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‘Form Talks’ Wellbeing with Studio Ben Allen

Making perfect spaces, is something that Brighton-born architect Ben Allen knows a thing or two about, and is impeccably demonstrated in Cundall’s new One Carter Lane workspace, which Allen recently completed in central London.

Allen has a noteworthy resume spearheaded by his earlier roles working at practices Fletcher Priest Architects and Jonathan Tuckey Design. He then spent a decade in Berlin, where he cofounded KWY, a multidisciplinary studio which experiments with collaboration amongst artists, writers, curators, educators, designers and other architects.

Interestingly during this time, Allen collaborated with Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Elíasson, known for his interdisciplinary research laboratory and large scale installation art. Through this association, Allen also worked as the project architect for Studio Olafur Elíasson, who led the design for the south facade on the Harpa Concert and Conference Centre in Reykjavik.

Fast-forward several years and Allen is now at the helm of his own practice, Studio Ben Allen, a London-based collaborative architecture and design studio. The completion of Cundall’s One Carter Lane marks a milestone for the studio, as the new office is one of the first projects in Europe to receive the WELL Building Standard accreditation. WELL Certified™ spaces marry best practices in design and construction, with evidence-based medical and scientific research, to help  improve nutrition, fitness, mood and sleep patterns.

Curious about this new international standard that is focused exclusively on user’s health and wellbeing in the workspace, we caught up with Ben Allen to find out more about the carefully considered design features of this unique workspace.

What was the inspiration behind the design of the interior, and what were the ultimate goals for the look and feel of your client’s new space? 

Cundall is a multidisciplinary consultancy providing sustainable design solutions for the built environment, so we started the journey by challenging some of the preconceived ideas about the function of a workplace. We concluded that we wanted to provide the team with a space for research, testing and development, as well as showcasing their proposition as a company, so we focussed on their work in lighting, acoustics, health and sustainability.

Additionally, Cundall is a WWF ‘One Planet’ company and one of the key requirements for this scheme was to support the local economy. We decided to develop a bespoke desk system that was produced locally, and met our demands for robust and natural materials that get better with age.

Can you talk us through how the new design reflects some of the seven concepts of the WELL Building standard (air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind). 

Past experiences working in Scandinavia gave me an excellent insight into an approach to office design, in which the workplace is considered with the same care for comfort, as the home. In the design of the domestic environment, we provide interconnected spaces that cater for all of our human needs. Most of these needs also exist in the workplace but in different measures, so working, eating, meeting, playing, socialising, self-development and relaxing, are all now vital and interconnected elements of the new workplace landscape.

One of the most onerous aspects of the WELL Building Standard and one of the biggest challenges for us, was specifying ultra-low or VOC free products. Using natural materials and products really helped to improve the air quality, and was part of our holistic approach to ensure a healthy, efficient and future-proof space was sustained.

Talking of past experiences, has your previous collaborations with Olafur Elíasson inspired any of your future thinking around workspace design?

Having worked with Eliasson for an extended period of time, there are a lot of interests that I developed and share in the areas around his practice, however one of the most inspiring aspects was working within his studio. Although there is some overlapping in terms of the creative process with how one approaches a commission or project as an architect, there are also a number of clear distinctions. The idea of a constant theoretical and practical body of research taking place, independent of life projects and something that everybody is part of, is one key aspect. Another aspect is the studio environment that is generous enough to foster these diverse activities, as well as the social interaction of a wide variety of collaborators. I believe that all of our working environments can learn from this approach. The computer has allowed us to shrink our workspaces, but there has to be a payback in providing spaces for other types of working, creative and thinking processes.

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‘Form Talks’ with Maribel Carlander

Maribel Carlander is an up-and-coming product designer from Copenhagen, with a degree in Industrial Design, and a socially responsible mindset to manufacturing. We got the chance to catch up with Maribel and learn more about her intelligent designs, and here’s what she had to say…

Nice to meet you Maribel, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background?

“I grew up in Copenhagen and attended a Rudolf Steiner School (a group of schools with a controversial view towards their ‘alternative’ forms of education), so my earlier education was very hands-on and creative. After a failed attempt at being a socialist hippie, I went on to gain a Bachelor and Masters degree in Industrial Design at Kolding School of Design in Denmark, and completed an exchange at the Design Academy Eindhoven, in the Netherlands. My time in Eindhoven was particularly rewarding, as it was my first real experience of international design.”

We’re always interested to hear about how designers are inspired to create their best work. Is there a particular thing or person that inspires your work the most?

“I hate to sound clichéd, but this question is nearly impossible to answer because it can really be anything, from a new material to a technical function to the colour of an ice-cream wrapper. Once I do have an idea for a new product, I spend a lot of time researching and developing before I settle on the final outcome.”

You mention materials, are there any particular materials you prefer utilising in your product designs?

“Of course it depends on the brief, but I do have a weakness for materials that change with time.”


When we stumbled across your portfolio, the Nohogany Stool is the first thing that caught our eye, could you tell us a little more about it?

“The point of the project was to explore the use of exotic — yet sustainable and FSC-approved — tropical woods in Scandinavian design and to challenge the idea that using local materials in design is the only sustainable choice.

The project emerged from a trip to Colombia. I went there with the objective of finding inspiration for a new project, with the main focus still undecided when I was leaving Copenhagen. The trip was incredibly experiential and I ended up learning how to surf, more than doing actual work, but the main thing I took from it was how visible deforestation is, the imprint it leaves on the landscape and how it affects the people who live in the jungle, who are forced to abandon this way of living because of it.

