Contents : Airspace by Airbus | AM Get Clean Product Line | Ametis by Davide Oppizzi | Antrepo | Arvid Häusser’s Wall-Mounted Coffee and Espresso Machine | Illy Art Collection | Jawbone | Piquadro’s Celeos Backpack & Blue Square Collection | Rimowa
Airspace by Airbus. If Boeing’s Dreamliner was intended to define travel with sensuous curves, and Airbus’ A380, aka The Double Decker,” was a technological marvel with bravado to match, it begs the proverbial question : what is the next logical step in aviation ? The latter company may have answered when it introduced its new Airspace, a revolutionary redesign of passenger cabins. This is no mere paint job. Airbus has completely reimagined the flying experience from the passengers’ point of view with contemporary lavatories; customizable ambient lighting; interiors defined by clean and sleek lines; larger and more accessible overhead storage bins; wider seats; and, unobstructed under-seat foot space. Airbus has clearly realized the journey is as important as the destination.
With the design brilliance and technical expertise of Steve Jobs, Apple proved consumers can―and should―be seduced by form as much as by function. The fact virtually every consumer product company in the world has mimicked their philosophy is further proof. But, for every wow the iPad can illicit, for example, there is no doubt the tablet can become, let’s face it, gross with fingerprints and myriad stains. Jacob Moesgaard’s AM, a company his father launched more than 40 years ago, has a brand new series of cleaning products for the electronic gadgets in our lives. He has brought his Danish design philosophy to the proverbial table and created a series of very hip products which are as cool as the iPods, laptops and tablets they’re designed to clean.
At what point do utilitarian fixtures around our homes cease to be objects and instead become increasingly objets d’art ? It may depend upon whom you ask. Pose the question to the Danes, ever the vigilant force in streamlining and minimalism, and they will tell you that everything, regardless of size or use, should be designed with only the most dedicated aesthetic in mind. Ask the Italians and they will inform you everything must be treated with artistic flair. Otherwise, what’s the point ? With that in mind, one can only gaze with admiration at Davide Oppizzi’s creations for Graff, the 90-year old design company whose commitment to form and function give ordinary items an untapped sleekness and sensuality. The new Atemis shower, for example, forces us to ask a simple question…how could you bathe any other way ?
Antrepo, the design firm founded by Mehmet Gozetlik, celebrates minimalism and forward-thinking concepts. Set your table, for example, with their salt and pepper shakers and your guests will be impressed…before you even serve the meal.
Design student Arvid Häusser has unveiled a porcelain, wall-mounted coffee and espresso machine. One can only hope it goes into production soon and hits North America.
When you have perfected the craft of brewing espresso, what do you do for an encore ? For Italian coffee company Illy, the answer was simple. Design the cup in which the espresso is served and in the process, also make it great art. Painstaking research took place to ensure their cup was the right height and the porcelain the proper thickness. The handle was also redesigned and re-positioned to guarantee comfort and practicality. And then the company brought in world-renowned artists and young talent to adorn the finished product, and in many cases created limited editions which are signed and numbered. Michelangelo Pistoletto, for example, whose From One to Many exhibit was featured prominently at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, was given creative freedom in his designs, as was artist / writer / director Julian Schnabel and Liu Wei. The sets are not cheap. But then again, sitting down to a fine cup of espresso with a piece of art, an act of passion in the minds of many, is priceless.
What Apple did for the smart phone Jawbone does for Bluetooth-enabled speakers. Not satisfied with the standard, lifeless black boxes which more often than not characterize the product lines of other companies, Jawbone has created something portable, capable of recreating beautiful sound and, just as important, very cool to look at. Their new wireless speakers will elicit wows and are so small and portable they can slip into your pockets. Your iTunes account will be proud.
You can travel. Or, you can travel well and in style. Ditch the standard, black nylon bag containing your iPad / tablet and opt for Italian company Piquadro’s CELEOS backpack. Wallpaper* magazine, the avatar of contemporary design, recently awarded the item its prestigious 2013 Design Award–and for good reason. The stylish bag is rain-proof and contains separate compartments for your electronics, umbrellas, etc.
The leather company has somehow managed to top themselves with the introduction of their Blue Square Line. Although designed for the business person, particularly those who travel frequently, their latest products will appeal to any and all design enthusiasts. Pictured below, for example, is their leather shopping bag. Of course, this being an Italian company, it’s no mere bag. It contains pockets for laptops, iPads, an umbrella and is convertible to a backpack.
For fans of German design, engineering and meticulous attention to details―visible and unseen but just as important―your prayers have been answered. The German product company, Rimowa, is expanding and bringing their design brilliance to the product of the decade ―the iPad. The Cologne-based company has well over 100 years of history under its belt but never fails to bring a contemporary aesthetic to their product line. It’s not uncommon for heads to turn, perhaps out of admiration, perhaps put of envy, when one of their luggage pieces is seen on the jetway. Now, their characteristic grooves and tight construction are available for Apple’s tablet line. Rarely has a marriage of form and function been pulled off with such aplomb.