Culture

Luteca Spotlight Twentieth

The time has come for the Moooi founders Marcel Wanders and Casper Vissers to repurchase the remaining stake from B&B Italia, making them now fully owners of Moooi. Wanders and Vissers have been running Moooi since its launch in 2001; Wanders acting as art director and Vissers as company CEO. Ever since, they have collaborated intensively together. Moooi and B&B Italia have been partners since 2006, when B&B Italia S.P.A. acquired a 50% stake in Moooi B.V. To everyone’s satisfaction the synergy between B&B Italia and Moooi, under the full management of Vissers and Wanders, worked out very well. During this fruitful and meaningful eight-year collaboration, Moooi grew from 6 million euro revenue in 2006 to 23 million euro revenue in 2014. Giorgio Busnelli (Chairman of B&B Italia), Paola Centemero (CFO of B&B Italia) and all B&B Italia team members had a key role in Moooi's growth. Moooi’s steady growing business gained huge attention in the international design field, becoming a recognized luxury furniture and lighting brand that conquered an important position in the design industry (exporting now to 69 countries) with huge potential for further expansion and acceleration. A growing milestone has been achieved despite a challenging design market over the past two years. The coming years will represent strong continuous growth for Moooi. In addition to having conquered the European market, the USA market has also grown significantly. In May 2015 Moooi will open its first Showroom & Brand Store in New York, to which will follow a London Brand Store the beginning of 2017. All the above steps once again reaffirm Wanders and Vissers strong belief in the company’s value and immense potential.

A sculptural expression of movement and wit, Palindrome chandelier is a malleable fixture that can fulfill any spatial and aesthetic need. Its looping form, driven by a sequence of shaped steel arms and cast glass heads, can be read forward or backward (much like a palindromic number or word) and if desired, folds into itself with ease. This kinetic chandelier's sand-blasted lamps diffuse LED light in a soft, yet powerful manner and can be rotated to further enhance atmosphere. Custom powder coatings available.

Available here: RBW Palindrome at Twentieth

BUILT FROM SCRATCH Samuel Amoia and Fernando Mastrangelo of AMMA Studio combine industrial and household ingredients into works of singular beauty

In the Brooklyn workshop of AMMA Studio, ordinary materials await alchemical transformations. Piles of salt, ground coffee, and other commonplace substances are mixed with clear resin, which binds the grains before they're joined with cement and molded into strikingly beautiful furnishings. For founders Samuel Amoia and Fernando Mastrangelo, using such unconventional media, rather than wood or stone, is a way to bring something new to the table—figuratively and literally. "I look at furniture all day long, and it's always the same stuff, made with the same materials," says Amoia, who has his own eponymous interior design firm as well. Mastrangelo, an artist, adds, "Our idea was to do something totally fresh. If you buy a slab of marble, you already have something gorgeous. But if you start with the everyday and elevate it, you can achieve something intriguing, something special." A drum stool, for instance, fuses baby-blue cement with pink Himalayan salt, producing exquisite strata of color and texture. A rectilinear side table is composed of a spare cement shell with a luminous silica lining. And a large-scale faceted mirror features a frame encrusted with navy-blue glass crystals. Although the pair just launched AMMA Studio in May—offering both limited-edition and custom-made creations—they've already received a string of notable commissions, among them pieces for Soho House in London and Berlin and for DeLorenzo Gallery in New York. The design establishment, meanwhile, is buzzing. "I love the concept behind AMMA," says AD100 decorator Stephen Sills, for whom Amoia once worked. "Their furnishings have such an elegant, minimalist quality." The duo, for their part, are just enjoying the crossover between their independent professions. "It's sculptural furniture that can be viewed as art but is fully functional," emphasizes Amoia. As Mastrangelo notes of the pieces' often soluble origins, "even if you pour water on them, they're not going to melt." ammastudionyc.com -TIM MCKEOUGH

Sculpture and furniture have a symbiotic relationship, both have a long history of re-contextualizing form and function while expanding on ingenuity and design. Materials have always been at the center of this ingenuity; wood, metal, plastic, stone, and marble, have been pushed to their absolute limits of creativity and utility. AMMA Studio is re-contextualizing form and function once again, only this time, with materials that are not in the traditional canon. Rock salt, sand, coffee, silica, and pink himalayan salt have never been thought of as materials for furniture, but with a unique casting process that also fuses more traditional materials such as cement or plaster, AMMA creates a body of work unlike anything before. Combining Samuel Amoia's vision for design, color, texture and furniture with Fernando Mastrangelo's conceptual use of materials, and original casting process, AMMA Studio presents an innovative, cutting edge approach to furniture and design.

