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14 Best-Loved Designers Featured in 2016

This post is a celebration of just some of this writer’s best-loved designers and design studios, as featured on Decoist throughout 2016.

Dieter Rams

If ever a designer understood the premise of good design, it is the eminent German industrial designer Herr Dieter Rams. In 1960, Rams designed the RZ 60 shelving system, creating an arrangement that could be expanded, repositioned and moved as necessary. In 1970, the RZ 60 was renamed the 606 Universal Shelving System. Made by Vitsœ, it is Rams’ most successful system to date. Read more on Dieter Rams here.

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The once titled RZ60 shelving system 14 Best Loved Designers Featured in 2016
In 1969, German interiors magazine Schöner Wohnen featured the RZ 60 shelving system (the 606 Universal Shelving System) styled with once modern, now timeless, artefacts. The beagle was owned by a friend of Niels Vitsœ (Vitsœ’s founder). Image via vitsoe.tumblr.com.
Neville Brody Vitsœ 606 booklet cover 14 Best Loved Designers Featured in 2016
In 1989, at the height of his work for The Face and Arena, graphic designer Neville Brody worked with Vitsœ to launch the 606 Universal Shelving System in the UK. Image via vitsoe.tumblr.com.
The 606 Universal Shelving System by Dieter Rams for Vitsœ.
The 606 Universal Shelving System by Dieter Rams for Vitsœ.

Images © Vitsœ.

Atelier Gustavo Bittencourt

Rio-Born Gustavo Bittencourt is an industrial design graduate whose deftness in handling and manipulating materials has inspired a number of exciting forms. Based in Petrópolis, a city north-east of Rio, Gustavo Bittencourt embraces a hands-on approach to his craft, creating unique pieces imbued with passion and feeling.

Poltrona NONÔ by Gustavo Bittencourt.
Poltrona NONÔ by Gustavo Bittencourt.
Estante EQUILÍBRIO by Gustavo Bittencourt is a simple and balanced shelving unit.
Estante EQUILÍBRIO by Gustavo Bittencourt is a simple and balanced shelving unit.
Cadeira IAIÁ by Gustavo Bittencourt draws inspiration from Brazilian modernism. Appearing feminine in shape, the chair is made using copper, solid wood, straw (for the seat) and fabric (for the backrest).
Cadeira IAIÁ by Gustavo Bittencourt draws inspiration from Brazilian modernism. Appearing feminine in shape, the chair is made using copper, solid wood, straw (for the seat) and fabric (for the backrest).

Images © 2016 Atelier Gustavo Bittencourt.

Tait

Celebrating the Aussie life outdoors, Tait has been designing and making contemporary outdoor furniture for more than twenty-one years. Born out of Melbourne, Tait has amassed a distinctive collection that speaks to the Australian way of life and living.

Designed by Trent Jansen, the Tidal Lounger has an inviting and laid-back profile that is certain to turn heads at the pool.
Designed by Trent Jansen, the Tidal Lounger has an inviting and laid-back profile that is certain to turn heads at the pool.
Designed by Justin Hutchinson, the Jak Chair is a wiry and flirty seat about town.
Designed by Justin Hutchinson, the Jak Chair is a wiry and flirty seat about town.

Images via Tait.

Karen Chekerdjian Studio

Beirut-based Karen Chekerdjian Studio is a multifaceted industrial design studio producing furniture and objects in limited editions and small production runs. In addition, the studio provides interior design consultancy to the hospitality and retail sectors. Karen Chekerdjian Studio invests in Lebanon’s prowess as a nation of traditional craftspeople, employing artisans to make objects by hand. Indeed, Karen Chekerdjian’s works are defined as ‘Industrial Handicrafts’.

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Wing stool and side table.
Wing stool and side table.
Elephant armchair.
Elephant armchair.
Petite Vague bench.
Petite Vague bench.

Images via 19 Greek Street.

Norm.Architects

As part of an exciting and engaging Nepalese community development project, Copenhagen-based Norm.Architects teamed up with Note Design StudioAfteroom and A Hint of Neon to create a new collection of handmade designs for Danish design brand Menu, in collaboration with artisans living in Nepal. This project is an alliance with Danida, a Danish development cooperation fighting poverty through the agency of human rights and economic growth. The community development project provides girls and young women in Nepal, many of whom are tricked into prostitution, with the opportunity to support themselves. Read more on Norm.Architects here.

