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Le Corbusier Palace of Assembly Chandigarh ARAM

Palace of Assembly, Capitol Complex

“Chandigarh is the biggest example in India of experimental architecture. It hits you on the head and makes you think and the one thing that India requires in many fields is being hit on the head so that it may think.”
Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru – 17 March 1959

Earlier this year, I travelled to the city of Chandigarh in Northern India. The following post provides a brief insight into the story behind this fascinating city and how it gave Le Corbusier the chance to realise his modernist vision on a truly grand scale.

Amidst the partition of the British Indian Empire in 1947, the city of Lahore was taken into the newly formed Dominion of Pakistan. This meant that a new capital city for the Punjab & Haryana States needed to be established and Prime Minister Nehru, wanting to create a new metropolis “unfettered by past traditions”, took a rather bold and visionary step by sourcing an architect from the west to take on this mammoth task.

Chandigarh Northern India ARAM

Nehru had met the American architect and town planner, Albert Mayer, in 1945 whilst Mayer was stationed in India during WWII working as an engineer for the U.S. Army. They discussed Mayer’s proposed schemes for model villages, aimed at improving the quality of life for rural Indians, and went on to develop a pilot project in the city of Etawah. It proved to be a success and the project was repeated throughout rural India which led to Mayer being appointed Planning Advisor to the Uttar Pradesh Government in 1947 and, subsequently, the commission to design this new capital city – Chandigarh.

Chandigarh the City Beautiful Le Corbusier ARAM

The name is a portmanteau derived from the temple Chandi Mandir, located in the vicinity of the proposed site for the city, and the local word for a fort or fortress – ‘garh’. It is often annexed with the term The City Beautiful which originates from the architectural movement that flourished in North America in the late 1800s with the intent of “introducing beautification and grandeur in cities to promote harmonious social order within urban populations that would increase the quality of life”. In 1949, Mayer set to work on his masterplan.

Albert Mayer Masterplan Chandigarh ARAM

His initial blueprint for the city showed an organically curving street grid reminiscent of a Clarence Stein Garden City layout with inlaid, tripartite superblocks. But this was as far as Mayer’s involvement in the realisation of Chandigarh went when, tragically, Mayer’s chief architect and partner on the project, Matthew Nowicki, was killed in a plane crash returning from India in 1950. Mayer walked and Nehru turned to the British duo, Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew, to take up the mantle owing to their experience of designing architecture in tropical climates. They were heavily involved in the Festival of Britain at the time so felt unable to take on such a huge project but they knew someone who might have the chutzpah to take it on: the Swiss-French colossus, Le Corbusier.

Le Corbusier Masterplan Chandigarh ARAM

Within a few days of taking the reins, Corbusier had formulated a new scheme from Mayer’s initial outline and introduced neighbourhood sectors, each measuring 1200m x 800m, and straightened the curving lines into a right-angled street grid. He then superimposed a more free-form network over the traffic system including footpaths and public parks with Leisure Valley cutting a huge green swathe through the heart of city. Much like his Modulor system of scale, his plan for the city was analogous to the human body: the capital buildings are the head, the central business district is the heart, the industrial area to the east and education area to the west as two arms with the sprawling road system circulating throughout.

Le Corbusier Palace of Justice Chandigarh ARAM

Palace of Justice, Capitol Complex

Le Corbusier Secretariat Chandigarh ARAM

Secretariat, Capitol Complex

Le Corbusier retained the role of chief architect and took sole responsibility for the design of the Capitol Complex in the north. The city’s government buildings are all found here in the form of three, breathtakingly vast pieces of his brutalist architecture: Palace of Assembly, Palace of Justice and Secretariat. His recurring Open Hand motif (a sign of “peace and reconciliation… open to give, open to receive”) is also honoured here with a 26m high sculpture, the largest of its kind, named the Open Hand Monument.

