2020 12 months in Assessment: Deconstruction

How the woven leather collection by Smilow Design is made
Smilow Design is a brand created by Judy Smilow to pay homage to her father, Mel Smilow, and his mid-century designs made in the US since 1949. Part of this design catalog is the Woven Leather Collection, a line of minimalist chairs, stools and benches originally designed in 1956 and reintroduced in 2013. The collection brings together outstanding craftsmanship and beautiful details from every angle that mean that classic pieces will last a lifetime. For this deconstruction, Smilow Design guided us through the creation of the collection.

Formica looks for its layered sand laminate in nature
Formica officially launched its new SurfaceSet 2020 collection earlier this year, a series of 30 designs that blur the lines between nature and technology. We were intrigued by one of these Formica® laminate designs – Layered Sand – as the finished product is the result of layering the actual sand before scanning it to create a new visual image. In this deconstruction, Formica further introduced us to Layered Sand design to see the tedious process they go through to create each pattern.

See the Framery 2Q get an upgrade for a more relaxed space
After years of development, Finland-based Framery launched Framery O, the first data protection pod that remains the world’s best-selling pod to date. Now the pioneers in the workplace industry have launched a new, larger model of their Framery Q pod, the Framery 2Q. This is a full size meeting room for 4 to 6 people with some new enhancements making it the ultimate multifunctional workspace for privacy and comfort. In this deconstruction, Framery guides us through the clever updates to make the stand even more comfortable.

See how unPIZZO hand-weaves the Tramae ottoman for B&B Italia
The latest work by the Italian design studio unPIZZO, Tramae, was created in collaboration with B & B Italia Outdoor as part of the new outdoor collection 2020. Tramae is a lively outdoor ottoman that is available in three hexagonal sizes and has a colorful, woven exterior which alludes to the manufacture of wicker baskets. For this deconstruction, B&B Italia guided us through the design process to see how the Tramae stools come to life. Look here.

Sempli shares the process behind the Monti-IRI Limited Edition Taste Set
The Los Angeles-based brand Sempli effortlessly combines “Swedish functionality – Italian design” and nods to the dual legacy of founder Daniele ‘Danne’ Semeraro. A prime example is Sempli’s popular Monti Taste set with beer glasses. They went one step further by giving the four glasses a dazzling finish and releasing them as the Sempli Monti-IRI Limited Edition Flavor Set. Click the link above to see how Sempli brought these essential glasses to life in this deconstruction.

Season three breaks off the design process behind The Ansel
Founded in 2018 by Jared Johnson and Adam Klein, Season Three is a contemporary outdoor apparel brand that was conceived when the two (self-described) highly-meaningful PhD students were at MIT. Influenced by art and creative culture, the duo launched their first product, The Ansel, an all-weather genderless hiking shoe that easily transitions from commutes to work, and even a museum with its rugged yet fashionable aesthetic. The path to the finished product involved over 50 prototypes, but apparently the tedious design process was worth it. For this deconstruction, the founders of the third season shared how the Ansel shoe was created and more about the manufacturing process in northern Italy.

The Making of an Abstract Gathering by Donna Wilson
London-based artist and designer Donna Wilson is known for her abstract patterns and bold colors. For Abstract Assembly, she transformed her watercolor paintings into three-dimensional shapes, which have become the colorful feature of the chair series. The wooden components consist of scraps that are hand-painted in different colors and then put together using traditional carpentry. After being put together like a puzzle, they are attached to chair and bench seats to create playful + sculptural limited edition seating that you won’t see anywhere else. In this deconstruction, Wilson shared with us the idea behind the project and how the chairs are made.

Brecht Wright Gander makes the Sculptural Illumination Machine # 1
Design milk favorite Brecht Wright Gander is a Rhode Island born artist and designer from New Jersey known for his experimental work that transforms the functional into sculptural works of art. His latest is the Illumination Machine # 1, a piece with a cartoon silhouette that obscures an elegant copper gilding on the inside of the illuminated funnel. The sculpture combines a variety of materials that require different techniques to achieve, resulting in a labor-intensive artwork that Brecht shared in this deconstruction.

The creation of the Fizi Lighting Collection by Articolo
For this deconstruction, we went to Melbourne, Australia, to Articolo, an artisanal lighting studio under the direction of founder and creative director Nicci Green. Since blown glass is her passion, we were intrigued to learn more about how her Fizi lighting collection is made. The series features a range of lighting fixtures including table lamps, sconces and pendants that have either glass spheres or panels and all have a “bubbly” look of glass. The glass is combined with components made from a range of materials, including brass, natural stone and polished nickel. This results in an ethereal collection of lights that highlight the unpredictability of hand blown glass. Click the link to see how Articolo creates these fascinating pieces.

ASSEMBLAGE shares how their Baku wallpaper is made
Christian and Heidi Batteau are the couple behind ASSEMBLAGE from Arkansas, a handcrafted wallcovering brand that is somewhere between art and design. Each of the wallpapers from ASSEMBLAGE receives between five and 21 layers of material such as 22 carat gold, mother-of-pearl, blue mica and beeswax, all of which are housed in their own house in their converted seed headquarters. At the beginning of 2020 they published 29 wallpaper designs at HOLLY HUNT, including Baku. In this deconstruction, ASSEMBLAGE guided us through the arduous process of making their Baku wallpaper.

See how 3 master glassmakers blow and shape the soda tables
The latest collaboration between the Italian brand Miniforms and the Athens-based designer Yiannis Ghikas resulted in the soda sculpture table, which is made entirely of hand-blown glass. The complex design requires three master glassmakers to work together in a Murano glass factory to make each table weighing approximately 25 kg. The finished design is a single structure with three large petal-like columns that make up the stem. The glass surfaces of soda appear hammered, which creates light and shadow depending on the viewing angle. The table’s unique shape piqued our interest to learn more about how it was made for this deconstruction. Miniforms is told more about the process.

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