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Elle Decor Italia

Bending lines and sinuous shapes: 8 (very bulky) design solutions

Down with straight lines, minimalism and sharp edges: Paris is our witness, 2017’s design trends go fluffy and large


What about constantly evolving trends and tastes? What if plenty of large and bulky furnishings – resulting from a sinuous, all-embracing take on product design, and showing an overall inclination to roundedness and big volumes – peep out from halls of Maison & Objet 2017? Is it just a matter of “Comfort Zone”, or is there something up?

Read also → Parigi punta tutto sul comfort

Perhaps, with such abundance of bending and fluffy designs unravelling right before our eyes, we would better recall that straight lines do not exist in nature. Come on, just have a look around: not even a tree trunk is really straight. It is time to get Einstein in the game now: the man himself indeed proposed that gravity is caused by matter bending space and time. Not to forget the Doric order (which, again, is round) – less than symbolising the actual reality, it is more reminiscent of how far in time goes our need for order. 

So, put your kind hearts at rest: the same year that the “naked monkey” danced (read also → La scimmia di Francesco Gabbani vs quella di Lorenzo Palmeri), rationality has been gradually replaced by instincts, and forms got a little bit smoother, softer, more impulsive and primordial. Time to check them out.

“I remember when I was a kid I used to play building a hiding place inside the couch using the parts of the back and the seat. It is everyone's desire to be welcome by a soft nest where you can position the cushions however you want”, so Italian designer Marcantonio – the author of Comfy for Seletti – explains. The “cushion nest”, available as both an armchair and a sofa, embodies the instinctive need for cuddling, which Seletti is keen to match with another innate need: hunger. Here’s the Hot Dog Sofa, realised in partnership with Studio Job (read also → Hamburger e hot dog? Ora vi ci potete sedere sopra).

If hot dogs and hamburgers are roaring pop icons, Roxanne has no rivals: a work by Gufram and Micheal Young, the name is itself a shout-out to Sting, the Police, and The Moulin Rouge. A funny and colourful piece of furniture, Roxanne is a great fit for night-clubs, restaurants, lobbies and hotel lounges. Based in Hong Kong, Micheal Young creates magical blends of ergonomics, technology, sinuous forms and avant-garde materials: the seat is characterized by a groove along the whole perimeter – called ‘the tube’ – which can be used to store small purses, phones, tablets or any paper document right next to us. The armchair can also be equipped with an optional spring mechanism, enabling it to rotate on itself. Roxanne is due to be launched at 100% Design in London, from 20th to 23rd September, 2017.

If Seletti is hungry, Tom Dixon is thirsty: Bump, his latest line of minimalist, borosilicate vessels designed to serve as the ritualistic instruments of every day drinking and hosting. Inspired by laboratory apparatus, Bump is an exercise in the manipulation of the conical, spherical and tubular building blocks that we love to play with, of double walled glassmaking and a play in transparency and translucence.  


According to many, Matrioska’s are less Russian nesting dolls and more a Japanese creation inspired by a doll from the island of Honshu. The KnIndustrie collection now features a Matrioska-inspired cocktail shaker by Lara Caffi, whose sinuous design and easy grip allow for wild mixology experiments. Made in aluminium stone washed or anodised aluminium (available in bronze, gold, black), the shaker holds fresh ingredients as fellow Matrioska’s do with secrets, tales and memories.


The Nice Fleet is a french pool floats brand for kids and adults. Strong of its “chic & cool” design, the collection is a lovely line of XL inflatable swim-rings and mattresses for the oldest, arm-rings and beach balls for the kids. Delicate colours and trendy watercolored patterns are the promise for a poetic, modern and sunny trip, with names like Fomentera and Bahia being clearly inspired to much celebrated touristic destinations. 


Lodgers at Bubble Fish need no inflatables at all: here’s a glass aquarium assembling multiple “bowls” inspired to the bubble-producing fish breathe underwater. When design turns primordial instincts into functional liveability.


Right, there are no straight lines in nature, which instead is crammed with bending shapes. Probably, the most charming of all is – hear, hear – the cat’s tail. The Cube by Meyou is a woven yarn cocoon where cats can sleep and sharpen their claws. Coming in Champagne, Peacock, and Plum variations, this fluffy nest will easily remind you of Eero Aarnio’s Ball Chair.


Light rays bends too! That is exactly what happens when they brush past a black hole (Einstein dixit). Speaking of the Devil, here’s the inflatable glowing air hose Blow Me Up by Ingo Maurer: once blown up, it can lean against the wall or be fastened to the ceiling or wall with hooks or nylon cords. It comes with an integrated sensor on one side of the LED strip, which radiates the reflective side of the tube, thus scattering indirect light in the room (read also → Ingo Maurer e la lampada gonfiabile).


Round and soft shapes are kind of reassuring, and tell us that life is not as big as a trouble that we thought it was. Cecilie Manz designed Sakura, a new pouf featured in the Objects collection by Republic of Fritz Hansen: a Japanese-inspired piece upholstered in linen on the bottom and in a Kvadrat textile in a Sakura pink on the top. What a classic, welcoming, feminine design.

by Roberto Fiandaca / 26 September 2017


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