Le Corbusier Open Hand Monument Chandigarh ARAM

He assembled a team of associates consisting of Fry and Drew along with his cousin and former office partner, Pierre Jeanneret. Collectively, they designed the main infrastructure and residential buildings throughout the city, eventually spending three continuous years in Chandigarh. Jeanneret produced a range of furniture for the city and his iconic, wooden V Chairs can still be seen in use within various institutions. However, owing to their age, a number of these chairs have been junked over the years which were then picked up by keen-eyed collectors and began to appear on the auction circuit in the west attracting vast sums of money owing to their Jeanneret provenance. And it isn’t just his chairs that have become a commodity from Chandigarh after one of the city’s defunct, municipal manhole covers (which have a map of the city inscribed in to them… “it’s impossible to get lost in Chandigarh”, so the joke goes), also designed by Jeanneret, sold at auction in the US for $21,000 only a few years ago! Authorities in Chandigarh are now intervening in such activity in an attempt to preserve these items of heritage and at the time of writing, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee has also now accepted 17 projects designed by Le Corbusier, with the Capitol Complex in Chandigarh among them, into their list of internationally significant architecture sites.

Jeanneret V-Chair Chandigarh ARAM

Jeanneret’s V-Chair and Desk at Punjab University

Le Corbusier Ghandhi Bhawan Punjab University Chandigarh ARAM

Ghandhi Bhawan Punjab University

Le Corbusier Chandigarh Ghandhi Bhawan ARAM

Interior detail at Ghandhi Bhawan auditorium

Jeanneret stayed on in Chandigarh after its completion and was eventually appointed Chief Architect. In 1965, his health began to deteriorate and he returned to his native Geneva for treatment.  He passed away in 1967 and in accordance with his will, his ashes were returned to Chandigarh and scattered on Sukhna Lake in the north of the city.

Chandigarh is most definitely an Indian city but with a European sensibility and a must-visit for any architecture buffs.  But best of all, underneath all that gracefully fading concrete, you can sense that its citizens are very proud and happy to live in their City Beautiful.


Images 1, 3, 6-11: copyright Myles Brown 2016. Image 4: Landlab Files. Image 5: Pinterest.

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LC Collection Le Corbusier Perriand Jeanneret Cassina Aram

The LC Collection by Le Corbusier, Charlotte Perriand and Pierre Jeanneret

Repeal of Section 52 of the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988 – July 28th 2016

The long-fought campaign to afford designers the same length of copyright protection that musicians and artists currently uphold in the UK is finally at an end. As of yesterday, July 28th 2016, the ‘artistic craftsmanship’ law came into effect and extends the current 25 year term of protection on furniture, lighting and jewellery designs to a term of ‘life of the creator plus 70 years’, bringing it into line with current EU-wide regulations. Thus the legacy of creators of design classics such as Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, Charles & Ray Eames and Achille Castiglioni is guaranteed in this country.

Barcelona chair Saarinen table Knoll Aram

Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Chair, with Eero Saarinen’s eponymous side table

“Great design forms an integral part of our lives whether it be architecture, jewellery or home furnishings,” wrote UK intellectual property minister Lucy Neville-Rolfe in a document announcing the decision. “Both cutting-edge designs and those that have stood the test of time continue to be in high demand and we need to ensure designers have an appropriate incentive to create.”

Eames Lounge Chair LTR table RAR chair Vitra Aram

Charles & Ray Eames’ Lounge Chair and Ottoman, with their ESU Shelving, LTR Table and RAR Rocking Chair

The bill was officially passed in 2013 and at the point, the original commencement date of the repeal was due to be April 6th 2020 in order to give businesses affected by the change in law time to adapt. This decision was then challenged by a coalition of established design brands and designers who lobbied the UK government into expediting the process to the end of July this year.

Arco Lamp Achille Castiglioni Flos Aram

The iconic Arco Lamp by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni

The government has implemented a six month cooling-off period for any affected businesses with contracts in place prior to consultation. Therefore, after January 28th 2017, anyone intentionally infringing a registered design by producing, sourcing or selling a copy that differs from an original in only immaterial respects will be committing a criminal offence.

Eileen Gray Lota Menton Bonaparte Aram

Eileen Gray’s designs include the Lota Sofa, Folding Screen, Menton Table and Bonaparte Chair

As worldwide licence holders for the designs of Eileen Gray, Aram Designs is more aware than most of the need to offer greater protection on intellectual property. We hope that this new development in copyright protection will help provide greater clarification for our customers on this long-standing issue and highlight the benefits of investing in licenced and authentically produced furniture.