Minimalist teddy bear by Afteroom.
Minimalist teddy bear by Afteroom.
Canvas laundry bag by Norm.Architects.
Canvas laundry bag by Norm.Architects.
Accessory boxes in paper and textile by Note Design Studio.
Accessory boxes in paper and textile by Note Design Studio.

Images via Norm.Architects.

Hans J. Wegner

Hans Jorgensen Wegner (1914 – 2007) made his first chair at aged 15 and at his passing had produced over 500 chairs, many of which are celebrated icons of modern design. A number of Wegner’s chair designs were influenced by familiar and historic chair types, including the English Windsor chair, rustic American Shaker furniture and Chinese chairs. Read more on Hans J. Wegner here.

Wegner is pictured lounging on the Flag Halyard Chair, surrounded by his many chair designs. Image via The Line.
Hans J. Wegner is pictured lounging on the Flag Halyard Chair, surrounded by his many chair designs. Image via The Line.
The CH24 Wishbone Chair.
The CH24 Wishbone Chair. Photo via Carl Hansen & Søn.
The CH07 Shell Chair. Photo by Colin Eick via Carl Hansen & Søn.
The CH07 Shell Chair. Photo by Colin Eick via Carl Hansen & Søn.

Ernest Race

Ernest Race (1913 – 1964) wholly embraced modernism and was a stalwart proponent of midcentury British design. Race made a significant contribution to modern furniture design, as expressed in the useful, long-lasting and aesthetic nature of his post-war furniture. Read more on Ernest Race here.

The Ernest Race Penguin Donkey Mark 2 and Antelope chair. Image © 2016 CurtCo Robb Media, LLC.
The Ernest Race Isokon Penguin Donkey Mark 2 (1963) and Antelope chair (1951). Image © 2016 CurtCo Robb Media, LLC.
The Roebuck chair (1951). Image © Race Furniture.
The Roebuck chair (1951). Image © Race Furniture.

The Shakers

Furnishing Utopia‘ was a project established in a bid to further explore the particular design philosophy and aesthetic practiced by the Shakers. The project’s aim was to connect designers with original Shaker objects and furnishings, so demonstrating the present-day significance of Shaker design ideology. As a result, a collection of over thirty contemporary objects, inspired by the Shakers, was created by eleven innovative design studios. Read more on the Shakers and Furnishing Utopia here.

The 'Furnishing Utopia' collection. Photo by Charlie Schuck.
The ‘Furnishing Utopia’ collection. Photo by Charlie Schuck.
Bench by Studio Gorm. Photo by Charlie Schuck via Studio Gorm.
Bench by Studio Gorm. Photo by Charlie Schuck via Studio Gorm.

Luteca

Luteca was created in New York in 2015 by partners Amanda and Sebastian Reant. Focusing attention on modernist and contemporary Mexican design, Luteca produces collectible works by some of Mexico’s celebrated design masters and showcases the creations of rising Latin American designers. Luteca’s furniture is made in Mexico City by accomplished Mexican artisans and combines midcentury flair with modern-day production techniques.

The Ala bench by Alexander Díaz Andersson, is a smart outdoor seat inspired by 1950’s Mexican furniture.
The Ala bench by Alexander Díaz Andersson is a smart outdoor seat inspired by 1950’s Mexican furniture.
The Atra chair by Alexander Díaz Andersson.
The Atra chair by Alexander Díaz Andersson.
Octavo cabinet by Alexander Díaz Andersson and Equipal chair by Pedro Ramírez Vázquez.
Octavo cabinet by Alexander Díaz Andersson and Equipal chair by Pedro Ramírez Vázquez.

Images © Luteca.

Alvar Aalto

Today, Alvar Aalto (1898-1976) remains an inspirational and much lauded Finnish architect and designer. His continued design legacy is a testament to his great genius and the reason why Aalto continues to be one of Finland’s favourite and most famous sons. Read more on Alvar Aalto here.

Stool 60 in stone and white lacquer. The L-leg is a solid wood leg with a laminated bend at 90°. Patented in 1933, it would become a standard feature of Alvar Aalto’s furniture designs. Photo by Schaepman & Habets.
Stool 60 in stone and white lacquer for Artek. The L-leg is a solid wood leg with a laminated bend at 90°. Patented in 1933, it would become a standard feature of Alvar Aalto’s furniture designs. Photo by Schaepman & Habets via Artek.
Alvar Aalto collection. Photo by Kristiina Kurronen and styling by Susanna Vento. Image © Fiskars Finland.
Alvar Aalto collection for Iittala. Photo by Kristiina Kurronen and styling by Susanna Vento. Image © Fiskars Finland.