Sourcing and shipping wood from the rainforest may not seem like the most environmentally sound idea, however, by creating a demand for the right varieties of wood – lesser known FSC certified species – you increase the value of the rainforest and discourage the use of over-harvested and endangered popular species. By using lesser-known species, a greater economical value is generated for forest owners, whilst simultaneously lessening the over-exploitation of threatened species such as mahogany and teak.”

“The colour palette developed from wanting to draw attention to the wood in different ways. For example, by choosing a tone for the metal that was close to the natural wood colour, it forces you to question the dyed appearance of the wood, whilst making another stand out by choosing a bright and contrasting colour.”

We noticed you’ve also worked with Frama to produce the Fundamental Candleholders. What has your journey in the industry been like so far and are there any other design brands you’d like to collaborate with?

“I was fortunate to have my candleholders selected by Frama for their current collection whilst I was completing my Masters. Frama has an honest approach to form and materials, which is a natural fit for my work. I hope to collaborate with them again in the future, and actually, some new editions of the candleholders will be launched very soon.”

Scandinavian design has been on the radar in the UK for a while now, and shows no signs of slowing down as it expands from interiors inside the home, to the designs within the workplace. As a Danish-Finnish designer, do you feel your work is typically typecast under the broader term of “Scandinavian design” and how do you try to move your own work on from this generalisation?

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Is this the Future of Office Furniture?

Sometimes within the furniture industry it can be hard to come up with new ways to keep designs fresh and exciting and although manufacturers do it so well, it is also interesting to see what the younger generation of future designers envision as the next era of furniture.

During our trip to Salone del Mobile we came across ‘In Our Office’ an exhibition by first year MA students from Lund University, School of Industrial Design. The twelve-piece installation highlighted how small-scale offices go unnoticed in terms of furniture design, however it shouldn’t as it is such an interesting habitat where work and fun can be combined and furniture design can help to do this. As a result, the students had developed prototypes all of which had a unique spin on their design.

The Bunk Desk takes design inspiration from bunk beds, creating a desk with two levels that changes the dynamics of an office by providing a distraction-free zone. The unique desk also provides a workspace that encourages teamwork and collaboration.

We have noticed a massive increase in the use of plants in offices over the last few years as they help to improve air quality and uplift the mood. The only problem is that sometimes they get neglected in a busy office, as watering the plants is not the first thing on our to-do lists. Babylon is a solution to this problem and provides an ingenious way to care for plants easily; by pouring water into the funnel at the top, you irrigate all the plants in one go, as the water goes into an inner chamber that gradually transfers out into the soil in the outer pot.


Making a coffee is a great way to get colleagues talking no matter how big or small the office. Coffee Corner provides a place to take a break and enjoy a cup of coffee. It also provides an impromptu meeting place, so could even help productivity when your colleagues are feeling a little demotivated.

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Norwegian Design: The New Era

After hiding in the shadows of Scandinavian design for so long, Norwegian design has now taken centre stage and at Salone del Mobile, had its very own exhibition that housed 26 of Norway’s best designers and craftsmen who showcased everything from products, projects and prototypes.

‘Structure’ was the brainchild of three of Norway’s most forward thinking, creative organisations; designers union Klubben, contemporary craft resource Norwegian Crafts and the globally renowned paint manufacturer Jotun, who worked in collaboration with the Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture.

Over the past decade, Scandinavian design has become the descriptive name for a certain set of design characteristics however, although similar Norwegian design should be recognised within its own right due to differencing factors including heritage, natural resources and production facilities. ‘Structure’ captured Norwegian design and presented it as a curated version of products, projects and prototypes that showcased both the pillars of Norwegian design and the theme of structure.

We saw a lot of interesting designs and concepts when we visited ‘Structure’, one of our favourites was the prototype ‘Between’ by Sara Wright Polmar, which cannot be classed as a sofa or armchair, but a seat that invites different ways of sitting. Another favourite was ‘Three Cities: Deconstructed’ by Vera&Kyte, a series of architecturally themed decorative and functional ceramic serving tiles, with colours and contours inspired by the topography of one of three cities; Rome, Tokyo or Los Angeles. ‘Untitled’ by Christina Peel also caught our eye and is defiantly something we would have hanging in our office. This folded porcelain project is an exploration of materiality and geometry and makes use of the effect of light, shadow and reflection.

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+Halle Raises the Bar with New Collection

Human-centric brand +Halle has taken a fresh approach to typical lounge seating with the launch of their new multi-level seating collection, designed by international design studio Form Us With Love (FUWL). The ‘Nest’ collection symbolises the first collaboration between the Swedish design powerhouse and danish-based manufacturer.

The new collection was launched during Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair 2016 and debuted in the Greenhouse Café, another by-product of FUWL, and a celebration of the 10-year anniversary since their first exhibition in the Greenhouse hall. Furnished with the Nest series, the Greenhouse Café functioned as a natural meeting point for the fair’s visitors and exhibitors, with just the right balance of spatial partition that enabled meetings, conversations and lunch breaks, within smaller defined areas.

By simply raising the level and lifting the lounge setting up, the dynamic design literally takes furniture to new heights and without compromising on comfort – something we were able to experience first-hand during the show.

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‘Form Talks’ with Schneid Studio

We’ve long admired the Schneid design studio from afar, and so it was a pleasure to finally catch up with founder Niklas Jessen and Julia Mülling about their new space in Lübeck. Niklas, is a trained architect and carpenter, and Julia is the creative behind the beautiful light fittings. Here’s what they had to say when we caught up with them last month….

