Our finds this month include an easy-to-assemble flatpack range, a tiny pocket camera and an updated perfume classic.
Make It Better/flatpack furniture
“Design is the key,” says Guta Moura Guedes, design director of Portugal’s Make It Better – an innovative flatpack furniture range from manufacturer Movelpartes that is putting the fun back into DIY with its colourful designs. Easily assembled in under 25 minutes with the help of a hammer, the six new furniture pieces include a desk and bathroom cabinet. They have been designed by young studios such as Pedrita and Miguel Vieira Baptista. The “Mus” – a playful take on the trestle table (below) – and the “Birdie” coffee table (bottom) were designed by Barcelona-based La Granja and slot together easily without any screws.
- The Lollipop Shoppe/clock
Fashioned from a piece of acrylic, this limited-edition clock was developed by artist Anthony Burrill for UK design shop The Lollipop Shoppe, which opened its second outlet in London’s Spitalfields in April. A hundred of each piece will be available in three colours with a similarly bright and sunny hue.
- Studio Culture/book
Edited by designer-turned-author Adrian Shaughnessy and the creative director of Spin, Tony Brook, Studio Culture provides an insight into the workings of 28 leading designers and studios, including Paula Scher at Pentagram and James Goggin at Practise. Designers rarely talk about how their studios are run so this is a welcome resource for those looking for inspiration.
Coming straight from a fourth-generation family farm in the hilly Styrian landscape near the Austrian/Slovenian border, this Holunderblüten Sirup (elderflower syrup) is perfect for hot-weather refreshment. It is available online or at the Vienna Naschmarkt food market. Mix with sparkling water or champagne.
Florence-based binocular and telescope maker Palomar has wooed art fanatics globally with its monocular. Designed by industrial designer Odoardo Fioravanti, the sleek miniature device, which comes in white, chrome and black, magnifies artworks by six times.
- Kid O/rubber ducks
Parents in New York looking for children’s toys with an emphasis on design turn to the Kid O boutique on West 10th Street. Owned by former architect Lisa Mahar, the shop sells small-scale Vitra furniture and brands such as Swiss Naef alongside Mahar’s own creations, including these PVC-free ducks.
- Monogram/pocket camera
Designed by Naoto Nakamura Monogram Inc., this camera-cum-keychain has no viewfinder so your snaps have an element of surprise. The Pocket Digital Camera SQ28m (Pokedigi for short) shoots in four colour modes – normal, monochrome, noise and vivid. Nostalgic filmmakers can shoot eight frames per second for 8mm film effects.
Dutch design label Weltevree’s new cookbook debuted at April’s Milan furniture fair together with the launch of the firm’s Outdoor Oven by Dick van Hoff. Recipes for cooking outdoors were thought up with the help of fellow Dutchman, chef Jeroen van Werven. The book has a textured cover you can light matches off. German and English versions will be launched in coming months.
Barcelona-based MYdrap has designed these cotton and linen napkins and placemats, packaged in a perforated kitchen-roll style. Used by restaurants including Raymond Blanc’s Manoir aux Quat’Saisons and hotel groups such as the Hilton, they are available in 24 colours.
- Nära Heltnaturligt/ skincare
Nära Heltnaturligt is an organic Scandinavian skincare, clothing and accessories line from Swedish designer Gunn Johansson. The cosmetic range, which was launched in April in Japan’s Tomorrowland, is made up of 18 products in three different scents – orange, geranium and rose.
- Vivo/bento box
Northern Californian brand Vivo produces these stackable bento boxes, perfect for a nifty packed lunch. Available in a series of tricolour varieties, the melamine boxes are reminiscent of Indian tiffin lunchboxes and have inner compartments and a handle to carry it all to the office.
- Loralin Design/knitted toys
After a frantic weekend looking after her nephews, Lynn Buchman was inspired to publish A Parent’s Journal for the Babysitter, and subsequently launched baby clothes and toys firm Loralin Design in 2003. These knitted cotton pigs and elephants are handmade in Lima. She plans to add hand puppets to the collection soon.
- Akiko/pétanque set
This teak and chrome pétanque set from Danish wood specialist Skagerak Denmark is a smart addition to your lawn this summer. It is a collaboration between Danish designer Hans Thyge and Akiko Kuwahata of Japan.
- Amala/beauty products
Environmentalist Ute Leube set up this German beauty brand with products made from pure plant ingredients that are then distilled using ancient Chinese techniques. Amala means “pure” in Sanskrit and the white packaging for its jasmine, blue lotus and cocoa bean face creams, toners and face masks is in keeping with this theme.
French perfume house Les Parfums d’Isabey has re-released one of its most popular scents from the 1920s, Bleu de Chine, under the name Fleur Nocturne. The scent has been updated by perfumer Jean Jacques and the amethyst bottle also gets a new look courtesy of Ludwig Moser.
- Nava Design/rucksack
The N_Bag rucksack is the latest offering from Japanese designer Naoto Fukasawa in collaboration with Italian Nava Design. “We developed the material specially for the project over three years,” says Fukasawa of the highly durable Plastitex material used in this stitch-free bag.
- Phrungnii/book cover
If you want to avoid scrabbling round in bags for guidebooks and maps when on your travels, Japanese firm Phrungnii has the solution. Its cotton “bookpacker” covers come with a strap so you can sling books over your shoulder and access them easily when you need to.
- KleinReid/spinning tops
Herman Miller’s set of three walnut spinning tops is the second instalment of its annually released limited edition Select line. The set was designed by New York-based studio KleinReid and crafted in Michigan’s Grand Rapids, a wood-working town since the late 19th century.