The Brits

The furniture gang known unofficially as the Brit Pack were certainly in evidence, as much for the big names as on their own terms. It’s encouraging to see our boys (once again the girls were notable for their absence) taken seriously, instead of merely commended for possessing a sense of humour. Jasper Morrison’s collection for Cappellini is outstanding. His Plan series of low slung storage in red, yellow and fuschia, Elan sofa, Hi-pad and Low-pad chairs encapsulate the new mood of beautiful basics and will be available in 36 different configurations. Again, adaptability for home or office was key.

The young duo Barber Osgerby also exhibited an impressive collection for the leading Italian house. Extending its Loop series was a simple chaise longue, sculptural desk and neat bench. Ronan Bouroullec’s Hole desks and side tables was a worthy addition to Cappellini’s growing roster of talent.

Arad reworked his Eighties Transformer deflatable chair in collaboration with Inflate to produce Memo, a beanbag-like seat that goes from squidgy to firmly-formed around the sitter by sucking out excess air. It’s available in a variety of finishes, including leather and hi-tech sheepskins, courtesy of the London-based Alma Home. Arad also showed New Orleans Big Easy Chairs made of layered pigmented resin applied by ‘brushing, dripping, pouring, combing and smudging’ the gel on to the inside of the mould. Even at 16 000 each, they sold out in a day.

On the SCP stand, stalwart of best Britishness, Matthew Hilton has been working hard, his laid-back Glide armchair, footstool and table seem set for success. A chair from Andrew Stafford coordinates with the sofa he launched last year. Michael Marriott’s Croquet shelving system was a mature addition to his portfolio and Terence Woodgate showed his first bed, REM, a low-slung affair with an upholstered headboard.

Elsewhere Nigel Coates exhibited his Sleepers Shelving for Arredaesse. He also added a funky new lounge chair, side table, daybed and recliner, made from LoomTex (a machine-woven twist of paper and linen) to his Oyster collection for Lloyd Loom.

The Japanese duo, the Azumis, proved they were no one-hit wonder with their bench-cum- chaise, part of a wire frame series inspired by ‘the technology of shopping baskets’. The ingenious (and business savvy) Jam collaborated with washing machine manufacturer Whirlpool on Hoola Hoop, a shelf system based on a tumble dryer component. Glasgow’s One Foot Taller showed the Chasm chair (Hilton’s only real contender for plastic chair of the year), launched last year at 100% Design, now in red, brown, green and yellow; and finally, Rock Galpin refined his Urbo sofa, coffee table-cum-bench seat and trunk set into something that’s worth a second look. ‘It’s a space saving urban living concept,’ he says. It also comes in 70 different colourways, which is handy.

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