Click this link for our guide on how to identify an original edition, now protected by law.


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No one can fail to notice that the pound sterling has tumbled since the Brexit Referendum vote, and it is not expected to recover fully any time soon. Most of our furniture comes from Europe and so, inevitably, prices will rise – and quickly! Some of our suppliers have already told us that sterling retail prices will rise by 10-15% in the next few weeks…

But the GOOD NEWS is that our Summer Sale is still on, with 15% discount off PRE-BREXIT prices. Don’t leave it too late – place your order today.

Wassily chair Laccio table Florence Knoll credenza Arco Lamp

Wassily Chairs and Laccio Tables by Marcel Breuer, Credenza by Florence Knoll all for Knoll International, and Arco Lamp by Achille Castiglioni for Flos

LC4 Chaise Taccia Lamp Aram Store

LC4 Chaise by Le Corbusier, Perriand & Jeanneret for Cassina and Taccia Lamp by Achille Castiglioni for Flos

Lounge sofa Saarinen side table Knoll Aram Store

Lounge Sofa by Barber Osgerby and Side Table by Eero Saarinen for Knoll International

Bertoia Diamond Chair Knoll Aram Store

Diamond Chairs by Harry Bertoia for Knoll International


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Aram Summer Sale 2016

The Aram Store Summer Sale 2016 starts at 10am on Saturday 18th June. There will be 15% discount off new orders* and big discounts off ex-display items in store. Some of these ex-display items are already available online and more will be added throughout the duration of the sale. Here are just a few:

Karuselli Lounge Chair and Ottoman - Artek - Aram

Karuselli Lounge Chair and Ottoman in dark brown Prestige leather on a white fibreglass and chrome frame

Eloro Sofa - Cassina - Aram

Eloro 2 Seat Sofa in biscuit-coloured Sumak fabric on a black stained Ash frame with black leather sling

Grand Suite Sofa - Walter Knoll - Aram

Grand Suite Corner Sofa configuration in grey-brown Duala fabric with a coffee-coloured saddle leather arm

Mayor Sofa - Arne Jacobsen - &Tradition - Aram

Mayor Sofa in lemon yellow Sunniva fabric on a white oiled oak frame

*Some exclusions apply; the Sale discount cannot be used in conjunction with any other discount or offer, for example, already-discounted ex-display items.


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Flou founder Rosario Messina - Aram

In Old French terms, the word Flou was used to describe a feeling of ‘tiredness or exhaustion’. One can only assume that the renowned Italian bed manufacturers were inspired by this definition nearly 40 years ago when they began producing the perfect product for when you’re feeling a little flou.

Nathalie Bed Frame - Flou - Aram

Company founder Rosario Messina started out as a sales assistant in the famous La Rinascente department store in Milan but moved into the furniture industry when he joined C&B (now B&B Italia) in the early 70s. Later that decade he moved to the Italian textile company Bassetti, and was charged with the task of pushing the ever-increasing popularity of the duvet at the time, which led him towards his vision of creating a new “sleep culture” in the bedroom. Flou launched in 1978 and made an auspicious move by presenting the Nathalie Bed designed by the revered industrial designer Vico Magistretti. Flou describe the Nathalie Bed as the ‘mother of all textile beds': a title which is hard to contradict with its fabric covered base frame, headboard and distinctive pillows tied with a bow. The introduction of bold coloured and patterned upholstery for their beds also forged a new dynamic, and glorious, technicolour evidence of this can be seen in the advertising campaigns Flou began putting out in the mid-80s to display this new, loud way of looking at the quietest room in the home.

A Flou advert from the 1980s

The success of the Nathalie Bed put Flou on the map and over time, a slew of well-known designers came on board such as Enzo Mari, Mario Bellini, Rodolfo Dordoni and Carlo Colombo. This rise in profile afforded investment into the development of new production processes and research into the use of innovative materials. At present, Flou are producing over 50 different bed designs alongside a range of mattresses, duvets and pillows to suit any ‘Goldilocks’ predilection for the perfect night’s sleep.