You’ve both built an amazing space for the new home of Schneid, and it’s almost a holistic space encompassing your office, workshop, warehouse and showroom, all under one roof. We know you’re based in northern Germany, but what made you choose Lübeck’s city center to set down your roots?

“When looking at locations for our new workspace, we always had in mind that we wanted to work in a building that had a story behind it. When we came across this great location in Lübeck’s harbor area, we fell in love with the building and the feeling of old craftsmanship we felt upon entering. We have since found out that Julia’s grandfather once worked in this very building. A visit is worthwhile, because as you can here very quickly understand complete design processes.”


The new space is so full of character, and we particularly enjoy the openness to roam between the different functions of the company, but what is your favourite feature of the building?

“We love the size of this old building. We now have enough space to grow and feel free when we work. We have everything that we need under one roof; our workshop is located next to our kitchen and from the office you can go out to the roof terrace, where we like to sit and relax.”

You both come from super creative backgrounds and we understand that Julia is currently studying at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg, so we wondered where your inspiration came from for the design of the interior?

“Inspiration came from the minimalistic, industrial style interior we found when we originally bought the building. We have reused a lot of the furniture and have just used fresh colours to brighten them up a little, so it now has a mixture of industrial and comfortable style. We wanted a big bright room, almost like an artist’s studio, where we can be creative. We also got to use special bright grey ship paint for the floor, which is used in the Lubeck harbor for painting big constructions.”

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BAUX 3D Pixels have Arrived!

We’re excited to announce the launch of BAUX’s ingenious acoustic tiles in 3D format, which now makes it possible to work in three-dimension when designing acoustics for small-scale spaces.

Created using the same blend of natural materials (wood wool, cement and water) as the original BAUX Tiles and Panels, the 3D Pixels are designed to both break up sound waves, as well as absorb them.

Architects and designers are increasingly concerned with improving the acoustics and sound quality in rooms of various sizes and shapes, without reducing the visual experience. In smaller rooms, compressed hallways and limited spaces, sound differs considerably from larger rooms. The sounds may cause fluttering echoes, room modes and early short sound reflection. By adding a another dimension of depth and breadth, the BAUX 3D Pixel Tiles will absorb unwanted sounds and create a more pleasant environment.

The tiles are available in three thicknesses (25mm, 50mm and 75mm), five patterns and twenty colourways, all of which have been designed to work in unity, so you can mix and match to create any soundproofing pattern you like!

Check out the feature video below – Andreas Lübeck x Daniel Wallberg (a.k.a. Smutskatt) testing out the new Baux 3D Pixels. Andreas Lübeck is a photographer and visual artist and Smutskatt is one of Sweden’s most prominent and creative beat makers.


A special toolkit has been developed for architects and designers to personalise patterns in whatever combination you desire. If you’re interested in finding out more or would like to be sent the toolkit please email or call us on 0151 363 0544.

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New Project / Rapport Agency

We have recently been working alongside interior designers Spacemen Creative on an interior project for Rapport who are a creative agency based in Manchester who work with businesses to help create a powerful business culture both internally and externally

Spacemen are a creative interior design practice who are dedicated to designing spaces for brands that allow them to connect with the people who matter most to them so its fair to say that a collaboration between Form, Spacemen and Rapport is a match made in heaven thanks to our mutual love of creativity, design and collaboration.

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Devorm Presents; POD Sessions

The De Vorm Pod chair is a work of art in itself. Its acoustic properties, comfortable form and the PET felt technology behind its creation make it an interesting piece for a vast range of interiors.

De Vorm have collaborated with What Design Can Do, to introduce ‘POD Sessions’, an interview series where creators and thinkers from different industries discuss what they do and share their thoughts on how their work influences our workspace environment and its culture.


Alex Atala


‘Simple is complex’

Alex Atala is one of the most influential chefs in the world. His restaurant DOM, in Sao Paulo, has been named one of the best in the world and he has a real passion for reshaping Brazilian food with the use of the countries natural resources and help of local producers and indigenous communities. Atala is also responsible for Sao Paulo restaurant Dalva e Dito and Instituto ATA who promote sustainable production and consumption. Here he discusses the art behind his cooking and how he creates food that represents culture.

Duration 12:33

Ole Scheeren


‘What do spaces make you want to do, or not want to do?’

German architect Ole Scheeren is the founder of international architecture firm Buro OS and has recently won the World Building of the Year 2015 for his creation of The Interlace in Singapore, a series of apartment blocks with a unique, unusual aesthetic. Scheeren is also a director and partner of Rem Koolhaas’ Dutch firm OMA. Here he talks about how he builds relationships with the spaces he designs and how the workplace is changing.

Duration 07:41

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Zoku’s Home/Office Hybrid

The world is constantly evolving – politically, economically, socially, technologically and demographically – and the landscape of today’s public spaces must adapt and transform to support these trends. Hotels offer a service to people the world over, but how often do you actually interact with other guests within the hotel during your stay? I can guess probably almost never.

Over the last few years we have seen a change of direction in the hotel and hospitality industry, with an increase in the offering of boutique hotels, serviced apartments and extended stay hotels. Another change we’ve seen develop is the interior landscape of hotel lobbies, offering communal spaces which are a hive of activity, not only for guests but the passing public and members of the local community too. Such shared social spaces are being utilised as offices, meeting places or break-away environments, so when you walk into the hotel it’s perceived as a liveable space, full of buzz. Thanks to these trends, a new hotel concept has been born – a hybrid between the balance of a home and an office.


