Gift Guide: Give to Others…or Yourself

Still not fully recovered from the effects of the pandemic, design connoisseurs are becoming more sensitive and grateful for the potential of small interventions to raise spirits. While gifting these ideas to friends and colleagues is a thoughtful gesture, one may want to consider keeping them to enliven…

… one’s space

Small sculptural, decorative yet functional joy-bringing pieces include Ethnicraft’s Objects collection, made by Indonesian woodworking craftsmen from local species such as mahogany and winners of the Accessories category of the 2022 ICFF Editors Awards. Similarly, the new three-piece collection Scenografie, architecture-inspired cache-pots for succulent plants by Milan-based LATOxLATO, evokes a De Chirico painting and are structured to show off the botanical geometries of succulents at their very best. KOPI Concepts, obsessed with coffee and specifically the grinder, unveiled the single-dose Deva grinder designed to solve the problem of grind retention, where particles from previous grinds end up in the new dose, muting flavours and wasting money. Amazon continues to enlarge its smart-home offerings all linked by Alexa, its AI voice technology. For example, the Echo Show 10 mounts a 10.1″ HD screen with built-in camera on the Echo speaker, perfect for hands-free video calls or cooking along with recipes on SideChef.

…one’s mood

Montréal-based SOJA&CO uses OGM-free soybeans blended with 100 per cent vegan oils (phthalate-free) to produce a candle that burns longer, is more sustainable and leaves little or no waste in the air and with nose-catching scents like Apple, Pumpkin & Orange, Matcha & Spices, or Pumpkin & Tobacco. Same goes for Moonday: also crafted in Montréal using only 100 per cent soy-based vegan ingredients with phthalate-free fragrances and essential oils. Scents include But First Laundry, Sweet Cucumber, and their best-selling Good Morning, to name a few. Making a splash on Canadian shores with a new boutique in Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre is Diptyque Paris, with a pricey range of home décor, fragrance and skin/body care offerings. This year’s Holiday Collection includes the eye-popping Advent Calendar of candles, illuminated by a phosphorescent Milky Way.

…one’s body

Kartell is everywhere, and now they can be on your face. The Eyewear Collection, subdivided into Main and Design, contains 100 different sun and vision articles between them. Rodolfo Dordoni, Ferruccio Laviani, Piero Lissoni and Fabio Novembre (shown) were called upon to interpret Design using elements and materials derived from the brand’s industrial design concepts. Speaking of industrial design and materials, Toronto-based STACKLAB, known for upcycling materials into high-design furnishing products, have applied their skill sets to transforming noble metals, heirlooms, and other casting mediums into new jewelry with LUUM, a name derived from Mayan for “earth” and a reference to the first ring they made using Mayan mud.

…one’s mind

Not only will these titles look good on the shelves of your studio, but cracking them open may actually fuel creative juices. LAYER is the first monograph of the hot-shot studio, providing a candid account by founder Benjamin Hubert of how to make it in the highly competitive design industry (Phaidon); Kai Kristiansen: An Industrious Designer offers the first broad overview of a 70-year extensive career and prolific oeuvre of this renowned designer (arnoldsche); If Walls Could Speak: My Life in Architecture is Moshe Safdie’s memoir/manifesto on the role architecture should play in society (Grove Atlantic); Fashioning Design: Lee Broom explores the many influences and ideas behind Broom’s portfolio of more than 100 products (Rizzoli).

If reading about other creative geniuses is a prompt to pen your own monograph, these writing instruments designed in 2001 by architects Achille Castiglioni and Gianfranco Cavaglià and emerging 20 years later may help. Starting with the trilobate arched shape by Castiglioni and Cavaglià, Italian design studio EGO.M completed the project by producing CENTO3: a three-piece collection including a mechanical pencil, multifunctional art pencil, and pocket fountain pen.