1 Diversity of Mass Production by Robin Hohn
Part of the Talents section featuring up-and-coming young designers, the Diversity of Production collection by Robin Hohn of Germany displayed several porcelain pieces that can be produced at a massive scale, yet retain individual differences between them. In the example above, glazing dripped into the casts before the slip is added imbues the final products with a unique pattern of coloured flecks.
2 Grillo by Mono
German brand Mono, known primarily for its kitchenwares, presented this ultra-portable grill in its outdoorsy booth. When deployed, a chain-mail screen holds charcoal atop a collapsible tripod with a fan-shaped grill above; when not in use, it folds into an impossibly small form that can be easily slipped into a carrying case and slung over the shoulder for hands-free carrying – perfect for daytrippers.
3 Kartell Fragrances
Following a successful launch at Maison & Objet just three weeks earlier, Kartell brought its latest venture to Frankfurt. The collection’s candles, diffusers, sprays and humidifier capsules – 70 perfume combinations in all – are housed in cases offered in a wide range of colours and styles, all rendered in the brand’s signature high-quality resin.
4 S30 by Vitamix
Serious smoothie-drinkers know there’s only one name in blenders, and Vitamix’s latest is designed with the domestic market in mind. A smaller footprint and sleeker lines make the S30 a comfortable fit for kitchens with limited counter space, while under the hood, an 800-watt motor makes short work of just about anything you care to toss inside the 1.2-litre container. A portable 0.6-litre container, which can be fastened directly to the base, allows users to blend and go without switching vessels.
5 Iris by Guzzini
The co-injection technique developed by Italy’s Guzzini, which allows colours to be added to clear polymer for a unique result each time, has now been deployed to produce glasses, carafes, salad bowls, centrepieces, cake stands and napkin holders. The Iris collection’s vernal palette exemplifies the predominant colour trend on view at Ambiente: a garden-inspired blend of reds, oranges, yellows, purples and fresh greens.
6 Kontast by Martin Binder
Another highlight of the Talents section, Martin Binder’s Kontast comprises three devices to help the blind and visually impaired in the kitchen. Measuring cups and spoons are marked with high-contrast and touchable size indicators, a cutting board offers a dark or light surface to provide a background to contrast with items being chopped, and an ingenious measuring pitcher includes a meter that can be raised and lowered, always sitting on top of the liquid or powder inside to indicate to users how full it is by sense of touch.
7 Forest by MeroWings
Stuttgart’s MeroWings offered up one of the fair’s most playful booths, with an immersive scene designed to showcase their lumber-inspired Forest, Ash and Birch collections of sofas, pouffes, side tables, rugs and throw pillows. The photo-realistic patterns of bark and tree rings belie a surprisingly soft fabric and invitingly deep upholstery.
8 Vina Touch by Zweisel Kristallglas
Another hot trend that abounded among makers of glassware: tumblers, water glasses and stemware with an oh-so-faint tint of colour. In some cases, the colour highlighted just the vessel’s base; in others, it appeared as a subtle gradient faded from bottom to top. In Zweisel’s Vina Touch, the tint is uniform, but seems more or less pronounced according to the thickness of the glass.
This dustpan and broom set pulled off an impressive hat-trick at Ambiente, making its way into the juried Design Plus Awards and Sebastian Bergne’s Solutions exhibit of innovative and useful products, and earning a nomination for a German Design Award. It’s easy to see why: it’s an useful idea, elegantly executed. The brush is affixed to the broom handle using a simple magnet for sweeping the floor, allowing it to be easily removed for up-close use with the dustpan.
10 The New Old by Kimu Design
Many beautiful products crowded the Fresh Taiwan booth at Ambiente, but even in such good company The New Old pendants were an eye-catcher. Combining the millennia-old form of paper lanterns with turned powder-coated aluminum housings, The New Old updates a traditional technique with an unmistakably modern feel. A stopper of solid beech connects the lamp to its electrical cable, adding just the right touch of solid materiality to this ethereal luminaire.