February 2, 2023

It has been a top year for the launch of furniture and lighting. Milan Design Week was back in full swing and other festivals around the world seemed to be back after a post-Covid break. It’s a really good job, with so many more of us staying home and taking a renewed interest in our surroundings. We’ve seen musician collaborations with A$AP Rocky and Gufram, gallery-worthy pieces from the likes of Vincent Pocsik and Arthur Vandergucht, and high-street meets high-end with the launch of H&M Home’s collectible range and Zara’s collaboration with design titan Vincent van Duysen. Here we select some of our favourites:

Overture couch, Poltrona Frau

One of the best reissues of the year – Poltrona Frau went back 40 years to bring the Ouverture sofa, designed by Pierluigi Cerri, to the present day. The Italian designer was clearly inspired by the hi-tech movement of the previous decade, combining a construction-inspired frame with soft, spongy cushions.

Eames molded plywood chair, HAY and Herman Miller

In this collection, design titans of the past meet those of the present. In collaboration with Herman Miller, HAY put their colorful spin on pieces by Ray and Charles Eames, including the iconic Molded Plywood Chair, which arrived in a bottle green hue.

T4 chairs, Holloway Li for Uma

When these chairs were launched at this year’s London Design Festival, they certainly made a statement. Created by studio Holloway Li in collaboration with Uma, the piece was meant to make a nostalgic statement, and features a bulbous silhouette reminiscent of 1990s decor — think gloopy lava lamps and iconic inflatable chairs.

Navy swivel chair, afternoon light for Emeco

In the summer, online furniture store Afternoon Light gave its own maximalist twist to a minimalist office chair designed by Jasper Morrison for Emeco. For their limited edition version, the team used a forest green powdercoat over the aluminum frame, with trim in emerald green and pink tones.

D1–a617-MR 01 magazine rack, a617 for Vero

The “D1–a617-MR 01” magazine rack, designed by a617 for Vero, has a modern and retro feel at the same time. It was one of the first pieces to join the brand’s collection when it launched earlier this year and has been described as “reminiscent of the quintessential styles of Italian design”. However, its functionality is in line with its aesthetics, and the object is movable and flexible to suit a variety of interior needs. A future icon.

Bench bench, practice

Metal has been the material of 2022 and both designers and brands are making the most of it. South Korean studio Practice used polished stainless steel tubing to create this satisfyingly seamless bench, which takes its shape from being bent at the corners to create its legs.

Camping chair, Philippe Malouin for SCP

SCP’s 2022 seating furniture collection took its design cues from a wealth of sources of inspiration. But a standout piece from the range was Philippe Malouin’s ‘Camp’ chair, which, as the name suggests, was based on the materials and shapes seen in outdoor gear. For the piece, Malouin, who has been collaborating with SCP since 2017, created a solid wooden frame, with cushions upholstered in hardwearing cotton and leather trim.

T shelves, Formafantasma for Him

Shelving is notoriously hard to get right, and icons made by Vitsœ and USM Haller have long dominated the market. But this year, Swedish brand Hem used the thoughtful eye of Italian design duo Formafantasma to create the “T Shelves” – a minimalist, modular shelving system that puts sustainability at its heart and uses an industrial manufacturing process, extruding aluminum into a desired shape or shape.

Tramonto to New York, Gaetano Pesce to Cassina

Gaetano Pesce has made some big splashes this year – from his collaboration with Bottega Veneta to the re-release of a privacy screen alongside Italian brand Cassina. Pesce, 82, is known for his work with resin, and on this occasion chose to use it instead of glass because of its ability to take on color. Named “Tramonto a New York” or Italian for “Sunset in New York”, Pesce envisioned a design that involved layering of resin on top of each other, attempting to mimic the contours of the city’s skyscrapers.

Piton Lamp, Tom Chung for Muuto

This year, Canadian industrial designer Tom Chung designed his first product for the Danish brand Muuto. Inspired by mountaineering equipment, he created a portable lamp called Piton. The lamp is fully rechargeable and combines LEDs with a diffused cover to create an ambient light. The slim profile is made of anodized extruded aluminum, while the lampshade is made of injection molded plastic.

Love seat, Seungjin Yang

Seungjin Yang’s work has become a firm favourite. The designer uses a method of casting balloons in resin before building them into chairs, and in this case a sofa. The piece, which debuted at Design Miami in early December, was one of 30 new works presented by The Future Perfect gallery, whose curator’s focus this year was on the power of materiality.

Open Code table and chairs, Mac Collins

Both the execution of and the concept behind Mac Collins’ Open Code collection sets it apart from the other pieces on display at the Harewood Biennial in Leeds, England. For the piece, the Newcastle designer created a set of aluminum dominoes, alongside a set of wooden chairs and a table to play them on. The idea behind the work came from the house itself, which was built through wealth earned from the transatlantic slave trade. For Collins, who is half Jamaican and half English, the project presented a chance to address this – and his designs are intended as a reminder that the building was created at the expense of his descendants.

CNVYR chair, Woojin Park

The profile of a simple conveyor belt has been reimagined by Woojin Park to create this chair. Since each part is demountable, the chairs are modular and can be disassembled and reassembled into different compositions. Strips of fabric are fed through the steel structure to create armrests and form the main body of the chair – mimicking the look of a conveyor belt.

Empyrean lamp, Laurids Gallée

After studying at the Design Academy Eindhoven, Laurids Gallée honed his skills in many production techniques and crafts before setting up his own studio in 2017. Now, based in Rotterdam, he creates works that explore the possibility of combining traditional techniques with modern materials. and production processes. The latest comes in the form of the soft glowing Empyrean lamp, which he has made from resin. “Empyrean was believed to be a celestial place in the highest heaven, occupied by the element of fire,” he explains.

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