Jose Dávila

Jose Dávila is a Mexican artist using simple materials to explore architecturally inspired sculpture and how the modernist movement continues to influence our modern minds.  Having previously won the ArtNexus Latin American Art Award and now working with Los Angeles based Nomadic Division, Dávila’s migration from trained architect to sculptor is more than welcome.

Dávila is known for his gravity sculptures, varying between glass and stone or marble and stone, held together with brightly coloured ratchet straps.  He chooses not to interfere with the original shapes of the material, marble is shaped as it would have been at the supplier.  His interest lies in the interplay between materials and also humanity’s struggle with gravity.  The sculptures are not mathematically calculated, there are no engineering tricks involved. Rather Dávila relies on practically working out the balance, which brings its own tension.

Dávila also works with photographs, his ongoing ‘cut-outs’ feature notable artworks or photographs of architectural landmarks with their central images removed, leaving only their contexts.  Notable works include Richard Prince’s cowboys or documentation of Yves Klein’s Anthropometries.  He purposely works with well known images, forcing the viewer to fill the void of the central image with their memory and, perhaps more interestingly, their imagination.

Graphic Means

With it’s premier on the 15th of April, Graphic Means is a new film from Director/Producer Briar Levit.  The film charts the evolution of graphic design production from the 1950’s to present day, exploring the impact that desktop publishing has had on the graphics industry.

Having amassed a large collection of design production manuals that were published between the 1960’s and 80’s, Levit felt naturally drawn to the processes described despite the fact that she had worked exclusively with desktop publishing since starting her studies in 1996.  Although Levit finds the methods used impressive and fascinating, she has no desire to return to them and, as she found out when filming, neither do the vast majority of practising designers.

Featuring a wealth of influential names including Steven Heller, Malcolm Garrett, Ian Swift and Frank Romano, the film will make it’s debut at the ByDesign film festival in Seattle before touring at festivals/events and institutions worldwide.  It will be available for DVD purchase and Vimeo streaming from September. 


oneofthose is an Italian perfume brand that is becoming well known for it’s intriguing packaging design, a hermetic polystyrene shell which must be broken in order to reach the bottle. Breaking open the packaging leaves a shape that is unique to the wearer. There are eight different scents to choose from, each named after “universal traces of cosmic memory”, or elements as they are more commonly known. From the bright and clean metallic tones of Mercury to the spicy tones of Carbon, each scent leaves a trace that is not cosmic but human. After all, it is only once the perfume comes into contact with our skin that it becomes unique.

For Design Miami 2016 oneofthose collaborated with designer Francesca Gotti to create an installation at Aybar Gallery, consisting of fifteen monoliths, each signed and numbered. Three scents encased in three colours of Glebanite. The recycled fibreglass product allows for different textures, including one reminiscent of polystyrene. Both mysterious and playful, the monoliths are a modern take on comets, the bottles suspended in time until broken open.  It’s not often in life that purposely breaking something leads to joyful memories.


Located in the historic neighbourhood of Nyboder in central Copenhagen, Frama is a Studio Store that carries a range of products from Furniture, Lighting, Books, Clothing and even Kitchens.  Working with a focus on natural materials, geometry and a sense of permanence, the shops collection features paid back pieces which showcase honest design, both from in-house designers and others with whom the studio share connections.

Alongside the Studio Store Frama also work on projects including interior design. Past projects include a shop fit for Copenhagen based streetwear and accessories store Kream which features sliding doors and walls and pops of colour from Pigment coloured filling walls. The store won the prize for “Best Interior” in 2016. Their work for W19 Store, located in Vesterbro, merges classical ceilings with chalky white walls, textured stone floors, oak and douglas fir and soft textile accessories to give the shop a warm and inviting atmosphere that does not distract from the clothing on sale.  The stores old stockroom was transformed into an exhibition and display space or if needed an extended shop floor.

Whether it’s own branded products such as the Bauhaus inspired SM1 mirrors, or the Fundament Candleholders designed in partnership with Swedish-Danish designer Maribel Carlander or their continuous interior design work, Frama are definitely a studio to keep your eyes on.