Zoku, which is Japanese for family, clan or tribe, is the brainchild of initial creator of the CitizenM concept Hans Meyer and Marc Jongerius. The idea behind Zoku is to create a flexible home and office that can help the global nomads of todays society to broaden their networks, social circles and horizons; but above all else they want to provide guests with that ‘homely’ feeling they miss when they’re away from their families. Zoku believes that ‘amazing things happen when people come together’ and this is something they are aiming to achieve with the new hybrid hotel concept.

The concept of Zoku was developed alongside it’s target audience, who from the beginning where asked to trial and give their opinions on what a true travelling business person may need, during their time away from family, friends and home. As a result, their service and facilities offering has been essentially tailored to business travellers and will offer everything they need, including professional services and social events.

Zoku (launching 2016) will also focus on building a community by providing social spaces and by making it a lot easier for guests to meet like-minded people to create a social life, whilst they are away on business. Guests can stay in Zoku for any amount of time from five days to three months. Rather than employing staff, Zoku has ‘Sidekicks’, who are on hand to tell you all you need to know about the local area, help you get to grips with the Zoku concept and just basically be there in case you need them – think of them as a fellow colleagues in your temporary office space.



The co-working space within Zoku is a large, open-plan room, full of lots of furniture that creates different mixed-use settings. There are corners that you can hide in to get some peace and quiet or long communal tables where you can sit alongside people and work individually. Here you can work across time zones with a desk and office tools. The space takes a biophillic approach, full of green plants and has an airy feel to it. To complement the biophillic design, there are a number of terraces, as well as a rooftop garden and greenhouse, that actually produces some of the vegetables and herbs that are served in the kitchen. You can also do a spot of gardening in there if that’s your thing. If you need some privacy for a meeting, there are private rooms available that each have their own theme and have all the technology you need, just as though you’re in an actual office.

Within the hotel, there are lots of communal areas that aren’t just for guests but for the local community too. A living room that features comfy couches and fireplaces, and a fully stocked library also occupies the space, along with a games room that is complete with a movie collection, games and a nightly house band. The living kitchen is the place to be for healthy food, with a menu that is changed daily and from time-to-time will feature local kitchen legends. The (almost) everything on-site store is stocked with all the essentials you need during your stay, the perfect pit stop if you’ve forgotten something. Zoku will offer an edited selection of Amsterdam’s finest from the store and will keep it up-to-date with the newest trends! For those with a strict exercise regime, there is a gym and also a treatment room, for guests who maybe in need of some down time.




Hotel: Zoku

Photographer: Ewout Huibers

Designer: Concrete

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In Detail: Ace Hotel

Flashing back to 1999, in Belltown, Seattle, the Ace Hotel empire began its journey in a former Salvation Army halfway house. Founded by friends Alex Calderwood, Wade Weigel and Doug Herrick, the three visionaries wanted to create a hotel that was affordable and appealing to the creative class, and thus, the ’boutique’ hotel concept was born.

The founders favoured unfussy luxury; an intentional design ethos and the essence of the brand that has underpinned this industry-changing business.  White, institutional décor, loft ceilings, hardwood floors, pieces of exuberant street art and rooms stocked with fancy popcorn. It might sound like a strange disposition, but every detail was considered and crafted, and the hotel fitted right into the quirky Seattle neighbourhood. One of Calderwood’s greatest talents was adapting the style and furnishing of each hotel property to fit holistically into its surrounding area, with an eye towards re-imagining properties that were arguably “challenged”.


Diversification is the perfect word to describe the company, because as they grew, so did the hospitality offering, creating spaces, events, products and experiences and engineering the Ace ‘culture’ along the way. Calderwood learnt from a young age that if you have a point of view you could team up with other talented people to make your idea happen. He fell in love with the concept of collaboration and it’s something that Ace has perfected under the in-house creative agency of Atelier Ace. Successful collaborations with makers and artists include Tokyobike’s Ace City Bike, Sunpocket’s foldable sunglasses inspired by ski bunnies of the 70s, Vans create Era 59 which represented a celebration of the new Ace Hotel in LA and with Hender Scheme to create custom Ace Hotel slippers. Although Ace Hotel operates 1,045 rooms wide, it may come as a surprise to learn that 50% of its revenue comes from other avenues, including the product collaborations in Ace’s online shop!


In 2012, original founders Weigel and Herrick sold their Ace shares. Since inviting investors into fund the more extravagant projects, it could be said that the original ethos of the company and the ‘passion projects’ had been taken over by the investors’ thirst for money.

Calderwood continued to grow the Ace empire and in 2013, opened the first European hotel in Shoreditch, London. Unknown to everyone this was the last of the Ace Hotel launches he would see. Before the Ace boom, Calderwood had started out in Seattle where he began his ever-changing career that involved fashion design, nightclubs, a barbershop chain, a record label, an advertising and marketing agency, publishing an art book and of course, a world-class hotel chain. His interests spanned from vintage clothes, fancy coffee, a relaxed service culture, reclaimed furniture and retro typography. Sadly, on the 14 November 2013, Alex Calderwood was found dead in London’s Shoreditch hotel. (Pictured Right, Alex Calderwood)


Flashing forward, and Ace Hotel is an eight strong collective of destination hotels, each with its own inspired design, paying homage to the building and its city, with the belief that everyone should be welcome to visit their hotels. Atelier Ace’s approach to the hotel environment is to seek out narratives, makers, artists and materials that speak to the building and to the city. Alongside interior designers Roman and Williams (who helped renovate the New York hotel) spaces are crafted to make a lasting impression. Roman and Williams believe that bringing different objects together that work alongside each other creates a musical space; they believe that the communication of objects creates a dreamy, subconscious force that appeals to people in different ways, resulting in an inviting space where people feel welcome. This is the reason that all Ace Hotel lobbies are welcome to anyone to take refuge, a communal area open to the public to grab a coffee, a welcoming space to relax and read a book, or even for use as workplace or to hold larger presentation meetings.


