Monday, October 08, 2007

Fostering a Love of Finnish Design

Ameba Design, the self-described "smallest design house in the world" is, as stated, a very tiny shop. The roughly one-room gallery is located in the southeast corner of Helsinki's design district - a bustling section of the city's center that developed as part of Finland's Design Year 2005 program and now spans 25 streets and includes over 170 stores and artist studios.

The shop is run by Samuli Simula -- not your average dealer. Many of the pieces in the gallery are, as one might conclude simply by the nature of the establishment, for sale. However, Simula seems to have rather a difficult time in parting with his most beloved objects. And thus, a great many of them are not for sale, but for rent. Call it seller's remorse. Call it separation anxiety. Call it charming.

Granted, rented often enough the pieces pay for themselves... and if a portion of the stock is always rotating there's no need for storage... and a tiny space means a tiny overhead.

Call it genius.

A round-up of objects, either for sale or rent, from Ameba Design:

Prototype chair designed by Kukkapuro Yrjö and manufactured by Avarte, 2000 (for rent) and a pair of Paavo Tynell-designed wall sconces for the 1950s movie theater, Kinema, in Tampere, Finland (for rent)

Orchid vase, Timo Sarpaneva, 1953 (for sale)

Custom-designed 18k gold-and-amethyst brooch/pendant and earrings designed by Björn Weckström and manufactured by goldsmith V. Kalevi Piirainen, 1962 (for sale)

Chair No. 41, designed by Alvar Aalto for the Paimio Sanatorium, 1932 (for rent)

Sculpture, Glass Forest, by Oiva Toikka, circa 1969 (for rent)

Brass chandelier designed by Paavo Tynell, 1950s (for rent)

Two signed sketches by Tapio Wirkkala (for sale)
Top: Northern Lights, silver cigarette case
Bottom: Reindeer-motif silver pendant

Korkeavuorenkatu 27

Monday, October 01, 2007

Sacher tortes *and* design shopping?

A few cool finds from Lichtereloh, a 15-year old shop in Vienna devoted to 20th century decorative arts:

Ceiling lamp, Italy, circa 1970
Glass on chromed plated base
Dimension: h 45, d 19 "

Table, Italy (Parma), circa 1950
White lacquered wood, brass rods, glazed top, original condition
Dimension: l 78, d 35, h 30 "

Dining Chair (model: Einpunktstuhl 7-050) by architect and industrial designer Hans Bellmann, Switzerland, 1952 and
manufactured in Horgenglarus, Zurich
Chromed base, birch seat plywood
Dimension: w 16, d 18, h 17/32"

Ceiling lamp, Austria, circa 1950
Brass frame with acrylic glass
Dimension: h 39, d 26

Safari Chair (model N° 4979) by Carl Auböck, Austria, circa 1965
Nutwood frame, leather seating, brass hardware
Dimension: w 22, d 22, h 13/30 "

Bench designed by architect and magazine editor Oskar Riedel, 1957 and likely manufactured by Payer Dekor, Vienna
Cowhide, replaced upholstery, brass feet
Dimension: w 72, d 28, h 16/30 inch

Lichterloh: design, art and antiques
Gumpendorferstrasse 15 - 17
1060 Wien / Austria
Tel +43 (1) 586 05 20