Daphna Laurens

Daphna Laurens is an Eindhoven based studio run by Daphna Isaacs Burggraaf and Laurens Manders. Having both graduated in 2008 from the Design Academy in Eindhoven, they immediately went on to work on exhibition and spatial design projects. In 2009 they joined the collective Dutch Invertuals to design products, the first of which is the Tafelstukken lamp.  They have since gone on to work with Capellini, Poltrona and Areaware as well as smaller commissions for private galleries and clients and not forgetting, themselves. There is no written concept for the studios work, instead they play with intuition and a desire to create an effortless quality, working as “two personalities merged into one designer”.

From the ceramic and oak pieces of the Tafelstukken lamps to the steel and linoleum of the Everything but the Desktop range, the studio have managed to stamp their own signature on a varied range of products, no matter what the scale.  Perhaps most importantly their pieces have an element of fun, something that is perhaps not shown enough these.

Lev Khesin

Berlin-based artist Lev Khesin creates works centred around a pivotal statement by Robert Ryman, “The basic problem is what to do with paint”. Born in Penza, Russia in 1981, Khesin studied Fine Art in Penza before moving to Berlin to continue his studies. Growing up in an artistic family, both his mother and father are icon painters and his sister is an illustrator, Khesin spent his teenage years interested in technology with dreams of becoming an aircraft construction engineer. He has applied his interest in technology and engineering with his art, using materials and tools that are more industrial than artistic.

Khesin’s technique of applying multiple layers of different coloured silicone is a time consuming one. His approach is almost Zen like, when applying a new layer he is completely focused on that action. His pieces are experimental, he never works more than one step ahead and lets his pieces grow layer by layer. It is purely by experimentation that he came to use silicon as a material for painting, playing with its unique qualities including its glossiness, transparency and viscosity.  Manipulating these characteristics with different additives gave Khesin the opportunity to develop a tactility to his works.

Khesin is currently working on a series of video objects, using loops and manipulated monitors.  His next solo exhibition is at SMUDAJESCHECK Munich, from the 17th of March to the 13th of May 2017.

Brian Thoreen

For his first solo show, “Unsettled”, Brian Thoreen created a series of furniture objects that are as precise as they are surreal. Thoreen states that “The idea was to create forms and components that cannot function on their own without the support of the other components while at the same time creating as much tension as possible between the materials, the balance, and the weight”.

“Unsettled” makes use of physics tricks, Thoreen’s Cantilever table being a prime example, a piece of smoked glass sitting upon a curved brass block is perfectly balanced with a calibrated piece of marble in a state of tension that is both intriguing and terrifying.  For Thoreen there has to be a dialogue between the materials and design of each piece and the collection as a whole.

Having worked across various fields within the art world, Thoreen left the design firm that he founded and started to work with furniture.  Drawing his inspiration from his own career, he focused on the importance of high standards of design, no matter what the scale may be.  Previous furniture pieces include a credenza made of rubber, brass and plywood and a ‘Torpedo Chandelier’ made of brass with hand blown glass and LED bulbs.


Toogood is a London based unisex fashion studio ran by sisters Faye and Erica Toogood.  Debuting at Paris Fashion Week in September 2013 with a collection of eight workwear inspired coats. Each garment is named and cut according to the craft of specific tradespeople, from beekeepers to plumbers, curators to mechanics. Working with a manifesto that celebrates craftsmanship and provenance, each piece is adorned with a label that acknowledges each of the artisans involved in the piece as well as space for the new owners name, encouraging connection with the chain of creation.

Further collections have explored fabric and shape, continuing to play with new visions of familiar workwear. Digital prints, waxed cottons, Japanese indigo dyed linens, silks and more are all present.