Most recently, in an attempt to wow their customers even more, Ace Hotel enlisted the help of acclaimed fiction writer Journ Alexander Chee and invited 12 writers from around the world to take part in their ‘Dear Reader’ project. Each month, an author is selected to pen a letter to guests, each one is hand-stamped, numbered and given to guests on a surprise date and momentous annual occasions. The letters can be about anything, so if you haven’t already, why not book a night in one of Ace’s hotels, you never know you might be lucky enough to get one!

You can visit an Ace Hotel in New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Downtown LA, London, Paris, New York, Portland, Seattle and Panama.


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Tom Dixon Multiplex at Selfridges

Product design mogul, Tom Dixon is set to present MULTIPLEX, a unique, multi-sensory department store of tomorrow; set to launch on the 18 September and run until the 15 October, MULTIPLEX coincides with four of the most important events on London’s creative calendar.

Located in the Old Selfridges Hotel in London, the MULTIPLEX will run throughout London Fashion Week, London Design Festival, the BFI London Film Festival and the Frieze art fair. The MULTIPLEX concept will bring together design, technology, fashion, film and interiors under one roof in order to explore how the future of retail may look; designed to ignite all of our human senses – sound, smell, taste and touch.

Along with his multi-disciplinary collaborators, they will create a space full of unique experiences and products, bespoke services and allow visitors interested in design to experience a new kind of retail space that is focussed on design.

MULTIPLEX will house brands including Wallpaper*, Sony, Caesarstone, Deliveroo, Resident, and who will all bring their own ideas and experiences to the event.

One of the brands that we are most excited about seeing is Resident, a brand we’re excited to say that we have recently started working with. Resident is a fast growing design house from New Zealand, who are focussed and committed to providing high quality design led lighting and furniture for commercial and domestic environments; the first company to edit the New Zealand design scene. Resident’s products are not only unique, but practical and demand attention as soon as you enter a room; their lighting designs hold a sense of modern civilisation and can act as a centrepiece to any room, big or small. Some of Form’s favourites are shown to the right.

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The Endless Designs of BAUX

BAUX is an acoustic construction material that meets the contemporary expectations of designers and architects, without compromising on aesthetics, safety and environmental standards.

The panels are constructed of an environmentally-friendly, recyclable material made from wood wool, cement and water. The natural components combined together provide excellent sound absorption, moisture-regulating qualities and heat-accumulating capabilities. With twenty colour-ways, six shaped tiles and 5 patterned panels to choose from, the combinations are endless!

Here’s a round-up of our favourite inspirational walls and tips on how you can mix and match the products to re-create your own wall:

Bring the outdoors in and create your own biophilic design with careful placement of the Hexagonal Tiles with just three colours.

Multicolour in NCS 3050-R90B, NCS 3040-R10B, NCS 0530-B10G.

Like a giant magic eye picture, create your own optical illusions with a considered mix of Parallelogram Panels, and Square and Triangular Tiles.

Multicolour in NCS 9000-N, NCS 7502-B, NCS 2502-B, NCS 0300-N

Chevrons, herringbone, zigzags, call them what you will – the visually striking geometric lines on the Diagonal Panels, add a dynamic design to any space.

Monochrome in NCS 3050-R90B 

Get a little bit more creative with your workplace way-finding and signpost everything from reception areas to office floors and meeting rooms, using Triangular, Square and Rectangular Tiles.

Multicolour in NCS 4040-R10B, NCS S 0300-N

Considered the most restful colour for the eye, these shades of greens combined with lighter colours can help make rooms seem more expansive, brighter and airy. Design yours with Diagonal Panels.

Multicolour in NCS S 3050-R90B, NCS S 320-B10G, NCS S 2020-B70G, NCS S 0530-B10G, NCS 9000-N, NCS S 4020-G10Y, NCS S 1010-G30Y, NCS S 1020-G

Like a true piece of art, this intricate pattern features no less than 12 colour-ways across the Square, Parallelogram and Triangular Tiles. Piece of cake!

Multicolour in NCS S 6020-B, NCS S 3050-R90B, NCS S 4040-R10B, NCS S 5020-Y90R, NCS S 7502-B, NCS S 3020-B10G, NCS 3040-R10B, NCS S 2030-Y40R, NCS S 1020-G, NCS S 0530-B10G, NCS S 1030-R10B, NCS S 1510-R40B

For further information, pricing or for a link to download the BAUX Architect’s Toolkit please contact us by email at or call 0151 363 0544.

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Note Design’s Ceramic Pendants have Arrived!

Form are excited to announce the arrival of the Ex.t Fuse lighting range to our portfolio of contemporary furniture, lighting and interior accessories.

Ex.t is a Florentine brand with a mission to ‘create design objects that are beautiful and original’ through the use of  artisan techniques and materials. The products are created by mixing the international visions of designers from across the world – who include the likes of Note Design Studio – with their Italian knowledge and the handcrafted techniques of Tuscan ateliers. What we find most interesting, is that the company is composed entirely of a female team.

