The Turnalux wood-slat blind system by Eric Fonville for Wood and Washi.
You might think there is no innovation to be found in the blinds game. You are wrong! This system is perfect for renters, because it requires no drilling. The slats are independent of one another (which means they are direction-agnostic) and they are manipulated by hand—no cords, so it’s child-friendly. Lastly it’s customizable, meaning you can specify the dimensions of the slats themselves.
The Axor Starck V by Starck Network for Hansgrohe.
The reason this glass faucet is extraordinary and deserves an award is clear (see what we did there?) but we’ll go into it anyway. For one thing, the faucet head detaches from the base to drain excess liquid. Secondly the entire faucet swings from side to side, adjusting for the user’s stance. Philippe, you win again.
Isanka occasional pieces by EOOS for Walter Knoll.
Austrian design trio EOOS debuted this collection in 2014, and while the objects may seem run-of-the-mill (an upholstered ottoman-meets-table, a basket for periodicals) the materials are the prize. Saddle leather—a supple portion of the cowhide to which we devoted a special portion of our March 2015 issue design issue—joins pure wool, linen, and cotton textiles.
Diamond rug by Steffan Tollgard Design Group for JAB.
This rug is a beauty—its distinctive diamond pattern is accomplished through knurling, which is a process by which a pattern is cut or rolled into a material, usually with a lathe. The resulting relief inherent to the rug’s design presents a subtle texture that provides an arresting dimensionality.
Rock table by Jean-Marie Massaud for MDF Italia.
Here’s why this table won: it can withstand a helluva lot and it does so solidly and elegantly. Massaud intended this piece to work in both a residential and contract setting, which means it can take a beating. Fiber-reinforced cement comprises the base, while a tempered-glass top (or lacquered, if you prefer) lightens up the mood.
Almora lounge chair by Doshi Levien for B&B Italia.
Design duo Doshi Levien have masterfully combined plastic, oak, leather, aluminum and shearling to create this teddy bear of a chair. Two years of design research went into this thing, which was inspired by the Himalayas and…a warm blanket. Naps ahead.
LJ chair by Laurens van Wieringen for De Vorm.
Dutch designer Laurens Van Wieringen married a powder-coated steel frame with a seat made of recycled PET bottles, and LJ was born. Van Wieringen, who is winning the game of repurposing cast-off materials, brings a discerning eye and a plethora of manufacturing acumen to the process of making this chair. Simple, good-looking AND recycled? Yes.
Ceran glass ceramic cooktop panels by Schott.
Let it be said that one can do almost anything with this surface: incorporate myriad displays and lighting options, integrate 3D effects within a spectrum of metallic hues, make use of decorative paints, and, of course, cook on top of it.
Pia pop-up kitchen by Dizzconcept for Inkea.
This little dynamo packs a punch—within just under 71 inches, there’s a sink, a faucet, and a cooktop. Hiding inside the base is a dishwasher, trash bin, a shelf, a drawer, AND a built-in refrigerator. But wait! There’s more! On the top deck, cabinets conceal an integrated hood, LED lighting, more shelving and sockets for appliances. Still not finished—six-inch-deep doors cradle space for dishes, utensils, pretty much everything under the kitchen sink. The whole shebang comes together in under an hour, and there are only three major components. That equals over 50 square feet of saved space. That’s a big deal. Now, how do we get this bad little number distributed in the USA?
Meisterstücke Conoduo freestanding bath by Sottsass Associati for Kaldewei.
This rectangular steel tub carries a 30-year warranty and one could argue that it’s not needed—these babies are nearly indestructible. This company has been making bathtubs for nearly 100 years, and the decision to team up with Ettore Sottsass, and after his death in 2007, with his firm, shows an old-worth resolve to stay relevant in an ever-changing marketplace.
Maglia rug by Atelier Ruckstuhl.
This floor covering is made of fique, a fiber found in Colombia that has historically been used for bagging coffee and produce. Spun by hand and knitted together with oversize needles, these rugs present an irregular texture expressed through a choice of five bold hues.
lui + lei by Axel Meise and Christophe Kugler for Occhio.
Occhio's design team includes Meise, founder of the company, and Kugler, resident physicist-designer; the pair work together in Munich. Their creation lui and lei, which translates to “he” and “she” in Italian, is a shaded LED-illuminated lighting system that is fully adjustable.