Gentleman Bed Frame - Flou - Aram

Their edit of contemporary bed designs are supplemented by a collection of luxurious bedroom furniture including night tables, vanity tables, mirrors and wardrobes to suit any modern interior scheme. Flou have now even taken a step outside the bedroom by adding a range of elegant sofas to their catalogue with designs by Colombo, Dordoni and the design duo Mario Dell’Orto & Emanuela Garbin from studio Opera Work In Progress.

Ermes - Rodolfo Dordoni - Flou - Aram

The Ermes range by Rodolfo Dordoni, 2012

Wardrobes - Flou - Aram

Fully accessorised wardrobes from the Flou range.

Olivier Sofa - Garbin Dell'Orto - Flou - Aram

The Olivier modular sofa by Emanuela Garbin and Mario Dell’Orto, 2015

Aram Store have exclusive access to the Flou collection in London – keep an eye out for some very exciting news coming soon.


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USM Haller Bookcase - Aram

If you look closely, amidst all the tablet and kindle users glued to their screens on public transport, you will still see the odd person with a book in their hands. For some, books have become clutter; an annoyance and cumbersome blot on their minimal interior. But for others, the real bookworms (so to speak), a book collection is there to be admired and if displayed in the right way, be it with colour coordinated spines or just a random frieze of paper and hardbacks, a well-fed bookcase can really enhance and add depth to any interior.
If you fall into the latter camp, then we hope the following selection of storage solutions will provide some inspiration towards livening up your library.

Melody and Random bookcases - MDF Italia - Aram

Melody Bookcase (left) and Random Bookcase (right)

Designed by the German studio, Neuland Industriedesign (Paster & Partner) for MDF Italia, the Random and Melody Bookcases are a proven and very popular product here at Aram Store. Used singularly or flanked together to create a continuous wall of shelving, either design can be utilised in a very personal way by integrating books along with small accessories displayed inside the nooks and smaller compartments. If you like a little asymmetry in your life, then either of these designs will be to your liking.

Read - Montana Collection - Aram

The Read Bookcase by Montana Mobler

Montana is a flexible and wide-ranging storage system that can be configured to suit individual needs. The Read represents one of their ready-made solutions: a stacked configuration using six of their standard sized elements to form a generously sized bookcase. Minimal and sleek with a contemporary feel, the Read Bookcase will suit any modern interior with a punch of colour provided from their vast and vibrant palette of lacquer colours.

Nuvola Rossa Magistretti Cassina - Aram

Nuvola Rossa by Vico Magistretti for Cassina

A stone cold classic from the maestro, Vico Magistretti. Designed in 1977 and manufactured by the Italian powerhouse, Cassina, this simple linear structure is for the purists with its diagonal bracing and open sided shelves. Available in four finishes: Canaletto walnut, natural beech and black or white lacquer, the timeless Nuvola Rossa also works as a room divider and would sit comfortably in any setting be it classic or contemporary.

Ptolomeo Bookstand - Opinion Ciatti - Aram

Ptolomeo Bookstand

Simulating a freestanding pile of books, the Ptolomeo Bookstand is a unique and versatile solution from the industrial designer, Bruno Rainaldi. Available in three heights, three finishes (black, white or stainless steel) and with floor standing or wall hung options, the Ptolomeo’s sculptural quality can turn your books and periodicals into an interesting feature within any room.

Planophore - Barber Osgerby - Vitra - Aram

Planophore by Barber Osgerby for Vitra

The Planophore, designed by Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby, has dual capabilities owing to its cleverly designed, swivelling shelf dividers. These extruded aluminium supports, finished in matt silver or black, can be rotated to form varying sized compartments for holding your books. Move the Planophore into the middle of your room and close the panels… et voilá, you have a background for displaying decorative objects whilst dividing the space it sits within. The solid wooden shelves are finished in natural or smoked oak and the unit can be ordered in two different heights and widths.

USM Haller System - Aram

USM Haller System

This Swiss modular furniture system can provide all manner of solutions for storage, let alone for somewhere to keep your books or vinyl in order. Composed of a chromed steel frame with brightly coloured steel panel inserts, the USM Haller system can be easily configured to suit your spatial needs. Whether you have a small study space to fill, awkwardly sized alcoves either side of your fireplace or dream of completely lining the walls of a room to make your own personal bibliothèque, this is all achievable with the Haller System.


