#43 Around the House

Your Favorite Manufacturers from 2017

Courtesy of Focus

A year of hunting products for architecture projects has bumped certain brands to the top of your wish lists. Below, you’ll find online exhibition site ArchiExpo’s compendium of 2017’s most solicited manufacturers.

 

The Season for an Open Fire

Focus, a leading French fireplace manufacturer for 45 years, made the list, no doubt due to their innovative approach to hearth construction. While their pieces tend to be sculptural, this year’s new product, Curvifocus, is the world’s first fireplace with a concave front. Enchanting and inviting, Curvifocus got immediate attention at the company’s first participation in the Hearth and Home tradeshow in Britain, where it won both gas fire of the year and model of the year.

Curvifocus by Focus archiexpo

Curvifocus by Focus

In conversation with Ira Imig from Focus, ArchiExpo e-Magazine was curious to know about the designer’s material usage and how that has changed. The firm has always used steel, but Imig emphasized that “for fifty years we have been using only one material: imagination. The imagination will give the right shape to the steel we are working with. It’s like composing music with shapes.”

However, the shape is not just charming; the curved screen contributes to its efficiency by cutting energy consumption. Beyond high-tech curves, Focus is also working with color! Hot off the stove, Focus White brightens its surroundings with its mod tone, bringing light and style.

Has Focus collaborated with any renown designers recently?

“We collaborated with French designer Thibault Desombre, who inspired the design of one of our fireplaces. He’s a good friend of Dominique Imbert, and together they created the Grappus fireplace. This collaboration is the fruit of a human adventure. Future collaborations may happen in the same way.”

 

Ready for the New Year

 

Wilkhahn‘s office furniture is tried and true. Offering comfort along with quality, the time-honored company is also acknowledged for its true dedication to sustainability and ecological responsibility. Wilkwahn will release its new Aula chair designed by Wolfgang C.R. Mezger in January 2018.  Weighing 6.7 kg with armrests and 6 kg without, fiberglass-reinforced Ultramid® makes this chair exceptionally lightweight. Yet, it is still hard-wearing, offering superior comfort and support.

Aula by Wilkhahn

The Need for Comfort

 

In the bathroom or on the table Villeroy & Boch takes the cake for dependability as a traditional and sleek lifestyle brand. In October 2017, the company joined forces with Heinze GMBH to put on the forum Urban Wellbeing: Rethinking Residential Design. Devoted to research and understanding of the effects that design has on everyday life, this public dialogue, held in the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg’s HafenCity, featured internationally renowned architects discussing the need for comfort and efficiency, both small and large.

https://pro.villeroy-boch.com/en/dk/bathroom-and-wellness/architects-planners/news/urban-wellbeing.html

A Simple Object Can Save Lives

 

Opinion Ciatti attracts positive opinion for its contemporary approach to form and experimentation with the process and practice of design. This year, Lapo Ciatti designed Hope, an installation that was part of LUISAVIAROMA‘s exhibition Design on Water at the Bridge of Love in Florence. Coinciding with the 13th edition of Firenze4Ever in June, Hope embodied an interpretation of the word rope, looking at the ability of such a simple object to take on great importance, such as saving lives. Hung vertically, 19 ropes held red poppies, the bright color blazing through the room in a metaphor of love.

Lapo Ciatti designed Hope, an installation

Growing Love for Porcelain Tiles

 

Not just a backdrop for furniture, Porcelanosa’s tiles take center stage with their elegant and calming surfaces. Last February, the 24th Global Architecture and Interior Design International Exhibition featured the Porcelanosa Grupo. Attendance records were broken again, increasing by 15% over the 12,000 visitors in 2016. And just this October, Porcelanosa’s Seedwood Collection was in the running for Interior Design’s Best of Year Awards.

Porcelanosa’s Seedwood Collection

 

Rolling with Sophistication

 

désirée divani has been on a roll recently, releasing several new furniture pieces in collaboration with distinct designers. Marc Sadler concocted the romantic Lovely Day sofa exclusively for désirée divani. Melding sophistication with purpose, this couch was envisioned with the philosophy of the company in mind.

Next on this list is Overplan, designed by Matteo Thun & Antonio Rodriguez. The modular sofa can bring balance and rigor not only to domestic settings, but also to business or commercial spaces. Last but not least is avì es. Designed by Jai Jalan, the piece is created with big, rounded cushions, comforting and soothing to tired eyes and sentimental minds.

avì es designed by Jai Jalan for Désirée Divani

avì es designed by Jai Jalan for désirée divani

Sexy Materials for Urban Designs

 

Metalco, a company based in the south of France, is noted for its exterior furniture for public spaces, urban decor and playground equipment. In recent months, the company has released plenty of urban designs worthy of attention. The Libre Evolution benches, designed by Alfredo Tasca, are made of shaped steel, with each individual tube uniquely contoured to fit its position. Moving to a completely different material, the Lorenzo bench is created entirely of reconstituted granite/marble supporting an integrated wooden seat.

id metalco Libre benches Design Alfredo Tasca

Libre bench designed Alfredo Tasca for ID Metalco

 

The Smart Office

 

Estel exemplifies today’s smart office concept marvellously. The company develops its products in its own factory, engineered by experienced technicians, and often updates its collections with innovations from new devices, technologies, behaviors and relationships. It’s always eye catching and exciting to see what’s out now.

There are height adjustable desks for office areas, meeting tables that can be reserved with an app and armchairs with cable management. Estel often integrates a power supply into its furniture for smartphone and tablet.

 

An Italian smart office solution. Courtesy of Estel

 

Read more about the Italian brand’s smart office setup.

 


About the Author

Erin Gigl is a freelance design and travel writer, editor and artist.

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