We first spotted the Fuse pendants when visiting the FineFoods bistro in Stockholm. Note Design Studio was commissioned to design the FineFoods interior, which was inspired by a photo series of the misty death valley by photographer Jordan Sullivan. The ceramic pendant lights blended perfectly into the clean, calm, yet inspiring bistro environment. If you’re taking a trip to Stockholm, we highly recommend visiting FineFoods to enjoy the Swedish meatballs with lingonberries and mashed potatoes!

You can also read our insight on the FineFoods interior ‘Death Valley Comes to Stockholm’ here.

For further information, pricing or CAD blocks on the Fuse collection please contact us by email at or call 0151 363 0544.

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Airport Series: Shaping the Minds of the Future

We recently had the pleasure of being involved in the development of the brand new Aerozone at London Stansted Airport, part of MAG (Manchester Airport Group) to help create the airport’s flagship on-site education centre.

In partnership with local schools, the exciting Aerozone venture was designed specially for children from reception age, right up to sixth form, with the aim of inspiring young people to consider the varied careers within aviation.

Form worked alongside Jenny Hill, Interior Designer at INGO Interiors to furnish the space, which was once an under-utilised cabin building. The brief encapsulated the need to transform the existing, slightly sad space into an inspiring, bright, adaptable area for various educational activities. The furniture specification was deliberate to enable a ‘mix and match’ approach by the facilitators, to accommodate formal and informal talks, task-based activities and break out/recreational facilitation.

“Form were my first port of call when I approached the Aerozone project for MAG at Stansted Airport. The brief required a clever approach to furniture flexibility, so I knew that their knowledge would be perfect. Form’s specification worked in harmony with my own vision and together we created an educational facility full of life and the freedom that flying evokes in many of us. Both the client and I were highly impressed with the quality, value and design led service and as a result are working alongside each other for another Stansted Airport project. I hope to continue this successful partnership for many more future projects”. – Jenny Hill, Interior Designer, INGO Interiors.

Pictured above our favourite part of the project, the dedicated outdoor ‘Viewing Platform’, created for the children to watch the planes taking off and landing.

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Maxdesign lands at Form.

A relatively new brand to the UK market, Form is excited to announce the arrival of Maxdesign to our portfolio of contemporary furniture and interior accessories.

Maxdesign hails from northern Italy in the province of Treviso and is focussed on the production of highly functional design defined by the “liquid modernity” in which we live. They highlight that the boundaries between public and private are in continuous transformation and are merging into multi-faceted and multi-purpose environments. The company’s constant reinterpretation of the contemporary world and their collaborations with designers including Marco Maran, Studio Hannes Wettstein, Christoph Jenni and Tomás Alonso, has led their approach to design, which is concerned with human well-being in living and work spaces.

Maxdesign first caught our eye at this year’s Stockholm Furniture Fair, with their latest brainchild, the ‘Betty‘ armchair. Much like the rest of the products, Betty’s design plays on volumes and original colour combinations, offering a somewhat playful and emotive reinterpretation of functional furniture, which is still universal enough to blend into any interior. Other pieces to look out for include the best-selling ‘So Happy‘ armchair, the classic wooden ‘Appia‘ chair, the colourful collection of ‘Baba‘ side tables and the innovative ‘Offset‘ table, which can be divided longitudinally into two parts, and integrated with a range of interchangeable accessories, to aid collaborative working.

For further information, pricing or CAD blocks on the Maxdesign collection please contact us by email at or call 0151 363 0544.

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Working the Floor

An emerging trend spotted at this year’s Clerkenwell Design Week is the concept of designing spaces that allows individuals to not only choose where they work, but also to facilitate how they work too, whether that be standing, sitting, leaning, hanging or even lying down!

This takes the current workplace trend for “touchdown points” and “third spaces” and offers a fresh approach to these new ways of working. The two pieces designed around this idea that caught our eye at CDW 2015 are Prooff’s #007 ‘OffSize’ and Hitch Mylius’s ‘HM221’.

Designed by Dutch designer Léon de Lange, Prooff’s OffSize offers a comfy alternative away from the desk, a spontaneous meeting area or a place to relax and take a break. Inspired by art from the Italian Renaissance, OffSize has cleverly combined elements that allow you to sit, lean and lie down, creating a modern-day version of the renaissance when occupied. There are three fully upholstered pieces that make up the OffSize range and when it comes to positioning the lightweight elements, they can be easily moved into a formation of choice; clustered together or placed individually. It can elegantly utilise corners creating intimate environments, or opt for a linear cluster of individual pieces along a hallway. The beauty of OffSize is that it’s designed to support the body to stretch into natural positions. Although comfortable, after a while, each shaped unit compels you to twist, turn and move into another posture or perhaps move onto a different element altogether.

Pictured below is the new Prooff #007 Offsize.

Pictured above is the new Prooff #010 BeTween – a piece of furniture designed to act as a landmark in an environment, attracting people to be a part of the space.

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Jon Burgerman X Kirkby Design

When brands collaborate it gives greater scope for unique outcomes; we all know the saying too many cooks spoil the broth but in terms of design collaborations, more cooks results in more unique ideas, greater insight to different industries and different points of view.

At this years Design Junction, we got a chance to stop by the Jon Burgerman x Kirkby Design stand, who have recently joined forces to create a fabric range that uses a unique approach to colour and scale, with designs that will playfully inject art into residential and contract schemes. We got a chance to meet Jon and talk to him about his artwork and the ideas behind his unique designs; he said the two things that inspired his creations where ‘fun and old school computer games’.