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Polder Sofa by Hella Jongerius for Vitra at Aram

Polder [Pohl-der]:
1. A tract of low-lying land reclaimed from the sea or a river and protected by dykes, especially in the Netherlands.

Polder Sofa XL by Hella Jongerius for Vitra

The original Polder Sofa XL from 2005

The Polder Sofa with its broad, flat seat and arm surfaces evoking these particular stretches of the Dutch landscape, was first presented by Vitra in 2005. Now, ten years or so on, it has been given an update by its originator: the colour alchemist and industrial designer, Hella Jongerius. But for all the mavericks that were fawning over the Polder Sofa upon its release, not to worry, the idiosyncrasy of the original design is all still there in this new edit.

Polder Sofa in Green by Hella Jongerius for Vitra at Aram

The new Polder Sofa

New Polder Compact Sofa by Hella Jongerius for Vitra at Aram

The new Polder Compact Sofa

This refreshed range has been simplified and there are now just two styles to choose from: Polder Sofa and Polder Compact. The Polder Sofa is much like the original in appearance with its low, wide armrest at one end and an adjoining platform at the other which also serves as a flat surface for books or trays. The Polder Compact offers a complete sofa with two fixed armrests at differing heights. Both of these new Polders are still distinctively asymmetrical in appearance and the armrest positions can of course be configured to suit your spatial requirements.

Polder Sofa button detail

The striking, collage-like button detail is still present but with a simpler, more refined appearance. Supplied in aluminium with a sunken, capsule shaped fastener; it not only provides a nice contrast to the soft upholstery but also allows the easy removal of the covers for cleaning.  A new palette of four colours (red, green, golden yellow and night blue) in varying hues and textures for the upholstery is also debuted, developed exclusively by Jongerius for Vitra.
The biggest change to the design is in the seat. The hard edged frame that used to form the base has been removed and replaced by a deep seat cushion which, yet still firm, provides a much more comfortable sit and inviting appearance from the front.

Polder Sofa seat detail

We have recently taken delivery of a Polder Compact for display here at the store so please pop in to experience this truly unique design, and also take advantage of our current sofa promotion: two free Diana tables with sofa orders over £2,000.


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Diana A and B by Konstantin Grcic for ClassiCon

As Spring bursts blooming into May, we have a very special offer for all our customers. Until June 17th, any sofa purchase (minimum spend £2,000) from our extensive collection of designs will be supplemented with TWO FREE Diana tables (one Diana A and one Diana B, in any standard colour)* from the world renowned designer, Konstantin Grcic who, this year, celebrates 25 years working with manufacturer ClassiCon.

Diana Tables by Konstantin Grcic for ClassiCon

Formed of sheet steel and available in a choice of 10 vibrant, powder-coated colours, these angular and beautifully minimal occasional tables offer a wide scope for use in virtually any room in the home. Their simple form belies extensive experimentation. Grcic says “The first designs of Diana were fairly complicated. The more I worked on the project the more I understood that even a few simple folds were sufficient to create a beautiful three-dimensional form.” Their shape makes the Diana A and Diana B tables the perfect accompaniment to any sofa.

We have sofas to suit many requirements – whether that be the relatively formal and compact look of Hans Wegner’s CH162 or Arne Jacobsen’s Mayor sofa, the wooden frame craftsmanship of Ian Archer’s Stix, Space Copenhagen’s Fly or Ole Wanscher’s Colonial sofa, or the unrestrained luxury of Citterio’s Groundpiece and Soft Dream ranges for Flexform and EOOS designs for Walter Knoll, which are modular and can be configured to size. There are also the quintessential modernist designs of the LC range by Le Corbusier, Charlotte Perriand and Pierre Jeanneret – part of Cassina’s famous i Maestri Collection.

