Ambiente is a hype-worthy international trade fair that brings the future into everyday items found in your dining and living areas and gift boxes. It’s a hub for business and creativity to assemble, showcasing a diverse array of objects with an innovative twist.
This year, Ambiente welcomed a record-breaking number of international visitors from 154 countries to its five-day event in Frankfurt, Germany. We browsed through all 11 halls of Ambiente and picked the following highlights for you. Enjoy these inspirations as we look forward to Ambiente 2019 and its much anticipated Hall 12.
Alessi’s most recent collaboration with Marcel Wanders dubbed “The Five Seasons”, is a lineup of home accessories, including a vintage-style perfume bottle, diffuser, candles and incense burner in a faultless white porcelain and earthy colours. The fragrances feature “Brrr” (Winter), fresh and bright with notes of bergamot, lily of the valley and musk; “Ahhh” (Spring) young and delicate, with cardamom, hyacinth and vetiver; “Hmm” (Summer) warm and inviting with a bouquet of figs, red fruits and mixed woods; “Grrr” (Autumn) complex and sensual with a mix of incense, cedar wood and moss; “Shhh” (Special) mysterious and spiritual with hints of eucalyptus, rose and patchouli.
Borowski Glass is a hand blown and handcrafted glass manufacturer that started in Stanislaw Borowski’s garage. Together with his sons, Borowski uses old, nearly forgotten techniques to engrave on glass and create remarkable art sculptures displayed in galleries, museums and homes of private collectors around the world, as well as everyday items.
Glass is a material that’s able to play with light, colour and form while still keeping its crystal-clear beauty. This opens up numerous experimental possibilities and has therefore become a canvas for the Borowski to unleash their wealth of creativity. Their three collections, Art Objects, Studio Line and Outdoor Objects feature products like vases, candle holders and fruit bowls fit for an opulent home.
Synergy by Kooduu is an LED floor lamp trio that could be your best friend when hosting at home. Each lamp in the series serves three purposes – it’s a high quality sound system, a decorative lighting element and a multi-functional carrier packaged in a neat white body.
Its speaker connects seamlessly with popular online music apps or songs saved on your smartphones, while its façade glows in soft diffused light. The inner compartment can be vase by day and ice bottle chiller by night.
With a top leather handle and aluminium accessories, Danish-designed Synergy is as decorative as it is functional.
Anything from Vista Alegre, be it their covetable fine china, crystal, home decorative pieces or dinner sets, are sure to charm both its contemporary and classic admirers. The Portuguese luxury brand has collaborated with renowned designers including Christian Lacroix, Marcel Wanders and Jaime Hayon further cementing their prestigious reputation.
Scrap Life Project
‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure’ is Scrap Life Project in a nutshell.
Four German designers have created stools from scrap plastics they found during a trip to Northern Italy. They were at an injection-moulding factory specialising in chairs, where they were inspired by the machineries’ side products when mixing different materials: colourful plastic plates. “Due to the random mix of materials, those plates never had another future than the costly process of burning. Until now,” says the designers.
The four repurposed the plates by installing steel tubes underneath them, creating stools that are each unique in shape and character. After another trip to the factory and with permission from the owner, the group of designers hauled back enough plates for mass production of their striking seats.
Tuning out the sounds of visitors browsing through the halls of Ambiente, a series of rhythmic taps became audible. It came from Kumo-o hammering away at his silver teapot, each tap that’s precise and deliberate.
The grey-haired artist is one of Zuihodo’s craftsmen forging silver into teapots and tea utensils using age-old metalwork techniques that date back to the samurai days. In the past, Zuihodo specialised in creating metal ornaments for sheathes and hilts for samurais and the royal courts. The ancient technique continues to be passed down.
Zuihodo’s tea-ware possesses a certain aesthetic complexity in its shape and contours. Use them for a traditional tea session or display them as collectibles at home.
It’s easy to see what’s good with Gudee at first glance. Relying on the aesthetic combination of bamboo and neutral-coloured fabric, Gudee creates eye-pleasing furniture and home accessories anchored in simplistic charm. Smooth curves and clean lines dominate the collection, as seen on the sleek bamboo chair called Raffles, to the cleverly named storage basket, Gatsby, and the versatile storage rack with mirror, Grota.
Though a mere one-year-old brand, Gudee checks all the boxes that come with design. They understand that home owners continue to hunt for durable modern elements to complement their homes without breaking the bank and so, leveraging over three decades of experience in manufacturing, Gudee maintains a high quality in their crafts. And thanks to its choice of materials, Gudee’s collections are sustainable and eco-friendly, fit for the design-savvy and eco-conscious homeowners.
