The powerful work of Christien Meinderstma on display @Vitra Design Museum

We know her works with and for Japanese label ARITA or have seen her many experiences with flax or linen, including the brilliant Label/breed Flax chair (picture above). The Vitra Design Museum team were right to dedicate their next exhibition to the works of Dutch designer Christien Meindertsma: "Beyond the Surface", the designer's first solo presentation outside her native country, will focus on her seeing the creation of a product as only one element of the design process. In her unique approach, she explores the mechanisms of modern industrial production, undertaking expeditions to factories and conducting meticulous detective work at waste disposal sites and workshops - while bringing her unquenchable thirst for knowledge to interviews with the protagonists of these adventures. The exhibition focuses on Christien Meindertsma's work with the materials of wool, flax, incinerator bottom ash and recycled wool. On display are projects such as the One Sheep Sweater (2010) - for which she produced garments from the coats of individual sheep - or the Flax Chair (Label/Breed, 2015), an innovative, sustainable piece of furniture made from a now rarely used material, which earned her the New Material Award and the Dutch Design Award in 2016. The exhibition (18 August 2018 until 20 January 2019) at the Vitra Design Museum Gallery will not merely concentrate on finished products, but material samples, prototypes and photographs. A particular focus lies on the production processes behind the completed object, which Meindertsma captures by means of films and publications - a method she refers to as "documentary design". This renders visible how deeply the designer dives into her subject matter, often exploring a topic for long periods of time and positioning one completed project as a launch pad for the next.

Sundial Chandelier by Maarten de Ceulaer

Introduced during the Milan Salone, Maarten de Ceulaer has designed the "Sundial Chandelier" for the Nilufar Gallery. Made of anodised aluminum disks that seem to float in space "like planets in the universe", the central rod casts a sharp shadow of in different directions, as if, explains Maarten de Ceulaer, "it were illuminated by 6 different suns". "They spiral down the piece to end where they started, like a perfect loop in time. The design is all about rhythym, and each version will play a different song, with the shadows dancing to a different beat." The Sundial Chandelier is developed with and produced by the Belgian company Alton, known for their excellence in aluminum production. Every piece is be signed and numbered.  

Emirati origami: A new addition to Aljoud Lootah’s Oru collection

  Japanese ancient art meets Middle East tradition: multidisciplinary designer and artist Aljoud Lootah has added a black version to her Oru lamp, as part of the"Oru Series" she introduced during the Dubaï Design Days 2015. Her collection of geometric furniture and decorative objects take inspiration from origami forms. The name “Oru” originates from the Japanese verb “to fold”, and the idea behind the Aljoud's designing process was to generate, from a flat, 2-dimensional sheet, an aesthetically appealing and functional 3-dimensional form. (…)

Fantasy & Belle Epoque decadence inspired Bompas & Parr’s latest creation

Designed by Bompas & Parr for Perrier-Jouet, these thermochromatic "Fleurs des Rêves" draw inspiration from the fin-de-siècle French Decadence movement - whilst incorporating technochemicals and thermochromatic inks, contemporary hypnogogic video art and technical lighting. Not obvious? "Think Gustave Moreau’s Salomé seen through a pulsating lenticular screen!", exclaim Bompas & Parr. In his novel A Rebours (1884), Huysmans imagined a protagonist obsessed with flowers, "natural flowers (that) should mimic the artificial ones”. The design of this special bloom is further inspired by the huge greenhouses of the House of Perrier-Jouët constructed in 1852 by Charles Perrier. "This was the site of constant horticultural and botanical innovation with scores of exotic flowers and rare plants including over 300 varieties of orchid. The gardens and greenhouses were also the source of inspiration for the brand heraldry and anemone motif on Perrier-Jouët’s prestigious cuvée, Belle Epoque."

M/B as in “Mind/Blowing”: Creatives to keep an eye on

They are funny, gifted and sassy. "They" are M/B, the founders of this Parisian creative agency launched in 2011 by artistic director Marine de Bouchony and photographer Camille de Laurens. After several years experiencing with fashion and culture, the two friends decided to join their forces and set up M/B, producing contents, designing brand identities, consulting, creating scenographies and planning various events. "M/B. is Merci/Beaucoup, Much/Better, Mister/Bean, Mind/Blowing - but first and foremost it’s Camille, Marine, Mylène and Anne-Sophie."Since their beginnings, the four accomplices have worked their magic for Asos, Etam, NellyRodi, Jean Paul Gaultier or Molteni. The pictures published here were imagined for Milh's first birthday. For this "2.0 habershary", the team took inspiration from the Dutch 17th Century masters to create a series of still-life witty and poetic scenes. "A ball of carded wool turned into a cream cake, a shimmering ribbon as a plate of caviar… Breakfast, lunch, tea break and diner, place your order, everybody will get their very own happy Milh!" They definitely are on our Watch List.

Storm in a teacup – or in a tray

Its shape is inspired by the ocean and seas surrounding Japanese archipelago. Designed by 24° studio (founded in Kobe, Japan, by Fumio Hirakawa and Marina Topunova) the Storm tray is made of hard maple wood and available in two shapes which can be tiled horizontally and vertically, hence creating a landscape of undulations.