Jon Burgerman is referenced as the leading figure in Doodle art style and investigates improvising and play through drawing and spectacle. He is known for his quirky and creative drawing style, using creatures, characters and objects that are inspired by the modern day world, to bring his drawings to life. Colour is also a focal point in Burgerman’s designs, with some designs being every colour of the rainbow, some monochrome and some designs that use pastel colours to create a more calming nature.


Their stand at Design Junction was nothing but enjoyable and truly captured Burgerman’s fun, playful nature. The designs where created using an array of artist tools; paints, crayons, ink, marker pens and paper cutouts to create a world of creatures, characters and shapes for unique collaborations. The fabrics where then produced using the latest digital printing techniques to capture every mark, smudge and wash of ink to create a realistic hand-drawn effect.

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A Speaker that’s Part of the Furniture

We praised Danish speaker manufacturer Vifa when they launched their highly-praised wireless Copenhagen speaker, and now we’re about to do it all over again, as their latest wireless hi-fi system ‘Stockholm’ launches.

Vifa has been supplying the high-end audio market since the 1930s, with the finest speaker parts that are designed and built to last. The philosophy focuses on creating devices that produce the best sound possible, combining technical expertise and craftsmanship with the understated aesthetic of Scandinavian design.

Vifa Copenhagen marked the release of the brand’s first complete audio system, which is both a portable and wireless loudspeaker, offering intuitive user experience and, naturally, state-of-the-art sound. ‘Copenhagen’ has already been awarded with two internationally recognised awards – the iF Design Award and the Red Dot Design Award (both in the category of ‘Best Product Design’) highlighting it as the ultimate device for anyone who values design, just as much as great sound.

Vifa Stockholm was released next and looks equally at home in an office boardroom, reception or hotel lounge, as it does in the home, thanks to its clean lines and elegant simplicity.

Both systems look more custom-made than mass-produced, beautifully covered in a fabric grille produced by leading Danish textile manufacturer, Kvadrat. The high-quality wool fabric which shelters the components is extremely lightfast and resistant to pilling and is produced through an eco-friendly manufacturing process.

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Working It, Living It: The New Office “It” Chair

Arper’s latest ‘Soft Tech’ approach seamlessly fuses technology into an object’s design, so that all we are left with is the experience. Soft tech, which also means “low tech” or “no tech”, naturally integrates technology so that it is invisible, intuitive and silent, whilst not limiting human interaction.

This highlights that technology gives us the flexibility to work from almost anywhere and that a lot of the time, technology is invisible for our convenience. Arper also focuses on the ongoing evolution of the way we live and work today, recognising the importance of incorporating a work-life design approach into the contemporary workspace. Basing their design for Kinesit on this philosophy, they have created a task chair that incorporates simplicity in its design, yet adaptiveness in its functions.


The Kinesit collection is Arper’s first office chair that is 100% compliant with regulatory requirements; to name a few features, this means that the chair’s seat and back is fully adjustable and is offered in three different heights, and there is also the option of 2D armrests. The most impressive feature is the built-in self-tensioning weight response mechanism that has been developed in cooperation with experts at Donati Spa (a planning and construction company in Italy). This means that the Kinesit will automatically respond to the weight and pressure of the user and allow for synchronised movement. Aesthetically, none of the mechanisms are visible as they are completely integrated into the chair, and natural comfort is achieved thanks to the comfortable, light and liveable form.

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The Unserious Book of Memphis Design

Love it or hate it, there’s no escaping the bizarre and often misunderstood Mephis Design design and architecture movement, which is emerging as a strong interiors trend for 2015.

Founded by Etore Sottsass in 1981, the Memphis Group was a Milan-based collective of young furniture and product designers, who dominated the early 1980s design scene with their post-modernist style. A total rule-breaker, the Memphis movement was characterised by its fun geometric patterns and colourful plastic laminates, which at the time, were influenced by pop art and art deco design.

Within the design world, Memphis was a watershed. According to Bill Moggridge, co-founder of the IDEO industrial design group, “You were either for it, or against it. “All the boring old designers hated it. The rest of us loved it.”

After its debut at the world-renowned Salone del Mobile furniture fair in 1981, the Memphis Group produced and exhibited furniture and design objects such as fabrics, ceramics, glass and metalware, annually until 1988. The group was led by their veteran Ettore Sottsass and also included one of the founding members, Nathalie du Pasquier.



‘Don’t Take These Drawings Seriously’ is the first and definitive compilation of all the unpublished drawings which have been sitting in the drawers of Nathalie’s studio for over 30 years. This beautiful book is full of the fun and quirkiness you would expect from a Memphis designer, organised by the smallest of objects to the biggest and divided into chapters, each with a summary by Nathalie. The book has also been carefully designed and edited by Apartamento Magazine’s co-founder Omar Sosa together with Nathalie Du Pasquier.

A selection of Nathalie du Pasquier’s artwork. Above image courtesy of Trendland.

Natalie du Pasquier’s own website is a treasure trove of information where you can learn more about her life and works.

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Storming the Web

Little did we know that when our new website was launched, we’d be visited by thousands of design aficionados from across the globe. This is in part thanks to the wonderful nominations we received from some of the best web awards on the Internet, including web design galleries as far as Japan.

We’ve won a special Honorable Mention on – the awards for design, creativity and innovation on the net. Not to mention, we’ve been featured as a Selected Site on Site Inspire – a showcase for the finest web design inspiration around.

