Innovative trends in furniture design are clearly visible when studying objects that have won various international awards. We present current objects that have recently won prizes in European and Asian competitions.
1. Attention to vintage
One notable example of this trend is the Haleiwa chair, designed by Melissa Mae Tan. She strives to create affordable and stylish clothes that are relevant to her region because she believes that good design should be accessible to everyone. In this building, tradition meets modernity. Rattan, commonly used to make traditional Filipino furniture, takes on a contemporary look when paired with a durable metal frame. The shape and texture of this chair are a tribute to the history of the material and the craftsmen. This Filipino architect has been designing for the past 10 years. Her practice has mostly focused on retail projects and has faced a shortage of thoughtful and affordable local furniture.
An interesting furniture trend based on both classical symmetry and the ability of objects to transform. The transforming table Cilindro designed by Levira is indicative. It is based on the form of a column, which is characteristic of any architectural image. The object consists of two semi-cylinders, which allow one half to be made into a kind of container, and from the other half – a working desk that can move into a horizontal position. The bottom surface has a telescopic tubular leg, which is folded using a special mechanism. The author of this design is the award-winning Portuguese designer Miguel Arruda, who has long been working simultaneously in the field of sculpture, design, and architecture.
Glass and crystal as the most poetic material of designers are back in the spotlight. Designed by Yi Tong, the Time Book bookcase is inspired by Marquez’s novel One Hundred Years of Solitude. A series of coasters are created from hand-polished crystal blocks. A special paint was applied by screen printing to the surface and fixed at high temperatures. The Time Bookstand is minimalist in function, shape, and material, and more like a sculpture in the shape of a book, it can be placed on a table or bookshelf. The high density of the crystal glass gives extra stability when in use.
4. Two in one
The Brise table from the Furniture Plus Fan series, designed by Wonho Lee, perfectly illustrates the new trend. This is an example of multifunctional furniture. The table’s built-in fan aims to keep the air circulating even after it’s turned off. A soft breeze circulates around the room, slowly lowering the temperature. The top of the table has vents large enough to let in the wind. The use of electric fans in furniture was inspired by a sense of responsibility: they are much more environmentally friendly than air conditioners.
5. Nature is more effective than technology
The concept of the Dhyan chair by designer Sasank Gopinathan has already won worldwide recognition and several awards. “My main task was to create a place where you can relax after a hard day at work. In an urban environment, it is not easy to have close contact with the elements of nature, so I wanted to convey all the benefits of nature directly, so that the user feels calmer, surrounded by the sound of running water and the sight of lush greenery. For most workers, routine work is akin to unpleasant chores. Sometimes all you need at the end of the day is to be where your worries can temporarily disappear and your thoughts are free. This desire for peace was my inspiration for the concept of the sun lounger,” explains the designer.
6. Grace and dynamics
Increasingly, attention is focused on objects with aerodynamic properties. Designed by Andres Marino Maza, the Nina & Beni chair, inspired by the efficient forms of naval structures, is made entirely from sustainably sourced wood and is already part of the Rossana Orlandi gallery collection. Two steam-bent strips cantilever over the seat to serve first as legs, then as an armrest, and finally into the lumbar region. This object is an exercise in efficiency, using the least amount of material to create a beautiful and intricate shape. Crafted using age-old technology and state-of-the-art 3D hardware, the chair once again tests the limits of wood.
7. Attention to detail
This unique wardrobe Talento Unlimited, designed by Edoardo Colzani for Laura Meroni, best represents the trend towards extreme detail. It has a structure made of wood (sometimes lacquered). The doors are finished in liquid metal and have a textured motif that gives it energy as it looks three-dimensional. Inside, the cabinet is covered with liquid metal, its shelves can be glass or lacquered wood, and LED lighting is also provided. In 2016, Edoardo received the main award at the Venice Biennale, and at the same time he opened his startup company that designs and manufactures wooden toys for children – for this project, he received many awards and managed to get into the Triennale di Milano Museum.
8. Manifest things
An example of such an object, of which there are more and more, is the Float pendant lamp designed by Kinknot.
This is an ascetic, light, and minimalistic lamp that floats in space. If you look at him in profile, you can hardly see him. The lampshade gives out several bends. This model creates a poetic and dynamic mood in the interior.
9. Culture and heritage
Most often, Asian designers fall into this trend. So, a typical new Chinese style based on traditional practices is presented by designers Wei Jingye and Wang Ziyu. Wei Jingye: Associate Professor at Luxun Academy of Fine Arts (LAFA) School of Industrial Design, he is a furniture design studio teacher and specializes in industrial design. However, his passion is the study of classic designs that could find a place in a modern interior. He strives to create things that are practical, beautiful, and easy to make.
10. Comfort over luxury
The amazing Cloud chair by Shota Urasaki is a surreal dream come true: it was created specifically to visually and physically simulate sitting on a fluffy cumulus cloud. Unlike traditional chairs that have 3-4 legs, the Cloud chair is based on several metal rods. It is they who give the “cloud” lightness and airiness, but they also have another function – they resemble streams of rain. The idea for the chair came to Shota Urasaki after she saw a distant storm cloud over the coast. The seat is made from bundles of polyester fibers inserted into a polyurethane foam block: in this way, it was possible to convey volume and achieve softness and comfort.
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