100 percent’s label Perrocaliente offers a range of home and kitchen accessories from cutleries to origami lens cleaner. Though Japanese-made, the label derives its name from the Spanish words for dog and hot, ‘perro’ and ‘caliente’ to represent the brand’s playful and friendly concept.
One of Perrocaliente’s adorable products is Peti Peto, a pocket-sized polyester cloth in the shape of animals. These handy ‘petit pets’ are there to dust dirt off glasses or screens. The label also unveiled their latest addition, Undial, a cylindrical modern sundial in brass or stainless steel finish.
Dantelle is a series of hand-crafted textile accessories for the neck, shoulder and décolletage. With an unusual choice of material – knitwear – and an unconventionally modified hackle technique, Dantelle promises its wearer show-stopping moments.
The designer behind the collection is Güzin Büyük, a graduate from Germany’s Niederrhein University who was nominated in a state-wide design competition for Dantelle.
If a glass does not break nor crack at the impact of a golf ball, is it still considered glass? Unlike traditional glassware, German-made Superglas does not crack under pressure and is immune to the slightest scratch.
With its indestructible nature, comes easy maintenance and transport. There is no risk in getting orders damaged in shipping.
Also quite astonishing is its ability to insulate four times more powerful than its more primitive glass counterparts. Cold or hot, drinks are kept at their ideal temperature longer than expected.
Superglas by Koziol comes in a variety of colours and shapes for an elegant dinner, a summer garden party, a kid’s birthday bash and other occasions.
Under their sub-brand BIOBU, EKOBO goes green one colourful tableware at a time. Founders Franco-American duo Bruno and Boo Louis are committed to promoting an eco-friendly lifestyle through their products. Their collection of plates, kitchen accessories, and more are made of highly renewable bamboo fibre so home owners can bid adieu to plastic or fragile ceramics.
EKOBO’s other sub-brands include EKOBO Home, a textile range made with 100 per cent ultra-soft organic cotton yarn and EKOBO Handmade, a collection of hand-lacquered homeware made from bamboo.
For the past 50 years, local German craftsmen in the Erzgebirge mountains have been creating hand-crafted collectibles under the label Seiffener Volkskunst. Their nutcracker dolls, smoking figurines, pyramids and candle arches have been carefully carved from wood with an exceptional attention to detail.
The wide range of whimsical collectibles and ornaments are reminiscent of traditional Christmas gifts made by Santa Claus’ elves. But unlike Santa’s workshop, Seiffener Volkskunst welcomes tourists to visit and witness their collectibles in the making.
Ambiente visitors were delighted to tap onto what is hot in the fashion, design, art and architecture worlds, thanks to Stilbüro bora.herke.palmisano. The trend forecaster curated their finds into a special exhibition called “Trends 2018”.
The trends were categorised into a few sections: Modest Regenerations shows a clean, contemporary living concept, featuring materials that age gracefully, like bamboo. Colourful Intentions stands for bold hues and patterns with an underlying ethical claim, while Technological Emotions rely on visionary tech to fuse unlikely combinations of materials, like paper and linen. Finally, Opulent Narrations tells a story of individuality and eccentric details, marked by opulent materials like precious stones.
Another special exhibition at Ambiente this year was “Do Dutch”. Industrial designer Robert Bronwasser curated everyday products from the Netherlands to get visitors acquainted with the country’s consumer goods culture.
The colourful exhibition featured objects rearranged in a new way and unusual context to tell a narrative that reflects the Dutch and their proactive take on design. Bronwasser highlighted the Dutch’ willingness to take the roads less travelled and look at form and function from a different perspective. Also on the agenda was to underline important discussion topics like sustainability and social impact.
GERMAN DESIGN AWARD 2018
With so many talents under one roof, Ambiente made a fitting occasion to recognise the truly outstanding talents. The esteemed award ceremony of this year’s German Design Award took place in the fair, highlighting the achievements of design pioneers and the creative minds that managed to set unique design trends.
Among the winners were BetteLux Oval Couture for their bath and wellness products, Arrow 2016 for their ultra-modern office furniture, Vase Fondale for their one-of-a-kind vase, and National Touristroute Aurlandsfjellet’s rest stop and view point in Norway. Another big win was Room on the Roof, a space in a tower featuring a pantry, storage, desk and daybed stacked on top of each other. The installation plays with scale and perception, inspired by the universe of Alice in Wonderland.