Furniture Design Archive

  1. Viktormatic-list

    When I was about thirteen I had a bright yellow record bag that I’d lovingly (and laboriously) decorated with all the logos of my favourite bands. I worked on its design for months, building on it in class, at home and whenever else I could spare the time to paint on another slogan. Needless to say I can still render Rage Against the Machine in acrylic with swift and accurate precision to this day. In short, I was always a lover of customisation.

  2. Swine-list

    Studio Swine have been producing a run of superb work recently. We featured their studio space not long ago, but since then they’ve been hard at work concocting yet another visually stunning piece of interior architecture – this time with a technological twist.

  3. Derekwelsh-list

    It’s not often we feature furniture design here on It’s Nice That, and we like to think that means you can rest assured that when we do, it’s seriously good stuff. You’ll be pleased to hear that Derek Welsh’s new collection, Graft, is no exception to this rule, featuring admirable craftsmanship and beautifully selected materials.

  4. Bcmh-list

    The London Design Festival is predominantly about big name product and furniture designers putting their wares on display and staking their claim to the beautifully crafted throne of design greatness. But there are a whole host of other creatives slaving away to make the event as successful as it is, and they’re often overlooked. I’m talking of course, about graphic designers and the sterling work they do creating the signage, promotional material and environments for all aspects of the festival, the poor loves.

  5. Home

    For most people furniture comes via a trip to Ikea or a flea market down the road but for Michael Beitz, furniture is a whole new ball game. Transforming everyday objects into sculptural masterpieces it seems that Michael Beitz doesn’t mess around when it comes to furnishings and with a portfolio as cool as his, who can blame him?

  6. Serialcut-list

    Madrid-based design and art direction studio Serial Cut don’t do subtle – in fact they’re probably not even familiar with the word. What they do understand however is brash, bold and highly-polished so it’s no surprise that they’ve opted for Extra Bold as the title of their very first retrospective publication, looking back at the past 13 years of the studio’s creative output.

  7. List

    As ever the V&A is taking centre stage at this year’s London Design Festival with the usual mix of ambitious and well-conceived projects. Nendo’ s Mimicry Chairs is one of the exhibits on show at the flagship venue and as with many of the V&A’s offerings over the years, the project references and reacts to the space, or rather spaces, in which it sits.

  8. Kslist

    RCA graduate Klemens Schillinger is a dab hand with concrete and ceramics. His affinity for these solid grey materials has led to a practice of largely monochromatic pieces, but all have wonderful concepts based on chance and happenstance. His experimental research project Migrated Vases took its creative cues from strangers in rural China, who were stopped in the street and asked to draw their interpretation of an archetypal Chinese vase. Once back in the studio Klemens turned these images into actual thrown pots in an attempt to highlight the diversity of creativity “in an environment where creative practise is undervalued.”

  9. Main1_11-07-20

    Upon seeing that this furniture is the brainchild of photographer Fien Muller and artist Hannes Van Severen you are instantly reminded that when mega-creatives combine their skills, the results can be unexpected and marvellous. Maybe it’s the way these ludicrously elegant resting-devices are shot (in dusty studios on chilly mornings) or perhaps it’s because it puts our own furniture to shame, but there’s definitely something super special about these.

  10. Nju-list

    Anyone who consumes magazines with the voracity that we do will, at some point, have encountered the problem of what to do with your subscriptions once you’ve read them. You can’t throw them away of course – suppose you suddenly need to lay hands on a vital piece of information that’s long been shredded and mulched? Unacceptable! But you can’t just leave them hanging around the house either, taking up valuable space that should really be full of potted plants and stylish furniture.

  11. Deanbrownlist

    I’ve not got much experience when it comes to furnishing a house or flat, as my accommodation arrangements thus far have never allowed much creative freedom to choose my own functional objects. If the landlord likes a fake leather sofa then I’ll put up with it, if she’s a huge fan of ornately patterned net curtains then heck, maybe I like them too (I don’t).

  12. Office-list

    As you read this there’s a pretty good chance you’re seated in an office space or studio, looking out across a sea of focussed faces, or maybe staring out of the window onto a busy street. If you work at home perhaps you’re half in bed half out, barely able to distinguish between sleeping area and workspace (I’ve been there, it’s tricky). Whatever your current surroundings there’s one thing I can absolutely guarantee – they don’t look half as good as the stunning Soho offices Studio Swine have built.

  13. Tom-chunglist

    My initial plan was to write about just one of Tom Chung’s design projects, Locker Room, a stylish bit of kit designed to bring the thrill and anticipation of team sports into your own home. But then I discovered that it was just one project in a series of sports-related gems, so bear with me while I take you through them all.

  14. List

    With the print industry flailing around like a boozy reveller in a deceptively deep fountain, you might think that publishers would be keen to snare buyers with cut-price offers. Not so over at Taschen where bigger is better as exemplified by their gorgeous new Marc Newson monograph, a 610-page behemoth, the special edition of which retails at a cool £3,500 (regular edition £650).

