The value of collaborative brainstorming and the importance of creating beautiful, durable, basic tools is highlighted by one of the partners from the Angell Wyller Aarseth design firm.
This week, PSFK will be interviewing a variety of designers — both established and up-and coming, to give a preview of what to look forward to at this year’s International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), taking place this Friday through Monday in New York. This year, the majority of designers will be displaying their work at the Jacob K. Javits center, and we’ve asked them to give us some insights into what they will be displaying, their design process, where to find them in the center, and which booths they’ll be checking out in their free time.
We asked Christoffer Angell from the firm Angell Wyller Aarseth to share some thoughts and images about his work and the work of others with us.
What are you preparing to show at this year’s ICFF?
Steel mirror and trestles:
This series of trestles and a body mirror is made of steel, oak and leather. The raw material is polished to create the mirror finish, without coating of any kind. We love the rawness, the clever construction and the combination of bare materials in this piece.
Handle Me cookware:
Cookware has been an essential tool of basic human survival since before the beginning of civilization, falling into the same category as the wheel and stone axe. We wish to celebrate the simplicity of the traditional casserole by designing a contemporary version of it. Cast iron cookware is very durable, and there intrinsically romantic about the idea of making “immortal” products.
By designing this cup we wanted to challenge the conventional handle, and give the users the opportunity to find their own way to hold it.
During the Salone del Mobile 2011 Mono cup got a special mention at the Design Report Award
How would you briefly describe your design process?
We always start a new project by brainstorming and sketching together. This is fun and effective, as the ideas come more effortlessly when we can develop each other’s ideas further. At the same time this gives us the feeling that we all came up with the idea together, as nobody really knows who inspired who. When we all “own” the idea like this, it’s easier to have a good collaboration during the rest of the process, which is basically just a lot of tweaking, until we finally draw it on the computer using CAD. We try to avoid using the computer too much during the process, as it’s time consuming and boring to constantly sit on our asses.
Have any recent design trends influenced your current work?
Today we put our faith into technological devices which are designed to serve single, increasingly narrow purposes at the expense of diverse utility. In a society overloaded with “fast food products”, we strive to create beautiful, durable, basic tools for everyday situations. We also like to work with an honest and efficient use of materials, and to combine these in a sophisticated way which celebrate them.
Who is the one designer whose work you will definitely be checking out at the show?
We’re looking forward to see Bouroullec’s new bathroom series for Axor. It will also be interesting to see the other designers that will exhibit at the ICFF Studio. We also look forward to exploring American design in general, which is kind of unknown territory for us.
Do you feel the ICFF show is evolving in a way which keeps pace with the design industry?
As first time exhibitors at the ICFF show, we are excited to see how this exhibition platform compares to venues like iSalon in Milan and the Stockholm Furniture Fair.
Where will you be exhibiting during this year’s ICFF?
ICFF Studio at booth 873
As the culmination of all our ICFF coverage, PSFK will be hosting a Salon on the Future of Design featuring the editors of top design websites. The event will take place this Friday the 13th from 8:30 to 11am at Soho House.
Click here for details.