Httpster is a showcase of what they call “damn hot” website design, a lovingly curated selection of good typography and effective, unpretentious design.

Last but not least, the renowned Communication Arts featured us on Webpick of the Day, the premier source of inspiration for graphic designers, art directors, design firms, corporate design departments, advertising agencies, interactive designers, illustrators and photographers.

Thank you creative folk for your support – we look forward to bringing you the best in contemporary furniture, lighting and design objects from around the world and serving you lots more insights, ideas and inspiration from our travels.


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Case Study: Consulting on School Design

Formby High School has a national reputation for exceptional music, is renowned for its specialisms in performing arts and science and has recently been awarded Artsmark Gold (2012) for the fourth consecutive time. The school strives to provide an environment that is enjoyable, challenging and highly rewarding, as well as one which enables its students to achieve.

PLACED (a unique collaboration of built environment professionals) recently worked with Formby High School and Harrison Stringfellow Architects to deliver student workshops, the aim of which was to support the engagement and consultation of year 12 students in the design of a new 6th form common room.

Project/Client: Formby High School

Location: North West England, UK

Architect/Design Studio: Harrison Stringfellow Architects

Principal Use: 6th Form Common Room and School Canteen

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Pantone Colour of the Year 2015

Marsala has been hailed as this year’s ‘Colour of the Year’ by Pantone, the global colour institute that combs the world watching out for that one colour dominating in importance through all creative sectors. The honourable colour is a uniting force in future design and colour influences and is a reflection of what people are looking for and what they feel they need that colour can help answer. It’s not necessarily the fashion colour of the moment, but a refection in all areas of design of what is trending in the global zeitgeist.

The new hue for 2015 is not such a jump from last year’s Colour of the Year – Radiant Orchard. The highly varietal shade of Marsala conjures up images of full-bodied wine and Indian spices, its red-brown tones emanating a sophisticated, yet natural earthiness. The consumer’s need for nurturing and the search for something that feeds the body, mind and soul, is prevalent in the satisfying richness of Marsala.

The impactful qualities of Marsala and its characteristics as a ‘layered colour’ highlight it as the perfect shade for adding warmth into interiors, either used on its own or as a strong accent to many other colours. Complementary pairings include neutrals, such as warmer taupes and grays, and because of its burnished undertones, amber, umber and golden yellows, greens in both turquoise and teal, and blues in the more vibrant range all pair well.

Pictured above is the classic Artek Stool 60, whose 3-legged design is both simple and stackable. We’re particularly drawn to the series of special edition stools created by well-known architects and designers – this version is by Mike Meiré and features a contemporary contrast between the wine-red seat, and alternate birch, white and black stained legs. Also featured, is the Ronde Pendant designed by Oliver Schick for Gubi. This hand-turned aluminum lamp shade with an ultra-matt lacquer, almost makes it look as if it was made of ceramic.


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Death Valley comes to Stockholm

After visiting FineFood Kärlek och Mat earlier this year on our annual trip to Sweden’s Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair, we couldn’t believe the transformation that has emerged at the restaurant-cum-coffee shop space. Stockholm-based Note Design Studio recently renovated the interiors using photographs of Death Valley to inform the cool and collected pastel colour scheme.

Located in the developing district of Hammarby Sjöstad to the south of Stockholm, FineFood offers an environment which is a mix of a café, restaurant and bistro in one. The challenge for Note Design Studio was creating a space which works as well serving breakfast in the morning, as it does serving beer in the evening.

Stockholm-based Note Design Studio referenced a photographic series documenting the landscape of the Californian Mojave desert by artist Jordan Sullivan, to inform the interiors which use tones of mint, dark green and turquoise, with a contrasting coral and salmon red.

As a Swedish design studio, Note championed their minimalistic heritage, creating a clean, soft space with a calm, inviting color palette. The flooring of the interior is made of a custom made herringbone floor tile, which represents the rich gray scales of rocks and mountains. The materials are typical Scandinavian such as light ash wood, brass and natural leather, except for the Green Guatemala marble used in some parts of the design.

Taking the environmental concerns into consideration, Note used an eco-friendly silicate paint for the walls and roof, LED spotlights for the interior lighting and produced the bespoke furniture in a local carpentry, just ten minutes away from the cafe.

All images courtesy of Note Design Studio.

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Little Red Lighting Hood

The Hood pendant is an ideal solution for open plan environments, functioning both as a light source and a sound barrier, helping to create a more intimate space in the contemporary office landscape. It’s modular structure means that Hood can grow according to need.

The modular, compressed-felt lamp shades are designed to create a cosy environment around a table and come in shades of black, dark grey, light grey, sand and red.

Seams folded outward around the edge of each panel are then connected with small pegs to form the Hood modular lamp shades. Three different sections are used to create the shades: four corner panels are attached to create a dome, then the shape can be extended by adding curved side or flat top sections.

These formations create vaulted coverings that are circular, oblong or chamfered-square shapes in plan. The light sources are covered in acrylic domes that hang from thin wires connected to the ceiling, wherever four sections meet.

Clever stuff by the team at Form Us With Love for lighting company ateljé Lyktan.

The Hood modular pendant is a sheltering lamp that creates both room and light.

“Open areas become the ultimate flexibility, but emotionally it is not always preferred. In Scandinavia, most offices are too bare and you only have your laptop screen as your protective shield. Hod is built around the emotional value of a shelter, where the intimate room is protected, letting you keep the landscape view.”

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