Pierre & the Almond tree: Tomás Alonso

Designer Tomas Alonso pays a one-of-a-kind, functional homage to the late Pierre Leron Lesur's art (a museum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence highlights the works of the French artist, who passed away earlier this year). Alonso gives a new twist to the art of  "Sylvistructure",  a "unique practice at the crossing point between art and craftsmanship. Sylvistructure aims to reveal the natural beauty of old pieces of wood found on country paths. The technique involves delicately stripping the wood from decomposing matter, in order to reveal its core. Throughout his career, Pierre Leron Lesur has developed a specific interest in the almond tree: a singular tree with twisted shapes that is becoming increasingly rare in Provence". Designer Tomás Alonso, whose works are showcased at the Victor Hunt gallery in Brussels, focuses on function within the piece of wood, while respecting its original shape and unique beauty.

Degeneration of Modernism? Tessa Koot, the Sorry Collection

Mart Stam, El Lissitzky and Gerrit Rietveld en route for Milan… If the Bauhaus and De Stijl members could come back to life today, would their work be considered relevent? The "Sorry Collection" by Tessa Koot, an installation of handcrafted furniture commisioned by Dutch entrepeneur Bob Hutten, gives us a few hints. The Dutch designer, whose freedom in process and concepts is pivotal to her designs, was "never really restricted by conventions of functionality and comfort. Koot looked to the modernist movements of the first half of the 20th century for inspiration and significance.
 Using new materials and techniques, unconcerned with the necessary know-how, resulted in a new form of risk taking as of yet not proven succesful in terms of sustaining the ravages of time… but hey!" Tessa Koot collaborated with photographer Lisa Klappe to stage her Sorry Collection, in a setting "loosely refering to the infamous execution of the 1937 Degenerate Art Exhibition", organized by the Nazis in order to rally public opinion against modernist artists. The Sorry Collection is on show at the Studio Paul Heijnen Exhibition 'KORTE METTEN' during the Milan Salone.

Muuto Talent Award winner: Tuomas Auvinen, 45° lamp

Finnish designer Tuomas Auvinen has won the Muuto Talent Award 2014 with his "45°" lamp, selected among 400 design entries submitted by Nordic design schools students. The Scandinavian design brand launched the competition six years ago to "encourage to submit an entry where the (students) express their own story while providing a perspective on a Muuto product." 30 years old Tuomas Auvinen studies at the Institute of Design in Lahti, Finland, and is currently doing an exchange semester in The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Patternity x Richard Brendon

The PATTERNITY design studio, founded in 2009 by photographer & art director Anna Murray and designer Grace Winteringham (whose modern marquetry works we admired before), released a new series of ceramic tableware in collaboration with Richard Brendon. Hand-finished by hand, in a combination of white, classic cobalt blue and burnished gold, the "Reason" collection gives a fresh twist to the traditional British Bone china.

Utopia & Utility: Stacking Vessels at Design Show Shanghai

London-based designer Pia Wüstenberg will exhibit her Stacking Vessels (studio Utopia & Utility, which she founded with her brother Moritz, a Biochemical engineer) at Design Show Shanghai - February 27-March 2. A long way from her first series, when she was graduating from the London Royal College of Art, in 2011. Welcome to Asia, Pia.

Hinika by Jarrod Lim @ 100% Design Singapore

Spotted with interest at 100% Design Singapore (held within the Marina Bay Sands Convention & Exhibition center, home to Maison&Objet Asia early 2014), the newly launched (and pretty sleek) Hinika products, designed by Jarrod Lim. He grew up in Australia (where his mother was born), where he studied Industrial Design. He then relocated to Europe, to work with no less than world-acclaimed designer Patricia Urquiola. In 2007, Jarrod Lim finally moved to Singapore - homeland of his father - and opened his own studio. Early 2013, Jarrod Lim launched his new brand in Milan during the Salone.  Named "Hinika", it was inspired by the Japanese term ‘itsuno hinika’ - general idea if translated into english would be "someday". Wallpaper magazine celebrated Hinika's debut exhibition, dubbing Lim's offspring as "One of the best new brands to be launched at Salone del Mobile 2013". So, I wondered, what is Hinika's core philosophy? "It is a positive reminder to continue looking forward, ever hopeful, ever curious and constantly striving to create a more beautiful world", explains the Singapore-based designer. "To never stop dreaming. We approach our designs with a feeling of restlessness. An enthusiasm to create something new, something different yet something you feel instantly comfortable with."  To Jarrod Lim, "A wooden chair is simply a wooden chair, but each of us will see that chair in a different light based on how we may have experienced it before. Our aim is to understand these types of relationships that people share with such personal objects and to enhance that experience with unique designs that bring about exciting new encounters." (more pictures after the jump)