Hans Wegner CH162 Sofa Carl Hansen

Hans Wegner’s CH162 Sofa for Carl Hansen & Son

Arne Jacobsen Mayor Sofa And Tradition

Arne Jacobsen’s Mayor Sofa for &Tradition

Ian Archer Stix Sofa

Ian Archer’s Stix Sofa for Archer & Co

Space Copenhagen Fly Sofa And Tradition

Space Copenhagen’s Fly Sofa for &Tradition

Ole Wanscher Colonial Sofa Carl Hansen

Ole Wanscher’s Colonial Sofa for Carl Hansen & Son

Antonio Citterio Groundpiece Flexform

Antonio Citterio’s Groundpiece Sofa for Flexform

Antonio Citterio Soft Dream Sofa Flexform

Antonio Citterio’s Soft Dream Sofa for Flexform

EOOS Jaan Living Walter Knoll

Jaan Living by EOOS for Walter Knoll

LC3 Le Corbusier Perriand Jeanneret Cassina

LC3 by Le Corbusier, Charlotte Perriand and Pierre Jeanneret for Cassina

Browse our carefully curated selection of over 100 sofas online and enter the promotion code 2DIANA in the shopping basket*, or visit the store on Drury Lane and speak to a member of the team for further information.

*This promotion cannot be used in conjunction with any other discount or promotional offer.


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The Milan Furniture Fair is without doubt a behemoth. As well as in the vast RHO Fiera showground, interesting things are displayed across the length and breadth of the city – in showrooms, galleries and in specially designated design districts. This year, Aram was lucky to have many pairs of eyes scouring the city to bring you our pick of the best items on show.

Avio sofa by Piero Lissoni for Knoll International at Salone Del Mobile Milan

Overall favourite product was the Avio sofa by Piero Lissoni for Knoll, a comfortable modular sofa system with the option of an elegant marble coffee table cantilevered from the end.

Hole Table by Kensaku Oshiro for Kristalia at Salone del Mobile Milan

Both Ruth and Daniel were impressed by the prototype Hole table by Kensaku Oshiro for Kristalia.  It uses bath-pressing technology to create a simple, sculptural and practical pedestal form. It will be available in a variety of finishes for indoor and outdoor use.

Wood veneer - Tense table by MDF Italia at Salone del Mobile Milan

Hadrian and Hadriana tables by Foster + Partners for Citco at Salone del Mobile Milan

Daniel also liked the new veneer finishes for MDF’s Tense table – opening up the table to new audiences and situations, and the beautifully crafted Hadrian and Hadriana marble tables by Foster + Partners for Citco.

Brass candlestick by Jaime Hayon for Fritz Hansen at Salone del Mobile Milan

In Fritz Hansen’s new accessories collection, the stand out product for Ruth was the brass candlestick by Jaime Hayon.

Siptel lamp by Giullio Iacchetti for Fontana Arte at Salone del Mobile Milan

She also liked the Siptel lighting by Giullio Iacchetti for Fontana Arte with its versatile design which allows movement in all directions and a magnetic head that can detach from the base and be used in different areas of the room.

Tipping Birds lamp by Umut Yamac for Moroso at Salone del Mobile Milan

Of the Tipping Birds lamp by Umut Yamac, Ruth said “I was excited to see that Moroso had invested heavily in this design as I nominated it for a Homes & Gardens Award a few years ago. It couldn’t win because it was not in production, although all the judges loved it.”

Credenza and Screen by Patricia Urquiola - Spazio Pontaccio at Salone del Mobile

One of the designs Myles chose was the Credenza collection manufactured by Spazio Pontaccio. “A collaboration between Patricia Urquiola and the graphic artist, Federico Pepe, Credenza is a collection of furniture produced in stained glass inspired by the windows Gerhard Richter created for Cologne Cathedral.  Made in Italy by artisans skilled in the art of making stained glass, this cabinet and screen stopped me in my tracks whilst strolling through the Brera District.”

Between sofa and Archie chair - Salone del Mobile Milan

Another favourite was the Between sofa by Sara Wright Polmar and Archie chair for Runa Klock, seen at an exhibition of Norwegian design within the Ventura Projects festival in the Lambrate District.  “These simple chair and sofa designs really caught my eye with their clean lines, beautifully coloured fabrics and frames and striking silhouettes…ones to watch, I think.”

Brut Collection by Konstantin Grcic for Magis at Salone del Mobile Milan

Marius particularly liked Konstantin Grcic’s Brut collection for Magis. The industrial impression of cast iron trestles and solid wooden beams is given a sophisticated refinement across the range of tables and benches.

