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Friday 25 December 2015

Honey, I Froze Le Corbusier

It has to be the revelation of the year century. On a scale to be rivalled by Dan Brown novels set in St. Peter's Basilica. For around 100 years ago, a man called Peter Behrens was hired by a German engineering company to the position of 'Articstic Consultant'. Alongside the logotype and corporate identity, Behrens designed the firm's iconic turbine factory in Berlin, and also a significant number of it's products. Peter Behrens is considered to be the world's first industrial designer. The savvy German engineering company that hired him was AEG.

So that puts AEG at the very top of the design family tree. Neat. They make well engineered home appliances [Ultraloft's new shiny fridge freezer, pictured] and consumer electronics. Having something with the AEG moniker around the Ultraloft gives me a warm comfortable feeling of buying in to that design pedigree. That was until, I did a little more research and fell backwards out of my [EA105] chair.

You may want to anchor yourself to the floor... It wasn't just Behrens, father of industrial design that worked for AEG. Miles van der Rohe, creator of the iconic Barcelona chair worked for Behrens at AEG. Walter Gropius too, later to become the first director of the Bauhaus worked for AEG. And the revelation that sent me plummeting, sternforemost to the floor, is that, the being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, principal object of faith and worship at Design Trawler, Le Corbusier, worked alongside Behrens, Gropius, and Mies at AEG.

The three letters AEG aren't just a nod toward innovative German engineering. They represent a perfect storm; a fantasy dream team of everything design, and architecture, and efficiency should be. And is.

Thursday 24 December 2015

Foothills of Mount Fuji

As the seasons begin to change, I begin also, to turn my attentions to the next room renovation in Ultraloft. The guest bathroom will be a light, clean, and natural space inspired by the paired back Japanese aesthetic... Primarily, so that I can install a Toto washlet, and surprise guests with a high-tech toilet.

Until the buldozers and pricey porcelain arrive however, I'm evoking an eastern spirit with these wall mounted planters. Selecting fern, pine and bamboo as suitably reflective of the zen-line shrubbery likely to line the foothills of Mount Fuji, the boxes from Concoral also double up as shelves; perfect for Marks & Web mandarin salts, and metallic flames from Tom Dixon.

Thursday 10 December 2015

Calling Time on Taxidermy

Monochromatic fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld famously said that "trendy is the last stage before tacky". Well, taxidermy has certainly been trendy for a while, and whatever your opinion of plywood deer heads on gastropub walls, this homage from Maison & Objet in Paris made me chuckle.

Perfectly straddling the lines between trendy and tacky, the Jean Paul Gaultier inspired mâché walrus bust is topped off with a kitch cap from the French Naval Marines [complete with obligatory red pom pom]. Mounted on an equally J.P.G. striped background, I'm not sure it'll be featuring in forthcoming artist's Barbican retrospective. That said, animal forms have an enduring and iconic place in design. So, is taxidermy dead? By definition, it always was. And it isn't going anywhere soon.
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