From headphones to vegetable juice, here’s Monocle’s run-down of the latest essentials for every part of your life.
If You Could : Print
Designer Anthony Burrill teamed up with astronomer John Griffiths to create a set of prints for a project called “If you could collaborate”. Founded by Alex Bec and Will Hudson, the duo behind It’s Nice That (see page 130), the undertaking is in its first year. It gives creatives the opportunity and a generous one-year deadline to create a work in collaboration with someone from a completely different discipline.
Kinoshohampu: Golf bag
There’s no need for a caddy if you’re using this aluminium and canvas golf bag. A collaboration between Kobe-based Kinoshohampu and golf specialist Mizuno, it is a lightweight option for a potentially heavy load. Originally developed for professional European golfers to use while practising, the design has been reinterpreted by the Japanese bag maker with a hand-stitched leather trim. For those scared of getting the white canvas dirty, the bag is also available in khaki.
Unto This Last: Animal ornaments
Furniture maker Unto This Last uses the off-cuts of birch ply furniture to make home accessories, such as these animals designed by Olivier Geoffroy. Taking inspiration from the 1860 John Ruskin treatise of the same name, Unto This Last mixes the appeal of small craftsman workshops with modern digital tools that make production at the shop of eight staff a highly efficient affair. Brooch versions are new for 2010.
Joey Roth: Speakers
Made of porcelain, cork and Baltic birch, Joey Roth’s ceramic speakers are the latest offering from the San Francisco-based designer following the success of his Sorapot teapot. “I was inspired by the harmonious contrast between electronic components and simple materials,” says Roth whose next project will be a foray into office kit.
Gestalten: Dieter Rams book
Released by publisher Gestalten – whose books are all edited by designers – Less and More celebrates the works of German industrial designer Dieter Rams. Featuring the entire catalogue of his design classics created during a 40-year tenure at manufacturer Braun – alongside sketches, rarer works and Rams’ designs for Vitsoe – this 800-page book is one of the most comprehensive on Rams to date.
Travelteq: Laptop bag
Handmade in Italy, Travelteq’s multi-pocketed Trash laptop bag uses Florentine Vachetta leather, lined with water-resistant nylon and is available in three colours. The Amsterdam-based luggage design firm was launched by Quote Magazine founder Martin van den Biggelaar with friends who were looking for timeless and innovative travel accessories. The super-sturdy Trip carry-on, which will launch in April, has been in the works since Travelteq was set up in 2007.
Suwada: Nail clippers
It’s not often that nail clippers draw admiring glances, but when they are handmade by Japanese blacksmiths based in Sanjo, they definitely turn heads. Forged under high pressure and hand-finished by the Suwada blacksmiths, who also specialise in garden shears, these high-carbon steel nippers are precisely angled to swiftly dispose of unsightly nails in one clean sweep.
Footnote: The area of Sanjo in Niigata is famous for its blacksmiths who excel in crafting small metal goods.
WB&Co: Vegetable juice
“We are one of the only pure vegetable juice brands in the world,” says founder of Singapore-based Wild Bunch & Company (WB&CO) Mark Walker, who can make this claim because most juices are not “pure”. Vegetables often sit in chilled warehouses losing their nutrients for well over two months before making it into a bottle and onto the shelf. Walker, however, makes sure his vegetables are only 48 hours out of the ground. Sporting zingy flavours including beetroot, red apple and ginger, they launch this month in the UK.
Dietrich Lubs, who was former product designer at Braun under Dieter Rams, has teamed up with Japanese brand Düller and come up with a streamlined collection of pens that fit snugly inside their accompanying notebooks. In Lubs’ signature style, these black and green aluminium pens do away with frills and concentrate on function.
Footnote: Lubs’ most famous product for Braun was the AB1A travel alarm clock that inspired the design of these Düller pens.
Following the success of its Swirl headphones, AiAiAi has teamed up with fellow Danes KiBiSi and come up with the new Tracks series. Available in contrast colours and leather trim, this sturdy take on the iconic Walkman Y-part model also has a mic option and is compatible with smartphones including iPhones and BlackBerrys. AiAiAi was launched in 2007 as a collaboration between a group of friends working as graphic designers, DJs and musicians.
Founded in 1997, Swedish microbrewery Nynäshamns Ångbryggeri is a nine-staff outfit that likes to keep things local. “We name all the beers after places in our archipelago,” says co-owner Thomas Hansen. Sold in retro half-litre bottles, favourites include its award-winning Bedarö Bitter, an ale-spiced with Cascade and Chinook hops. Other popular brews include its wintry blend Mysingen Midvinterbrygd, the honey-spiced Bötet Barley Wine, and the full-bodied Sotholmen Extra Stout.