Bubblegraphy ceramic vessels by Studio Oddness at Salone del Mobile Milan

Another highlight was Bubblegraphy by Studio Oddness – Adrianus Kundert and Thomas van der Sman, exhibiting in Ventura Lambrate. The mesmerising pattern on these ceramic vessels was created by blowing bubbles into the glaze.

Dream Air chair for Eugeni Quitllet for Kartell at Salone del Mobile

Sarah’s favourite product was the Dream’ AIR dining chair, designed by Eugeni Quitllet for Magis. “Introduced in 2015 with a transparent seat, the overall form is now fully opaque, in a choice of eight colours.  The chair is made from a single mould.  The curved seat gives the impression of floating and nicely contrasts with the linear frame.”

This is a short edit of our highlights of the annual design week.  Some of these products will be seen soon in store.


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Dot Lamp Foster+Partners Lumina Italia Aram

Aram Store launches two new lights designed by Foster + Partners for Lumina, the Milanese lighting manufacturer, on 13 May. There is a pendant light, called DOT, and a table light called EVA. Both will be presented for the first time on the ground floor of our Covent Garden store.

“We are delighted to be working with Foster + Partners and Lumina to present these beautiful lights, which are ideal for both a domestic and contract environment,” says Ruth Aram.

Dot Lamp Foster+Partners Lumina Italia Aram

The DOT pendant light began as an idea to create a ‘disc of light’ made by an assembly of two parallel discs connected by a metal stem. Its simple form belies an inherent complexity that pushes the boundaries of existing technology through years of research. The smaller disc, made of machined aluminium, contains a ring of LEDs that bounce the light off the larger spun metal reflector disc. The result is a minimal pendant light that gives the appearance of a floating disc of light, with no shadow cast by the cooling stem.

“It took us several months to optimize the Dot optical flow and the thermodynamic system. Thanks to a led circuit, a specially designed lens and heat pipe, DOT generates a lot of light, with a very thin LED source,” says Lumina’s Ettore Cimini.

Dot Lamp Foster+Partners Lumina Italia Aram

The reflector has a super-matte white finish and is available in 600mm, 800mm and 1100mm diameter and in larger custom sizes. Showcasing an innovative approach towards lens technology and temperature transfer, the lamp is suitable for use as a single pendant or chandelier cluster and comes in brass, anodised graphite, red oxide and ink blue finishes.

Eva Lamp Foster+Partners Lumina Italia Aram

EVA is a table-top indirect up-light that emerged from earlier design iterations of a dining table lamp for one of Foster + Partners’ architectural projects. The idea was to create a floating cone of light that emanates a warm glow similar to candlelight.

Eva Lamp Foster+Partners Lumina Italia Aram

The entire assembly sits within a glass tube with a round mechanised aluminium base housing a COB LED. The LED projects upwards onto a reflective cone, held flush with the top of the tube by a seamless mitred joint in the glass.

Eva Lamp Foster+Partners Lumina Italia Aram

Wrapped around the base is a grooved, free-moving wheel that works as the dimmer, using infrared sensors to achieve precise control over light levels. EVA is available in black, bronze, brass and silver, all in anodised finishes.

Mike Holland, Partner and Head of Industrial Design at Foster + Partners said “The DOT and EVA lamps are the result of a long collaborative design process between Foster + Partners and Lumina, which involved continual refinement and testing to produce the optimum lighting solution – a meticulous fusion of form, technology and material. Both lamps make innovative use of the latest LED and lens technology, embodying their minimalist essence in different ways, DOT as a pendant with a floating disc of light; and EVA a table lamp with a suspended cone of light.”

The two lights will be shown in lifestyle contexts incorporating furniture designed by Foster + Partners, many of which have not been seen before. Pieces include a wooden sideboard and shelving system by Benchmark (designed specifically for the new Maggie’s Centre in Manchester), chairs by Walter Knoll, including its new 525 dining chair, the Arc table by Molteni and the Nomas table by Tecno. The exhibition runs from 13 to 31 May.

Simultaneously, The Aram Gallery is hosting the retrospective exhibition ‘Craft + Manufacture’, which is an extensive exploration of the work of Foster + Partners’ industrial design studio. This runs until 2 July.


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