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Why gaze when you can ogle?

Ogle Lights

This post is somewhat overdue. I had planned to create it last week but alas, the strep throat was not having any of that! None the less, I am pleased to present you with another ‘Practical Conceptualism‘ post, except, this time, this item has actually been produced and sold. Nevertheless, I still thought it was worth the post!

Ogle, pictured above, is a lighting concept created by the Swedish design house ‘Form us with Love‘.

Form us with love

Getting it’s start in 2005 by Jonas Pettersson, John Lofgren and Petrus Palmer, Form us with love aims to challenge the convention through design initiatives. Based in Stockholm the studio focuses on innovative product, furniture and lighting design. Something they do well, as they boast international clientele as well as a healthy curriculum vitae of international exhibits and awards.

“CravenMaven:, you say, “lighting? Seriously?” Yes seriously. Have a look in your kitchen. What is your lighting like? In my space I have a horrid flourescent ring light in the middle of the kitchen and a window for natural daylight. Some of my friends have light panels and more have one solitary bulb fixture. But what about if we got more creative with our lighting?

Ogle light

Form us with love designed Ogle for renowned Swedish lighting manufacturer, Atelje Lyktan. Think of it as a spotlight meets minimalist pendant lamp. I think this thing is stylin’, yes, a spot light in your kitchen would make your kitchen tools, and cooking skills look that much more impressive, but in of themselves they look like art pieces; especially when grouped together at various heights.

Ogle Cluster

A cluster of Ogle’s together create some sort of manic chandelier piece. With their bulbous rear they look somewhat cartoonish, though for me that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But if you need serious – the matte black soft lacquer finish gives it that contemporary air. The kitchen is really the heart of the home and with light fixtures like these installed, they would not only provide the practical element of lighting for an evening soiree but they would also be a great conversation piece. Let’s face it. Everyone is going to end up in the kitchen to chat no matter how stoosh your home is. Why not do all you can to make it be a formidably designed room in of itself. With fixtures that reflect one’s style as well as any other room?

Ogle light

Ogle has LED fittings. As they don’t have filaments or moving parts LED’s can withstand shaking and vibrating without breaking. They don’t use ballasts which can fail and become a fire hazard and they work well in hot or cold environments and can withstand moderate power surges. LEDs are not bothered by frequent cycling on or off and can be left on for extended periods without generating much heat. Aspects that are useful for any part of the house, not least one’s kitchen where there is frequent traffic.

So yes, lighting. Like you’ve never seen, nor will ever forget. More info here.

images from form us with love

Interview with Ontwerpduo!

Yesterday was a big day here at Craven Maven. Not only did I make my 100th post, but this site had more visitors in one day than ever before! A nice precursor to today’s ‘first’. Two weeks ago I debuted a new blog posting here at CravenMaven about Practical Conceptualism. Concept designs that maybe, just maybe if we changed our perspective could have a very useable application in the ‘real world’. That first post was about the Marbelous Table from the studio of Ontwerpduo in The Netherlands. I am pleased to say that Ontwerpduo was kind enough to answer a few questions for CravenMaven! As this is a special treat this post will stay atop the blog til the end of this week.

A self confessed ‘dreamer and mathematician’ Ontwerpduo graduated but two years ago cum laude from the Design Academy and are now a part of one of my favourite collectives Atelierdorp. Their work is rife with child like whimsy and fantasy, coupled with a sense of order and strong pragmatism.

Ontwerpduo Team
Nathan Wierink and Tineke Beunders

CravenMaven: Can you tell us a little bit about your background? What led you to become designers?

Ontwerpduo: When we were kids, we both liked to make things, to repair things and to draw. Later, around the age of 15 it became a very big hobby, untill we found out that we could also do it as a profession. We still work the way we did, when we were younger. We like to sketch and talk about new ideas, we make scale models, and we avoid computerwork!

CM: What is a typical day for Ontwerpduo?

O: Going crazy in the workshop, which is full of materials, machines and ideas. we experiment a lot. but also in the same day we answer our mail, talk to clients, make furniture.

Studio Space at Atelierdorp

CM: In some of your designs (eg. L-Loop Lamp), you mention ‘The function becomes decoration’. This is an aspect I see in many of your designs, how important is it that your work is functional as well as visually and intellectually stimulating?

O: This is a very important ‘rule’ in our designs. We both like to tell stories and create atmospheres with our work, but we always want the object or piece of furniture to be usable and practical. We are designers, not artists.


CM: There is a keen interest in your pieces for children and adult to interact on the same level – pieces that are playful for kids and aesthetic enough for adults not to want to ‘put them away’. Why is this important to you?

O: For me it is just strange that the world of children and the world of adults are so different, in the way of products, furniture and interior. Because the both worlds often live together. It is more obvious to have a sheared world.

Raster- enables child adult interaction

CM: Do you approach commercial projects with a vastly different mindset than those which are conceptual?

