• Return2

    Photos by Grandpeople

  • Return1

    Photos by Grandpeople

  • Return3

    Photos by Grandpeople

  • Return4

    Photos by Grandpeople

  • Return5

    Photos by Grandpeople

Product Design

Lars Beller Fjetland: Re-Turned

Posted by Will Hudson,

Every one of Lars Beller Fjetland’s birds started life as a supportive table-leg or an armrest but now live as part of the Norweigen designer’s flock of Re-Turned ornaments. “The “Re-turned”-concepts elevates leftover wood from being merely an ignored piece of trash to becoming a desired piece of feel-good woodcraft,” according to the artist. You can’t say fairer than that.

What’s your background prior to Bergen National Academy?

Before I started at the Bergen National Academy of the Arts I spent three years at the Norwegian School of Economics. It was three quite interesting years but I couldn’t help feeling like moving towards something more creative. Economy can be a rather dark affair because of its constant focus on increasing consumption, regardless of whether Mother Nature can bare it or not.  

I guess that the goodwill aspects of my projects came as a direct reaction to this.  

Where did the furniture come from that you used in Re-turned?

Recycling and reuse of materials is a big part of my life both as a citizen and a designer. It just feels plain wrong knowing the amount of usable material that gets thrown away each and every day.

I came up with the Re-turned project after cruising through my hometown on my old trusted bike. I saw dumpsters on every street corner and started to wonder how much quality materials I could find on a single raid plundering these urban sawmills.

A short trip gathering wood provided me with enough material to build at least 20 birds. This really opened my eyes to the fact that trash really is a misplaced resource.

How important is it to recycle/reuse these materials?

Prior to developing the Link series I visited a local tannery outside Bergen. I remember seeing pile after pile of discarded leather, thrown away because it didn’t meet the ridiculous demands of perfection demanded by luxury brands. A slight discolouration, insect bites or other scaring was enough to place these hides in the unwanted section.

Out of frustration I decided to design a range of luxury products that only consisted out of scrapped leather. This resulted in the Link series.
For me as a designer it’s my mission to design objects that can survive several generations.

It’s not just about creating something that is rough and rugged – it’s just as much about creating classic lines that will appeal to generations to come.

Your latest endeavours range from collaborations with graphic designers to more sculptural, artistic experiments with form and material. What can we look forward to seeing next?

The last few years I’ve been collaborating with a Norwegian based graphic design bureau called Grandpeople. They have done the graphical profile for the Re-turned series and the graphical profile for my webpage.

Additional results of this collaboration will be launched sometime this year. I’m also working on a light installation in Carrara marble which is a study of how materials can reflect and add colour to light.

Wh-300

Posted by Will Hudson

Will founded It’s Nice That in 2007 and is now director of the company. Once one of the main contributors to the site he has stepped back from writing as the business has expanded. He is a regular guest on the Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Product Design View Archive

  1. List_tomas_alonso_lines_waves_itsnicethat

    One glance at Instagram or any interiors blog circa 2015 and it feels like marble, or at least cheap mimicries, are decorating homes everywhere. But there’s none of the ubiquitous “funky” accessory holders or dinnerware in Tomás Alonso’s marble-based project, Lines & Waves. Exploring pattern and stackability, Tomas’ interlocking tables are a thing of true beauty. Machine-milled grooves have been cut into the top and bottom of marble blocks creating objects that look like crinkled salami and giant McCoy’s crisps.

  2. Be_elastic_snap_list

    Bigger is always better they say, but when you live in a flat or anywhere that’s not a barn this is impossible, as far as furniture’s concerned. Days spent walking around furniture shops, friends’ houses and skips armed with a tape measure and a recurring sense of disappointment can become disheartening even for the most optimistic shopper. You’re left with a choice; either learn carpentry or buy a table that will give you bruised shins every time you squeeze past. But fear not, for product design company Be-elastic has created SNAP to end all your table-top woes.

  3. Chargedoubler-itsnicethat-list

    We’re drawn to a lot of the projects we cover by their aesthetic qualities but sometimes it seems right and proper to flag up something whose form may not promise much, but whose function is really exciting. So it is with Jorg Neugebauer and Kai Wiehagen’s ChargeDoubler, a USB that halves your charging speed to get your phone back up and running in super quick time.