  15. Nest-list

    We last featured Jean Jullien’s work in May, but when stuff like this project comes through, in all its egg-soaked glory, we can’t not tell you about it! The London-based French designer has just completed Le Nid (The Nest) for a space in Nantes, his hometown.

  16. Michael-schoner

    Amsterdam-based architect and designer Michael Schoner is responsible for these pieces, and yep, they’re pretty damn great. They can store and display objects in all sorts of different configurations, and the furniture itself can be swapped and changed around – a bit like life-size lego blocks.

  17. List

    It’s 8am and you’re on the way to work, a morning coffee in your hand and everything going swell; but what’s this? your barista/coffee purist has steamed your flat white/toffee soy lattaccino for too long and the searing heat from the liquid is burning your hands, even through the protective polystyrene cup. Disaster. Thankfully there’s a solution to your hand-scalding problem courtesy of Portland-based object hacker Chris Held, who proposes the addition of a portable wooden handle to your caffeine receptacle, thus eliminating any burning sensations and rendering you instantly stylish in the process.

  18. Sam-weller-list

    Sam Weller does interesting things with old craft technologies creating design solutions that use the simplicity of their forms and functions with new contexts and a new aesthetic appreciation. Such treatment raises them up to sculptural and even, strangely, musical status in his immediately pleasing furniture and product designs. Like his Holdfast shelving and tables that use deceptively humble clamping elements that support themselves using tension, or the quite brilliant Public Resonance. A project, also using clamps, that can be attached to street furniture and existing architecture of the everyday, channelling its vibrations and the literal resonance of a public space, and was inspired by “the spontaneity of street performers and the busking community.” Inventive, wonderful stuff (with lots of insightful makings-of insights to enjoy).

  19. List

    Designers of all stripes can get fixated on their own trials and tribulations – when that font just won’t render properly or your Creative Suite keeps on freezing – so it’s salutory to be reminded about designers forced to work in very different circumstances.

  20. List

    Here in London graduate season is in full swing and it’s easy to forget in the maelstrom of private views (hip young things swigging tepid beer) that the annual migration from arts and designs schools is a global phenomenon. Luna Seo is one of those emerging from the highly-respected Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Sweden and her final project That Piece of Time re-imagines the everyday and wants to sprinkle a liitle bit of magic onto the mundane, aiming to " grasp time from the sunlight and shed unexpected, unrepeatable moments for you to cherish."

  21. Cjlist

    The Milan Salone sometimes gets a bit of criticism for lack of imagination but that’s not a charge that can bevelled at Christopher Jenner’s 2012 showcase The Looking Glass House. The South African-born, London based furniture designer chose this extraordinary Yayoi Kusama-inspired installation as a means of introducing his debut collection Swell. The sound induced matrix of ever changing coloured light was not only beautifully executed, it’s also a good riposte to those who want to criticise what they see as Milan’s overly commercial bent.

  22. Listy

    Girls just wanna have fun right? Well apparently furniture designers want the same, or at least Dutch designer Lucas Maasen does. He has a range of projects that flirt with the boundaries of the way we perceive objects, playing with how they’re presented to us or the way they’re created – he personifies the beloved if overused phrase, “thinking outside the box.”

  23. Bblist

    Since starting at It’s Nice That I have been fortunate enough to have some extraordinary experiences, yet few compare to the feeling of descending the stairs into the V&A’s Raphael Gallery during the London Design Festival press preview last autumn. Beneath the famous cartoons, Erwan and Ronan Bouroullec had created Textile Field, a 240 metre cushioned platform in various hues of blue and green.

  24. List

    While we can get overawed by the wealth of established talent in the creative industries, it’s important to support those who are either just starting out or still climbing that competitive tree of success. Like flowers they need watering, feeding but above all nurturing to continue becoming the best flowers (creative professionals) they can. This is why the Design Museum’s annual Designers in Residence programme is such an excellent opportunity in recognising new and emerging talent.

  25. Lilianna-ovalle-list

    In the same way Liliana Ovalle incorporates into her designs the incidences of improvised functionality in everyday situations into her designs, her use of colour is just as unexpected and illuminating in its suggestion of how a piece of furniture might be interpreted. A continuation of her Colour Me series, these pieces feature consistent geometric designs that conform to our table and stool-shaped conventions blocked out in vibrant colour on well-crafted, edgy wooden forms.

  26. Drlist

    In 1976 leading designer Dieter Rams sketched out some of his core beliefs in front of an audience in New York City. Concerning his work with Vitsoe, it’s an invaluable insight into the principles on which the work of one of the 20th Century’s leading design figures were based and is a must-read for creatives across any design discipline. Massively ahead of its time and bursting with sound advice, the full transcript has just been released to mark Dieter’s 80th birthday later this month.