O: No, at least, not in the beginning. In the beginning we have the same process. But mostly, after a while, we have to make a change in the concept, we have to think about for example the transportation of the pieces, the efficiency of using material in mass production, the production costs etc etc.

High Loft Project

CM: How would you describe or classify your style of work? How would you like to see it develop in the future?

O: Functional playful, this is what you will find in most of our objects. We don’t know how it will develop in the future, for us it is most important to keep the level of fun we have in our job every day.

CM: I love love love the Marbelous table! It is such a wonderful and realistic harmony of function and fantasy, will this ever be a commercial product?

O: No, we don’t think this table will be a commercial product in this design. The production costs are to high. But it is possible that a table in a more simple version, but with the same idea will be a commercial product…


CM: This is a foodie blog, so I have to ask – what is your favourite Dutch meal?!

O: The favourite dutch meal of all times: stamppot, in the way my mother makes it!

CM: Thanks so much! I truly appreciate it and look forward to your new work to come!

Check out some more of Ontwerpduo’s work at their site. Special treats are PickNick an especially polite tablecloth and Window Herbs a useful kitchen tool for small spaces.

all images from ontwerpduo

Conceptual furniture and design in the kitchen?

Update: Tineke advised that the table is treated with an eco friendly oil/wax!

As I mentioned earlier, I’m feeling rather minimal and conceptual this week. While I love a great whimsical or vintage piece, I also love clean lines and minimalism. Conceptual design is one of my favourite things, whether it be cars, furniture, clothing – it gives you insight into the mind of a creative; the cogs, bells and whistles that whirr and turn, churning out scaled back and interesting functional design for the masses. But when allowed, form replaces function and things that were previously filed under incredulity become the norm.

Every fortnight, I am going to (try) to present concept items that can be used within the kitchen/dining arena if we adjust our mindset. Maybe its time for us to stop looking for reasons why concept design doesn’t quite fit into the home and instead look at how we can adjust to the item itself. So without further ado..

..when is a dining table, not quite a dining table? When it’s absolutely Marbelous!

Marbelous table - shot by laura klappe

Created by Dutch design duo Nathan Wierink and Tineke Beunders, aka Ontwepduo, Marbelous is a dining sized table that also doubles as the most magnificent game of marbles you, (or your kids), will ever play. A self confessed ‘dreamer and mathematician’ Ontwerpduo graduated but two years ago cum laude from the Design Academy and are now a part of one of my favourite collectives Atelierdorp.

In terms of practicality, this table is sized like most other more conventional dining tables – lending itself to being a realistic object of furniture. You could literally seat 4-6 people around this table comfortably. What other requirements does one generally have for a dining table? (1) It should be a place where family and friends can meet not just to eat, but to hang out, do homework and be entertained, (2) It should be made from a material that lends itself to being cleaned and maintained in a fairly simple way. (3) It should be aesthetically pleasing to ones existing or ever-changing decor.

Marbelous Table details

Let’s take these points one at a time. As stated before, this table is literally the size of a conventional dining table. However, with Marbelous entertainment value is HIGH. A marble is dropped into the recesses on the top of the table and one follows it as it goes down the groove in the cylindrical leg, through a ‘maze’ of concentric circles only to settle in the hollowed out bowl at the base of the table leg. A kid, nay an adult could spend a considerable amount of time playing. Remove all the marbles, and its just a very nicely crafted table, a spot for homework, drinks whatever. The grooves on the plateau could be seen to be an inconvenience at first, but they are only at the far ends of the table and one doesn’t HAVE to rest a glass or what not there. Besides, it could make a nifty pencil holder for the kid doing homework.

What about cleaning? The concept piece is made from Maple wood and is possibly untreated. While I am sometimes loathe to paint wooden surfaces, to have this table treated/stained or painted I don’t think would detract substantially from its creativity and interest. However, personally I would prefer the natural wood with a sealant rather a stain or paint.

Marbelous Base and Marble box

Which takes us to the aesthetic – just take a look at the carefully carved legs and feet. The design in of itself is beautiful, before we even consider the fact that it is actually functional, right down to the little box created to fit into the base to house the marbles. The close up images above show the gentle bulbous shapes carved into the legs, which are so perfectly shaped and evocative of crop circles that it becomes a pattern in of itself. Designer Tineke Beunders says, “….functional woodcarvings. It is decoration you can play with. They applied woodcarvings in a piece of furniture that combines the world of adults with the world of the children.”

I think of the many imaginative designs one comes upon, Marbelous is one that can truly be applicable in the real world. I think a main concern would be the costs involved in all of that beautiful carving work leading to prohibitive pricing. But, all in all, couldn’t you see this piece in your dining area/Kitchen? If it wasn’t for my being in a small flat I certainly would want one of these in my home. To see Marbelous in action, check out this video on the Youtube.

all images by ontwerpduo, with exception of top most image by lisa klappe
learn more about ontwerpduo here.