The Toogood sisters grew up in rural England, playing with old Singer sewing machines and pieces collected from the woods around their home. Erica has worked with a number of London fashion designers as a pattern-cutter, created costumes for the theatre and worked on bespoke pieces for private clients. Faye set up Studio Toogood, a multidisciplinary practice that has worked with Comme des Garçons, Hermès and Kenzo.  Toogood is instilled with the spirit of both sisters: Erica’s shape-making and Faye’s preoccupation with materiality.

Bernhard Osann - Neo

Unveiled as part of the Pure Talents Contest at this year’s IMM Cologne furniture fair, Neo is a light by German designer Bernhard Osann.  Consisting of a curved rod, this simple light leans against a wall and can be rotated in order to create different effects.

The Neo light evolved out of a previous design of Osann’s after he accidentally broke its base.  Whilst trying to find another way with which to support the standing lamp, he bent the steel rod in two places which allowed it to rest against a wall.  The minimal shape of the light allows it to be rotated which in turn offers either direct or indirect light and eliminates the need for a lampshade.

The lamp uses LED modules which are embedded into the profile of the upper part of the rod. A strip of hidden cooling vents on the reverse of these modules prevent overheating.  Silicon has been used for the points where the lamp makes contact with the wall and floor, allowing a secure standing position. 

Osann was born in Augsburg in 1979.  After completing training as a carpenter and studying sculpture at the Wilhelm-Wagenfeld-Gestaltungsschule he went on to study Industrial Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Hamburg.  Based in Hamburg, he designs lighting and furniture for companies such as Nils Holger Moormann, Absolut Lighting and Omikron Design Milano.

For More visit: Dezeen

McCaffrey Collection

McCaffrey Collection is a new footwear and accessories brand from Glasgow-based designer Robert McCaffrey. With over 18 years worth of senior design experience and having previously worked with several high-profile luxury fashion and sports brands including LVMH and Adidas, McCaffrey’s new solo offering of goods are beautiful, functional and high quality.

McCaffrey’s first collection consists of eight shoes and eight accessories, including bags and gloves. Design inspiration comes from the bicycle, as McCaffrey puts it, “An ingenious invention which has transformed the world and become a positive symbol of adventure, ecology, health and wellbeing.” Shoes feature integrated pedal pads to ensure reliable grip and concealed Luma reflective strips in the heel counter that provide high visibility in low light conditions. Accessories feature McCaffrey’s signature quilting that pays tribute to leather handlebar tape.

McCaffrey Collection is now available exclusively through Mr Porter.

Imagery courtesy of Richard Gaston. 


Architecture Bar

The Architecture Bar is a portable steel framed bar that was primarily designed for the launch of the Architect IPA in 2016.  The bar was designed by Glasgow based Architecture Practice Dress for the Weather in collaboration with Glasgow Institute of Architects, Drygate, Graphical House and Design Engineering Workshop.

Following from the practice’s Pub Typology research project that focused on the evolution of pub design.  At the heart of the bars design lies three main themes, display, communication and experience.  Made from five steel frames that can be bolted together in numerous configurations dependent on the installation requirements.  Each piece is angled and trimmed from a rectangular form to highlight features of the bar and to ease use by bar staff.  There is also space for display of products, bar fridges, storage, glass hanging and cash register.  Shelves and chalk boards can be added once the frame is in place.

Dress for the Weather work in both Architecture and Public Art and aim to produce work that engages with and responds strongly to it’s context.  Priding itself on being an open and inclusive practice, Dress for the Weather also encourage others to become engaged through walks, talks, workshops and education.  Previous clients include Architecture + Design Scotland, NHS Lanarkshire, Glasgow School of Art and National Trust for Scotland.

Malka Dina

More than her nonsensical childhood family nickname, Malka Dina is an evolving collection of home wares, jewellery and art by Brooklyn based artist Elana Noy. After a few years of visual merchandising Noy decided to design full time in 2014 following a wheel throwing class that she took in Willamsburg, stating that “I like this too much not to do it every day.”