  27. Fictionlist

    Whenever a company releases a promo video, there’s a very fine balance between doing something creative and interesting and actually showing off the product. To coincide with the launch of their beautiful new Fiction catalogue designed by Florian Böhm, Vitra today released this film which is a sumptuously shot meditation on life, acquisition culture and identity, but crucially it also serves as a showcase of Vitra’s trademark style and quality. We like.

  28. Dimain

    From the sanded plywood tables to the endless stacks of multi-coloured paper, 99.9% of the objects at GF Smith’s Beauty in the Making exhibition are easy on the eye. We were particularly enraptured by the glossy red stools filling the coffee bar area, which instantly brought back memories of classrooms, bunsen burners and graph paper. Luckily for us, the incredibly talented and friendly stool-maker, David Irwin, was about for a chat…

  29. Rayyy-list

    When a collection of furniture reminds you of the hit 1980s game show, Blockbusters, you know you’re onto a winner. But the Rayuela stools from Spanish furniture designers Alvaro Catalan de Ocon, are of course so much more than that.

  30. Craneclerk

    We already got a bit excited about some of the highlights of this year’s Clerkenwell Design Week when they were announced a few weeks back and that sense of anticipation has been cranked up a notch thanks to our friends at Crane.tv. They’ve produced this short, high energy promo film featuring a few of the sights and sounds we’ll be treated to next month and all signs point that it’s gearing up to be a cracker.

  31. Clublist

    It’s the kind of brief you might get set at art school – re-design a ubiquitous, well-known product from scratch, enhancing its design and ironing out issues. But Heineken’s Open Design Explorations Project has made that pie-in-the-sky idea a reality, bringing the expertise and resources of a major, multinational, design-obsessed brand to the party.

  32. Werner-aisslingers-list

    We’ve all had a fondness for a cane furniture set at some point in our lives, so we already know the wonders nature and it’s plants can provide us. Challenging the extent to which it can be used though is designer Werner Aisslinger whose newest concept project, Chair Farm, sees him actually growing furniture.

  33. Big-list

    We sit down a lot, and complain when we’re not – so it’s definitely become a priority to have a sturdy base for our caboose. Luckily for us, designers make sure that our good-taste eye doesn’t become blinded by our desperation for any surface to sit on. Now, even luckier for us is clothing label Marni making a foray into furniture design at this year’s Milan Furniture Fair.

  34. 56th-studio-list

    Proving eclecticism and craftsmanship are not mutually exclusive, 56th Studio is a brand-new design outfit debuting three collections of unexpected furniture and products in Milan.

  35. List-elisa-strozyk

    Elisa Strozyk had us at Wooden Carpet, the beautifully crafted isometric floor covering made from hard wood, but we’ll take her Accordian Collection too. A designer with a penchant for surfaces and surprising manipulations of very traditional materials, this latest work created in collaboration with artist Sebastian Neeb, continues with Elisa’s affinity for creating unusual textiles.

  36. Nightshop-pov-list

    We’re going to be treated to all sorts of design gems in the build up to this years Milan furniture fair, and occasionally these products might even look like jewels. The P.O.V vase by NIGHTSHOP (Ward van Gemert and Adriaan van deer Ploeg) is an iridescent vessel with a perspective heavy design, changing colour as you move about it. Tasking themselves in creating “surprising products,” the vase more than qualifies.

  37. Maartlist

    At first, Maarten De Celaer’s newest project reminded me of multi-coloured, science lab mould growths – a slightly unpleasant reference but aesthetically fascinating. Using the sciences as inspiration, Maarten wanted the pieces in his Mutation Series to resemble transformations of cells, that have germinated into upholstered mutations because of a chemical or nuclear reaction. This approach to furniture design is rarely seen and it’s why Maarten’s project is featured at this year’s Milan Design Week. Achieved by carefully composing patterns with cut-offs of varying foam spheres which are applied to a basic structure, the entire piece then gets coated with a rubber or velvet-like finish. This is a direct challenge to classic upholstery, and I for one am welcoming it with open (and lab coat-protected) arms.

  38. Liliana-ovalle-list

    The Mugroso Couch, Mugrosita chair and El Otro (de los Mugrosos) sofa are an ongoing collection started in 2006 of casually-composed seating pieces inspired by the “improvisation and low resources” of the people in Mexico City. Royal College of Art graduate and Mexico-city-born designer, Liliana Ovalle, has taken the functional ingenuity of binding, tying and pushing through carriables onto wire frames and transportation trollies, applying this collage-like logic to her furniture. The results are wonderfully aesthetic, intuitively constructed with a direct line to their reference material, all in all, telling a very nice design story.

  39. Heinfrontfron

    The countdown to this year’s Salone is well and truly on with the design world converging on Milan in just 12 days. One of the most intriguing, ambitious projects will be unveiled by Heineken, who are scaling-up their design DNA into a fully-fledged nightclub experience. It’s the culmination of a year-long process which has involved a team of 19 designers from Tokyo, New York, Milan and Sao Paulo, selected from different disciplines to re-imagine a night out with design at its very core. We spoke to some of the key players to find out how it all worked…

  40. Hockerbank-small