President Obama sits behind a custom walnut desk of their design in his private study, and François-Henri Pinault and Salma Hayek’s Paris apartment is illuminated by their light boxes, but until now, the design partnership of Daniele Albright and Stefan Lawrence fell under the auspices of Twentieth, Lawrence’s contemporary furniture showroom in Los Angeles. Now, the longtime collaborators have launched Videre Licet (Latin for “to be able to see”), a new line of furniture and lighting, in conjunction with Twentieth’s sweeping new space on Beverly Boulevard. Designed using contemporary technologies but crafted entirely by hand — and priced accordingly, in the $20,000 range — the collection is daring, glamorous and a touch tongue-in-cheek, with sly references to Hollywood, modernism and the ’70s.

The BBC Table, shaped like a smoky, mirrored crystal, is equal parts disco decadence and L.A. New Age culture, while the Subtracted Cube’s flawless brass surfaces come thanks to its complex folded construction. The Abalone Lounge chair (which has a coordinating console) recalls the shape of the beloved beanbag chair, but is in fact made from cast fiberglass and resin with hand-laid, sustainably harvested abalone from the Philippines. The Woolly Bella is both the sexiest and the strangest piece in the debut collection: a curvy, comfortable chair with cast-bronze legs and long, glossy Mongolian goat hair more often used by fashion designers. It can be dyed, but Albright prefers the natural black and white. Unlike some contemporary designers who celebrate industrial precision, this team embraces the human touch and the unpredictability of organic materials. “With our shell pieces or the fur or the bronze,” says Albright, “you’re using this natural material that has its own characteristic, and you’re not afraid to not control that completely.” Of course, there are exceptions; they recently had to bring in a hairstylist to give a particularly unruly Bella a nice layered cut.

Albright — a world traveler and photographer whose work is featured in the Gypset series of lifestyle books — has been staging elaborate photo shoots with each piece in iconic California locations, from the beaches of Malibu to the mountains in Mammoth. “This cinematic element is something we can bring to it,” she says. And for Lawrence, who was the first to bring designers like Tom Dixon and Marcel Wanders’s Moooi to Los Angeles, the collection is a refreshing new way to contribute to the global design discourse. “After all these years,” he says, “it’s nice to be able to make our own statements.”

Istambullus are talking about how to make a living by creating. They are embracing—as Turks always have—an updated hybridity: new and old, local and global, industry and craft, discipline crossed with discipline. Istambullus are talking about how to make a living by creating. They are embracing—as Turks always have—an updated hybridity: new and old, local and global, industry and craft, discipline crossed with discipline. Multidisciplinary creative platform Istanbul '74 opened a second gallery space this May, furthering its mission to connect Turkish with international culture through exhibitions, performance, publishing and events. '74's offices are in burgeoning waterfront Karaköy, which hosts the critically praised Istanbul Art Biennial, the country's first design biennial launched in 2012 and, in October 2014, what will be its second. Karaköy's tiny working class backstreets are now dotted liberally with galleries like Mana, the luminously tiled eatery, Karaköy Lokantası, Europhile cafes like Karabatak and the new fusion eatery Gaspar designed by Autoban and inspired by knolling, the process of arranging like objects in parallel or 90 degree angles as a method of organization. There are also new boutique hotels, high-end “junk” shops, and a nightclub that doubles as a New York-style artists' flea market called Souq. If it is difficult to make a living selling ideas and modern design in Istanbul, and challenging to bring designers together to solve the problem, no one is admitting defeat. They're just trying it every which way and then making up another way to try tomorrow (more on this in our Insider's Take with up-and-comers Atölye).

Laura Eckstein of Angeleno Magazine talks with Stefan Lawrence and Daniele Albright, designers of the Subtracted Cube

"Contemporary digital design technologies have a lot to offer, but the end result is often very techy-looking and unattractive, sometimes deliberately so.  We wanted to bring a minimalist sense of sculptural form and beauty, as well as natural materials and hand-fabrication, into the process," says Twentieth gallery owner Stefan Lawrence of Videre Licet, the newly launched furniture collection he collaborated on with artist and designer Daniele Albright.  Describing their work as "conceptual glamour," the duocreated five striking pieces for the locally made line that perfectly represent its provenance. ”Los Angeles is home to Hollywood glamour as well as 20th century minimalism,” says Albright. ”We combine inspiration from both into a mix that is rarely done, yet quintessentially LA.” The Subtracted Cube (shown here) represents one of the most basic design principles-the subtraction of form from a solid mass-in a luxurious yet seemingly simple fashion. But don't be fooled. ’’It’s nearly impossible to assemble metal with flat planes without distortion due to welding,” says Lawrence. "For this reason, the chair is made of folded brass with no welds at all, so its production entails a technical feat of craftsmanship.” Simply beautiful indeed.  Twentieth, 7470 Beverly Blvd., L.A., 323.904.1200, twentieth.net -Laura Eckstein

Subtracted Cube by Videre Licet

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