Philippe Malouin

Philippe Malouin established his eponymous design studio in 2009 and leads POST-OFFICE, a London-based architectural and interior design practice. Believing design should be made to last and serve a practical purpose, Malouin’s varied works exhibit a clearly expressed geometric dimension that enhances their aesthetic appeal and individuality. Read more on Philippe Malouin here.

The Bookmatch Table in oak for Hem. Image courtesy of Philippe Malouin.
The Bookmatch Table in oak for Hem. Image courtesy of Philippe Malouin.
The Typecast Chair and Coffee Table, in solid maple and birch ply, for Matter Made. Image courtesy of Philippe Malouin.
The Typecast Chair and Coffee Table, in solid maple and birch ply, for Matter Made. Image courtesy of Philippe Malouin.
Aesop HQ in London. Photo by Ludger Paffrath courtesy of Philippe Malouin.
Aesop HQ in London. Photo by Ludger Paffrath courtesy of Philippe Malouin.

Richard Sapper

Richard Sapper was a German industrial designer whose contribution to the genre was no less than prodigious. His industrious nature and creative mind ensured he was a man whose talents were invariably in demand: at Fiat, IBM, Artemide and Alessi, to name a few rather sizable companies. Sapper won the Compasso d’Oro on no fewer than ten occasions, and his designs are included in the permanent collections of many of the world’s most distinguished museums: from New York’s MoMA to London’s Victoria & Albert Museum and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Read more on Richard Sapper here.

9091 kettle (1983) for Alessi. Image courtesy of Richard Sapper.
9091 kettle (1983) for Alessi. Image courtesy of Richard Sapper.
Tizio desk lamp (1972) for Artemide. Winner of the Prize Grand Prix Triennale XV 1974 and included in the Permanent Design Collection at MoMA. Image courtesy of Richard Sapper.
Tizio desk lamp (1972) for Artemide. Winner of the Prize Grand Prix Triennale XV 1974 and included in the Permanent Design Collection at MoMA. Image courtesy of Richard Sapper.
The X 126 Softness was an experimental car prototype for Fiat. It was conceived with an all-around plastic envelope, offering protection against low impact collisions. Image courtesy of Richard Sapper.
The X 126 Softness was an experimental car prototype for Fiat. It was conceived with an all-around plastic envelope, offering protection against low impact collisions. Image courtesy of Richard Sapper.

Hans Bølling

An architect by trade, Hans Bølling’s approach to design is reassuringly old school. Today, Hans is particularly well-known for his wooden figures, many of which have been given a new lease of life by Danish venture ARCHITECTMADE. Hans is also recognised for his Bølling Tray Table, a Danish furniture classic designed in 1963 and made in Denmark by family firm Brdr. Krüger. Read more on Hans Bølling here.

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Duck and Duckling (1959). Handmade in teak wood. Image courtesy of ARCHITECTMADE.
Duck and Duckling (1959). Handmade in teak wood. Image courtesy of ARCHITECTMADE.
Bølling Tray Table in walnut and storm blue. Image courtesy of Brdr. Krüger.
Bølling Tray Table in walnut and storm blue. Image courtesy of Brdr. Krüger.

Jasper Morrison

Jasper Morrison is a prolific and highly esteemed industrial designer. He is a leading figure in global design, with an approach that is modest, punctilious and astute. Morrison’s work spans the design sphere in its broadest sense, encompassing furniture, lighting, electrical instruments, architecture, accessories and installations. Read more on Jasper Morrison here.

Pon (2016). With the Pon table there is no decoration or superfluous detail, just a table. Pon is available in several sizes and finishes and is manufactured by Fredericia. Image via Fredericia.
Pon (2016). The Pon table was designed without decoration or superfluous detail. Pon is available in several sizes and finishes and is manufactured by Fredericia. Image via Fredericia.
Bus Stop (2006). A pair of bus shelters that were designed for the main road near Vitra’s Weil am Rhein site.
Bus Stop (2006). A pair of bus shelters that were designed for the main road near Vitra’s Weil am Rhein site. Image via Jasper Morrison.
The MP01 mobile phone for Punkt. Image via Punkt.
The MP01 mobile phone for Punkt. Image via Punkt.

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