Architectural creativity isn’t limited to buildings. After designing a space, the natural next step is to think about the objects within it. Those with experience in designing furniture, lighting, and other interior items know how much work goes into the process—and they also know that the results are well worth the time and effort. Every object we encounter benefits beautifully from the skilled designer’s eye. The following architect-designed products would help make any house a home.
Order Up FINNE Architects, www.finne.com
The FOSS pendant light, by FINNE Architects, is made of handblown glass. It gets its name from the Norwegian word for "waterfall."
Furniture and lighting design are logical sidelines for Seattle architect Nils Finne, AIA. He often creates custom pieces for his residential projects, and adapts them for other buyers on a made-to-order basis. "Compared to implementing and executing architecture, it's more manageable, in a sense, and more immediate," he says. His custom SVING bench, completed in June, joins sinuous strips of Sapele wood with legs of blackened steel.
Light Metal , Graypants www.graypants.com
Designers Jonathan Junker and Seth Grizzle started their Seattle architecture and product design firm, Graypants, out of a desire to work with their hands. The company introduced one of its latest items, a metal lamp called the Steplight, at ICFF in the spring.
The Steplight's interlocking pieces require no adhesives, fasteners, or screws. The light can sit on a flat surface or be suspended from above, and fits into both residential and commercial settings.
The Steplight "is us trying to be as efficient as possible within a single disk of recycled aluminum," says Graypants' Jonathan Junker, who worked at Olson Kundig Architects before moving over to Graypants full time.
Space Saver , Desai/Chia Architecture www.desaichia.com
Architects Katherine Chia, AIA, and Arjun Desai designed it to be recessed into a wall, so its sink projects out a mere 12 inches. Bennett Friedman, principal of the showroom AF New York, commissioned the couple to design this space-conserving product and built the prototype using resin sheets.
Chia and Desai road-tested the Recess Lav in their own home, ensuring that it could stand up to the wear and tear inflicted by a family of four. The final version debuted at ICFF 2010, to much acclaim; it will be available through AF New York (www.afnewyork.com) by the end of the summer.
Desai/Chia Architecture's Recess Lav integrates a sink, backsplash, and mirrored storage unit into one elegant package.
Smooth Groove , Doriana and Massimiliano Fuksas www.fuksas.com
Courtesy Doriana and Massimiliano Fuksas
Italian architects Doriana and Massimiliano Fuksas have designed the Carmen handle for Manital. This door and window handle consists of forged brass with a chrome, satin chrome, or satin nickel finish. Its central groove is available in red, white, black, yellow, or copper. Carmen was first introduced in February at the MADE expo in Milan. For more on this product, visit www.manital.com.