When architects design small scale objects for the home, great products emerge. While architects have long designed furniture – think Frank Lloyd Wright's famous furnishings for many of his residential designs – more recently, architectural firms have made mass market industrial design part of their portfolios.
Alessi understood that architects could bring new possibilities to the world of household goods. They hired architects Carlo Mazzeri and Luigi Massoni in the mid-50's to design objects, primarily for hotels. This was the beginning of some very successful collaborations between Alessi and internationally recognized and award-winning architects such as Aldo Rossi, Frank Gehry, Michael Graves, Stefano Giovannoni, Lluís Clotet, Doriana and Massimiliano Fuksas of Studio Fuksas, Daniel Libeskind and with the 2017 collection, the late Pritzker Prize winning architect Zaha Hadid.
Architectural great Arne Jacobsen's distinctly Scandinavian version of Modernist Design is reflected in iconic products for Stelton and Georg Jensen. Fifty years ago Stelton's managing director, Peter Holmblad – who just happened to be Arne Jacobsen's step-son – managed to secure the design skills of his legendary step-father to create a tea and coffee service. This was the genesis of the award-winning cocktail and tableware series, the Cylinda-line, that's as timeless today as it was ground-breaking in 1967. Jacobsen's self-named cutlery set for Georg Jensen, with extremely simple and bold lines, was unlike anything that existed at the time. In production since 1957, this minimalist classic still makes any table setting a modern tour de force.
Going very small scale, ACME Studio invites architects to create decors for objects that fit in your hand. Pens and business card cases are transformed from prosaic items into design gems with the addition of inspiration from architects such as Michael Graves, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Hariri & Hariri.
If you prefer to wear your design masterpieces on your wrist, Rosendahl, Projects Watches, and Alessi offer watches designed by architects. Timepieces based on the clocks Arne Jacobsen created for some of his buildings, ROMAN, designed in 1941 for Arhus Town Hall, CITY HALL, designed for Rødovre City Hall in 1956, and BANKERS designed for the Danish National Bank in 1971, as well as STATION, designed for Danish electrical manufacturer Lauritz Knudsen in 1941, are interpreted as wristwatches, wall clocks, and desk clocks. Project Watches celebrates the role that architecture and design play in our daily lives by working with celebrated and emerging architects to create cutting-edge watches. Their collection of Architect Watches includes designs by Michael Graves and James Wine. Piero Lissoni is representative of architects today, with his interdisciplinary, multinational team which covers the areas of architecture, interior and product design, graphics, art direction and corporate identity. Lissoni brings his minimal aesthetic to his design for Alessi's clean and easy to read Tic Watch.
ARCHITECTMADE has sifted through archives, drawings, and museums to find rare design objects created by some of Denmark's leading architects, some done before they became famous in their field. These pieces are designed with architect-precision and personal vision, and range from the elegant functionality of Finn Juhl's Circle Bowl to Kristian Vedel's whimsical Birds, Paul Anker Hansen's playful Owls, and Hans Bølling's endearing Duck and Duckling and Oscar.
Architects think big in structures that change our cities and landscapes, but also excel in thinking small scale. We think we'll give the last word to Hans Bølling..."We should remember the human dimension in design".