is perhaps better left for the philosophers among us to battle out, but it’s an interesting topic for debate nonetheless.   What is the relevance here? You may be asking yourself.  It’s a question which came to mind and started dancing around my mind while researching Bernhardt Design’s latest adventure, the Oslo Chair designed by Norwegian design collective Angell Wyller Aarseth.

The transparency of how this latest creation was born is a connect-the-dots of interesting moments culminating from hard work, study and perhaps some serendipity which now assists us to understand the design and manufacture thought process, its meaning and allows us to celebrate another beautiful design I’ve since nicknamed “Norwegian Wood” (there’s that The Beatles reference I’ve been dying to make!).

So here are the facts; as design students in Europe, the founding members of Angell Wyller Aarseth (Christoffer Angell, Øyvind Wyller and Simen Aarseth) discovered that they shared common interests and philosophies when it came to design.  They formed a loose collective and as a trio, found themselves at the 2010 London Design Festival.

During the Festival, of course now just over three years ago, a chance meeting between Jerry Helling, the president of and global talent scout for North Carolinian manufacturer Bernhardt Design set the wheels in motion.  Ambassador Bjarne Lindstrom organized a meet-and-greet cocktail event, its purpose to connect designers of Norway with influential figures on the international design circuit and as students at the time, the chance for Angell Wyller Aarseth to meet Helling was an opportunity many young designers no doubt could only dream of.

Helling is an avid supporter of fostering fresh talent and has a keen eye for ability in a fickle design market.   Immediately recognizing the potential of the fresh Norwegian students:

You could sense a light burning in them

he recalled, and dutifully surrendered his business card.  After seeing their portfolio, Helling suggested the three apply for the ICFF Studio Program at International Contemporary Furniture Fair in NYC the following year– which in turn is another of those fate/destiny moments – the designs released by Angell Wyller Aarseth, cookware titled “Handle Me” was a critical success, winning an award for best accessories.

That was the moment that Helling asked them to collaborate with Benhardt Design.

Enter the Oslo chair, the first product to be launched commercially under the name AWAA (as the collective now goes by).  And what a debut.   The brief to create something which blends European aesthetic and functionality with American history and tradition at first glance could appear a cinch.  Naturally such is not the case.

A deep experiment into form was undertaken; understanding the space a chair can hold and stripping back from there.   Introducing angular notions give the chair a lighter feel while its rounded skeleton shoots downwards, visually grounding the chair.  Its composition of solid walnut, an American furniture tradition and darling of Bernhardt Design is a strong move away from the European hardwoods so often used by designers of the area.  Comfort plays an integral part in the design, with a textured sling draping itself over the structure, providing mixed material assisting Oslo to bear a softness while acknowledging predecessors now known as classics.

Be it fate, destiny or luck, Oslo’s debut at the 2013 London Design Festival ensures Helling maintains his title as a genius explorer of talent and marks the beginning of a new relationship between these exciting designers and furniture manufacture.

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And…. AndNews …

Andreu World – leading furniture manufacturer and immensely popular KE-ZU supplier delivered their September newsletter and it’s packed to the rafters with interesting bits and pieces. You can check it out in its entirety here – but for those wanting just a sneak peek, we’ve summarized some of the info from the newsletter for you below:

New Carola

Combining new production methods and a modernity of Scandinavian design by powerhouse Lievore Altherr Molina, Andreu World presents New Carola – a collection of side and arm chairs, expertly constructed of natural wood finishes and offered with a plywood seat or upholstered seat pads.  A fabulous addition to the AW (and KE-ZU) catalogue – more details can be found here.

Jury Announced for AW Design Competition!

The jury has been announced for the 2013 Andreu World Design Competition – a prestigious international design competition we hope you’ve been putting pent o paper or hand to mouse for it! More info form our previous blog post here.  The jury contains international designer Marc Krusin, the director of Elle Deco Spain Marta Riopérez, designer Nacho Lavernia (National Design Award 2013), Product Manager at Andreu World Sergio Chismol and the Managing Director of the European Institute of Design (IED) Riccardo Marzullo. One word, whoa.

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Getting to the Core of it… P1 …

Design Gatekeepers is a fascinating interview series offered from Core77 – the online platform’s latest venture sees it talking with ten influential curators, retailers and creative directors.  Naturally, we’ve been keeping a close eye on the series as its intriguing guests provide an insight into their personal world of design.

Jerry Helling – the genius Creative Director of KE-ZU supplier Bernhardt Design is known for his keen eye on furniture and has quite the knack for uncovering and fostering young design talent from the all over the world.  Core77 spoke with Jerry for Design Gatekeepers about just this, in a very interesting piece.  The interview can be found here, be sure to check it out.

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GECA News Brings it All …

GECA is Australia’s go-to certifier of environmentally preferable goods and services.

Implementing stringent and rigourous testing methods to sort the sustainably good from the bad, their aim is to encourage the development and usage of sustainable goods and services within our fair Nation.

With around 50 GECA certified products and therefore approximately 1500 GECA certified variations in finishes and materials,  KE-ZU shows our support for environmentally sound products which ensure a healthy range of options are available for green projects and specification.