  4. Lit-my-name-is-wendy-byland-its-nice-that

    Many designers talk of the importance of play as a way to explore creativity and come up with solutions that rigorous hard-work might not unearth. Parisian studio My Name is Wendy has taken this to its logical conclusion, by creating a board game called Byland. As with the studio’s previous output, it looks stunning, and mixes gorgeous graphics with a strategy-based game combining cognition and aesthetics. We’re not sure we totally understand the rules, perhaps due to a combination of them being slightly lost in translation and our own inability to finish a game of Snap, let alone Risk, but boy does it look good.

  5. Oddwood-itsnicethat-list

    Since we last checked in Anders Bollman’s Oddwood project has flourished from a simple selection of hand-carved spoons into a whole range of salvaged and re-purposed products. The Swedish creative is a graphic designer by day and busies himself with whittling in his spare time, making benches, chairs, vases and cutting boards for anyone with an interest in timber.

  6. Design-museum-designers-in-residence-2015-its-nice-that-list

    The Design Museum has announced its 2015 Designers in Residence, which sees four young designers spend four months developing projects around the theme “migration.” They will work with industry figures and the museum itself to create work to be shown in an exhibition from September 2015. This year’s designers are architectural designer Chris Green, product designer Stephanie Hornig, interdisciplinary designer Hefin Jones and Alexa Pollmann, whose work explores the intersection of fashion and technology.

  7. List

    It seems inevitable now that all future technology will require us to interact with it in a much more direct way – by chatting to it and letting it learn from our behaviours. This happens in the online sphere already, but there’s very little in my home that I can command with my voice or expect to understand my tastes. Not so with Aether Cone, a new thinking music player that you control by speaking to it and which can learn your musical and general audio preferences every time you use it.

  8. List2

    This won’t be the best-shot, best-edited film you’ve seen all day but it’ll definitely be the most exciting. Volvo (the car manufacturer) have just released a luminous paint that’s invisible during the day and then brightly fluorescent at night as soon as car headlights bounce off it. Spray it on your bike, helmet, clothing – maybe even your face – to make sure you’re lit up like a Christmas tree whenever you set off on nighttime rides.

  9. Vice-mushroom-int-list

    Introducing Phil Ross, an artist who’s a huge fan of mushrooms, but less in his spag bol than as a medium with which to create his artwork. For almost 20 years he has been experimenting with mushrooms for their recycling properties, growing them in new formations to make them stronger and more versatile and then using them as a material with which to build, among other things.

  10. Bladerunner-deckards-whiskey-glass-int-list

    Film and furniture go together like peas and carrots, like Thelma and Louise, like Amelie and a creme brûlée. To honour this, Paula Benson (co-founder of design agency Form) created the site Film and Furniture, billed as a “lovingly curated resource directing you where to find the décor, art and furniture you spot in your favourite films.”

  11. Corners-by-kyuhyung-cho_04lst

    Is there nothing Kyuhyung Cho can’t do? He popped over in 2011 with his experimental take on typography; wowed us in 2012 with some simple, effective graphic design; and nigh-on reinvented not just the stool, but shelving as well.

  12. Ustwo-monument-valley-int-list

    Yesterday we brought you the full list of nominations for the graphics category of the Design Museum’s Designs of the Year, and today we thought we’d take things down a notch, and present five things from the other categories that particularly tickled our fancy over at It’s Nice That. As ever, the nominations are a wildly varied bunch so it’s not been easy, but here goes:

  13. Teenage-engineering-pocket-synths-int-5-list

    Jesper Kouthoofd’s Teenage Engineering is one of the most technologically exciting outfits in the field of audio. The experimental design lab has only released a small run of products since its inception in 2007 but has a hard-earned reputation for incredible quality and style. It has built stunning wireless speakers and one of the world’s most sought-after synthesisers, as well as collaborating with the likes of Absolut on unusual branded products. It has just released a new edition to its line in the form of Pocket Operators, three miniature synthesisers that can fit in your jeans.