Her latest collection for New York based retailer Still House is a step forward in the eyes of those who have a love of minimal chic. “I tend to gravitate towards natural colours” says Noy and this is evident in her collections from the natural toned textured bubble glazes of the Dew collection to the simplistic curves of the Galilei collection. The Triassic collection is sculptural and refined with a deep black glaze that is reminiscent of Japanese ceramics.

Noy also works with metal, designing a range of jewellery pieces including earrings, hair pins and rings that reference the curvature of the Galilei ceramics.  


Oslo based studio StokkeAustad have designed a range of furniture for Norwegian brand Elementa.  The adaptable UN Divided furniture rests on trestle bases made from tubular steel on which a range of different shaped and sized tabletops can be placed. The furniture is modular and allows for expansion: several trestles can be combined into a storage unit or shelving.

Originally designed for workers that move between offices or companies that have a quick rate of expansion, UN Divided is, as StokkeAustad’s Jonas Stokke puts it, “Simple, functional and adaptable” and addresses the fact that “Workers of today do not need loads of closed storage or complicated cable management”. The system is quick to assemble and reconfigure as the users' needs change. Outside of the office environment the system would not look out of place in small living spaces or rental properties.  

StokkeAustad design with a methodical approach which is focused on revealing the essence of each challenge which in turn allows them to create a holistic and durable solution.  Previous projects include Patch, a series of acoustic panels designed for textile producer Gudbrandsdalen Uldvarefabrikk and Luster, a family of candle holders designed in 2014 for Menu.

Residents: Inside the Iconic Barbican Estate.

Anton Rodriquez is a London-based photographer specialising in fashion, architecture and portraiture work. Born in Germany but raised in Liverpool, Rodriquez' clients have included Folk Clothing, Cereal Magazine and Several, however his latest project is perhaps his most intriguing to date. 

'Residents: Inside the Iconic Barbican Estate' gives us an alternative view into one of the most extensively documented housing projects in the world. The focus here lies on the residents: their stories, backgrounds and opinions sit alongside a striking collection of photographs highlighting the brutalist interior design quirks that give each apartment its own sense of individuality (not to mention the resident's impressive anthology of classic furniture).

The success of the imagery doesn't simply lie in the subject matter. A resident himself, Rodriquez' framing and exclusive use of natural light - the availability of which is testament to the architectural integrity of the apartments - play important roles, as does the layout design undertaken by EACH London.

Describing the foundations of the project, Rodriquez explains, "I wanted to allow the public to get a rare glimpse of what goes on within the Barbican Estate, as you don’t often get to see it from the inside. The best part was meeting my neighbours! I’ve made so many friends from photographing other residents and it’s been a great way to meet like minded people. Also getting to see all the different layout of flats, there are supposedly over 100 different flat types."

Purchase the book here.


Bern based Zimoun utilises simple, functional, industrial (and often everyday) components to produce large scale sound installations with an architectural edge. The use of cardboard, paper bags, and styrofoam have all featured heavily in previous works. It is perhaps the artist's prevalent use of DC motors that has perhaps become his trademark however - all spinning at alternative times to create both visual and audible impact. Repetition is key to the work and provides for an immersive experience. 

Self taught, Zimoun has exhibited comprehensively throughout the world and has undertaken briefs for companies such as Sennheiser.

Mujo NYC

MUJO NYC is a Brooklyn-based contemporary jewellery brand by Simon J Zhang. Frustrated with cheap, mass-produced jewellery and gaudy designer pieces, MUJO was founded in 2015 as a minimal, material-led alternative.  

Guided by clean and balanced design and inspired by the industrial character of New York, MUJO pieces are handcrafted in either brass or sterling silver. Zhang says, “We create essential pieces that are made to wear handsomely with age and last a lifetime.”

Instrmnt are particularly fond of the 003-X1 ring with its clean lines and simple form, and the stylised geometry of the 003-X2 Signet Cuff Bracelet. All pieces are designed and manufactured by hand in MUJO’s design studio. Their most recent look book ‘003 Annex’ - shown below - gives an insight into the emphasis placed on aesthetic in both the MUJO brand and art direction.