GECA hosted a discussion at The Podium at the Galleria for Sydney Indesign recently and Billi, our sustainability manager joined the panel to discuss the topic of environmental sustainability and product specification (see the Zu Blog post here).  In their recent newsletter, GECA published an article on the discussion titled   “Sydney Indesign panel discusses benefits of GECA” dissecting the in-depth discussion which took place.  Our Billi is quoted:

The process of certifying is very rigorous in its audit and it’s very important for designers to be considerate about what they are using but I think also as consumers we should be more responsible and do a lot more research into what we’re actually buying.

A great read, the article can be found here.

Also featured in the GECA newsletter was an interview with Taku Kumazawa, designer of the Red Dot Design Award winning sustainable Tipo collection of stacking chairs and stools, and the CTZ Tilt-Top Table for Axona Aichi.

Taku was our guest for Sydney Indesign and took the time out to speak with Stephen Lacey from Design Unplugged at the Zu showroom.  Taku explained to Stephen:

When I suggested we use recycled material, they thought I was mad…  I always wanted to make furniture that could be separated into different materials at the end of its life. I asked my boss why can’t we do that? And the boss just shook his head. Nobody seriously thought about that 20 years ago.

A fabulous interview from a very interesting man and extremely talented designer which can be read in its entirety here.

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Slinging Mudd …

Mudd Magazine, a Spanish creative online platform focusing on all things creative recently published an article “3 questions to 3 outdoor furniture companies”.

Without even a skerrick of doubt one of the coolest companies specializing in outdoor furniture (and parties, if their ability to host a party at Salone Internazinale del Mobile is anything to go by) is KE-ZU supplier Vondom; so it seems only natural that they’d be first up to take part in the aforementioned Mudd Magazine survey.

And so it was that Vondom’s marketing manager and genius, Michelle Poon offers her knowledge and thoughts on the Spanish design guns’ work.  Quite well translated from Spanish by our mates at Vondom, the following is an excerpt from the article (available here):

Could you explain to us about Vondom´s history?

Vondom was born in 2007 to create a new understanding of the furniture and the interior and exterior decoration. All this to produce efficient, agreeable and ecological pieces, to make life more pleasant and contribute to a more sustainable world.  The design is our passion, and we work with professionals like Ross Lovegrove, Fabio Novembre etc.

What is your favorite product?

What can we say, all of them are our favorites! In 2013 we launched new products like F3, by Fabio Novembre, Peacock,by  Eero Aarnio, UFO,by Ora Ito, and various outdoor rug collections.
And of course, the collection Biophilia by Ross Lovegrove , one of the most difficult products that we have developed organically.  They are a very thin thickness pieces, with many interior waves and folds, and also bicolor.

What are your next projects?

Promote Vondom and the made ​​in Spain. Although is a young company, we are present in over 80 countries and we always have international projects. After establishing our subsidiary in the United States in 2012, this year we doing the biggest effort for this market:  in the fairs Hospitality in Las Vegas and ICFF in New York in May. We have also established offices in Germany and the UK and we’ll assist on upcoming fairs, as May Design Series in London and Spoga-Gafa fair in cologne, and we continue our expansion in China.

The entire Vondom catalogue is available at KE-ZU and nationally through our distribution network.

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You Light Up My Life …

Lighting is one of the most important features of architectural and interior design and decoration.  It affects that we way live by manipulating the aesthetic of our environment. Using light to design spaces isn’t just about providing light – it highlights architectural features, has a psychological impact and instructs us as how particular space is to be used and enjoyed.

That said, the housing in which this important light takes its form is equally important.  A light fitting is separated into two facets, the light it emits and the design of the object. The two are intimately bound together and neither can take precedence over the other.

This is where Fluvia comes in.  KE-ZU has recently welcomed Fluvia to the band of Spanish manufacturers we supply to the Australian market.   Fluvia says of their current catalogue: “Design free from excesses, with pure geometries and timeless forms to offer the optimum spread of lighting for each use”.

Fluvia was established with the aim of creating different kinds of spaces by manipulating the way light works. The pieces which form the Fluvia family perfectly balance functionality and good looks, bringing the aesthetics of past architectural lamps into the future to merge with the modern aesthetics of the latest feats of architecture and design.

Recently launching its first collections ‘Slim’ and ‘Flat’, both collections were created by prolific Spanish designer Josep Lluscà.   The Slim Collection is a powerful family of fixtures which cast a powerful light and comprise an array of lighting devices which hold strong presence for being not only expertly manufactured, but also technologically cutting-edge. The Flat Collection consists of minimalist, free-standing lights designed for workstations, desks, conference rooms, the pieces all suitable for all office and corporate environments.

The Fluvia product are an efficient bunch, fashionably illuminating spaces utilising the latest in LED technology, therefore being energy conscious and low maintenance.   The models of the Slim Collection suit a variety of environments both residential and commercial in a flexible and versatile way, all the while exuding appropriate light from their uber-cool housing – managing to hit the two fundamental facets of lighting well out of the park.

Fluvia Slim models are currently available for viewing in the showroom and are available for sale now through KE-ZU and nationally through our distribution network.

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