Viable London's website is still under construction at the time of this post, but it looks like it's going to be very cool. They were nice enough to email me their catalogue, though, and they have some seriously great pieces.
First off, "Slope" just simply has beautiful lines and actually looks quite comfortable:
Here's "Helve," with an ottoman that fits snugly underneath it when not in use:
And this is what sold me on their work; a lot of their stuff fits together like a puzzle. I think it's such a creative, dramatic way to save space.
Along those lines, here's "Shelflife":
Shelving, a chair, and a stool, but all put together into a visually stunning graphic composition. Here's the "Shelflife Desk":
Bookcase, desk, sideboard, stool. I find this exceedingly smart considering that in many homes, the office or den does double duty as a guest room or similar--but in any case serves multiple uses.
Here's an uncommonly interesting coffee table called "Archipelago":
Together, a very geographic group of small islands. But the two little ones could obviously be used as end tables or whatever without losing the effect. I wondered if the three pieces could actually fit together seamlessly, and it looks like they can't--but maybe that would ruin the effect.
Again with the double duty, here's the "Mekong" coffee table:
Both table and light fixture. But what really sets this one apart is that they've used two-way mirrored glass, so the light on the inside creates all these illusions of infinity in every direction. They have a cube version of this, as well--end table?--that creates a similar illusion. But I thought this one was more dynamic, compositionally. Combining the coffee table with two cubes at either end of the couch would be striking, though. With little light coming from elsewhere, I'd think these would create the most incredible atmosphere for a cocktail party.
Speaking of light fixtures, here's another one in the surreal trend of disappearing objects. The name of it is sort of darkly comical, too, "Titanic":
The shade appears to be some kind of ceramic. I'd love to see this with a fabric shade, too--and I think it could be given a strong enough metal frame to support itself--maybe with the fabric laser cut where it meets the table and its edge sealed off with some kind of clear polyurethane on the inside or something? Anyway, very clever: it's sinking into the table.
Also terribly clever is their "Standing Hanger":
It's got wonderfully fluid lines, regardless, but can be used in the closet as a regular hanger. Then when you get out of the shower, you can take it out of the closet and stand it up as a valet. Awesome.
Last but not least, this is really fantastic, "Hide 'n' Peek":
They're strands of metal beads, likely aluminum, but they conceal (protect) a bed:
It almost looks like sheets of falling rain, but I'll tell you why I love this so much. Maybe I'm weird, but on cool summer nights, I love to sleep with my windows wide open. I just find it so peaceful, and if I lived on the ocean, oh, ten times better. I'd likely sleep outside when weather permitted. But then there's mosquitos and other nasties. With this bed out on a sun porch, the beads would let the breeze through but keep the bugs out. Perfect. Even in a normal room, though, this would provide wonderfully dramatic effects with lighting and movement.
Just a quick paragraph about Artware Editions. Their booth rep wasn't as much unhelpful as she was just surly and seemed utterly annoyed that I'd have the nerve to ask her questions despite the fact that she was standing there doing absolutely nothing. It appears they commission both up-and-coming and established artists (some of whom I adore) to create unusual and fascinating art objects and housewares. Normally I'd be ALL OVER that, but their website is so weirdly circuitous and is loading so excruciatingly slooooowly for me, for such simple pages with unimpressive images, that I just could not take it anymore. Feel free to check it out and maybe you'll have better luck with it than I did.
©2008, Ryan Witte