Kovac Family - L25 Lamp

Stockholm-based multidisciplinary studio Kovac Family was formed in 2012 with sustainability at its core. Their design and manufacture is based in Sweden using the most eco-friendly materials and methods available. 

Taking inspiration from nature’s forms, the L25 lamp from Kovac Family is made from twenty-five pieces of FSC sustainable oak,ash or birch and comes flat packed for the user to assemble.  

Believing that “it’s time to learn from nature’s well-adapted strategies to create a more sustainable human approach to lighting”, all proceeds from the lamp will go towards their biomimicry-related project which aims to “produce light in a wallpaper thin, flexible material using a biomimetic method” with no electricity involved.

The Arrivals

The Arrivals are a New York based brand specialising in the design and production of androgynous minded outerwear. Originally launched by architect Jeff Johnson, he connected with Kai Vepuri (an angel investor whose previous includes Warby Parker and Artsy) through a mutual friend in 2007 and the pair came together to push the brand forward. 

While neither have a background in fashion per se, the combination seems to be working. Johnson has said that transferring the skills from buildings to jackets has not been as great a leap as you might imagine: “I was very lucky to find myself in an architecture practice that was so cross-disciplinary, that touched on so many different elements of design,” Johnson says, “It was such a nice place to realise the underlying principles of making good design better... it’s the very simple things that you’re taught: what is the starting function, what is the material that you’re going to work with, what is the silhouette, what is the construction going to take, what are the elements involved, what is the hardware like. Really, those elements transcend between any designing, it’s how we approach everything we do, whether that’s web design, the packaging, the product.”

One of the main goals for The Arrivals is about balance says Vepuri: creating beautiful design at a reasonable price, with their designs range from $200 - $700.

The Arrivals recently undertook their first collaboration, pairing up with famed architecture and design firm Snarkitecture, whose previous work includes spaces for Kith, Cos and Beats. The collaborative piece takes the form of a monochromatic poncho and features laser cut, heat welded inner detailing with a minimal and sculptural exterior.


“We are attempting to create the first well-designed consumer objects of the third industrial revolution” is how Joe Doucet describes Othr, his venture alongside Dean Disimone and Evan Clabots. 

Launched during Milan Design Week earlier this year, Othr follows a host of designers who are taking both production and retail into their own hands.  The debut collection features twelve small products which are 3D printed using a range of materials including steel and porcelain and designed by names such as Claesson Koivisto Rune, Sebastian Bergne and Philippe Malouin.

Believing that 3D printing can be used to create desirable objects that people actually want to have in their homes, Othr follows three key principles.  Objects must be useful, aesthetic and unique.  Othr launches new products every fortnight, a process which is enabled by the fast development times which are possible with the technology used.  The objects do not physically exist until the customer places an order and each is embedded with a unique number which reflects the customers participation in its creation.

Studio Kyss

Working as Studio Kyss, Kenny Yong-soo Son is an object-designer and maker from South Korea, now based in Sydney, Australia.  He graduated in 2010 with a BA (Hons) in Visual Arts from The Sydney College of Arts with a major in Metal & Object, followed by a Masters in Design at The University of Technology in Sydney where he majored in Object & Accessories. Studio Kyss was launched in 2013.

Originally setting out to be a jeweller, Yong-soo Son discovered that he was drawn to creating objects that belonged on desks or tables rather than being worn on the body.  Making small scale pieces from concrete, copper and brass, with a subtle nod to works by Futagami but with a delicate style of their own, his work is not only concerned with the aesthetic of the object but also with the connection with the user, ideally creating the same level of intimacy that he has whilst crafting them. He draws inspiration from everyday encounters and the value of travel.

Depending on how the each piece is meant to work, Yong-Soo decides upon whether the process should be undertaken through industrial means or on the work bench. In either case, all work is finished by hand and thus he is never detached from the beginning to the end.  Work is divided into three distinct categories: Limited Edition, Exhibition and Batch Production.  This allows for freedom of working with smaller quantities or even one-offs.