…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.
…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.
…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 new 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 ?
…or, you can travel well. And in style. Ditch the standard, black nylon bag containing your iPad / laptop / tablet and opt for Italian company Piquadro’s new 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 item is not cheap. But then again, standing out from the crowd with never is.