Color Unleashed

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By Dwell / Published by Dwell
After attending a few international furniture fairs, Dwell editors spot a hunger for optimism in design.

Though a turbulent 2016 concluded with many feeling a great uncertainty, 2017 began with ordinary people expressing resiliency and hope in ways both big and small. We noted the same optimism animating the January furniture fairs imm Cologne and Maison et Objet, where the design industry's most creative minds convened and overwhelmingly affirmed the power of color to buoy spirits in dark times. 

 The fabrics, finishes, and paints shown in Germany and France this year tended toward madcap shades like canary yellow and electric blue, and designers everywhere eschewed the subtleties of pattern in favor of loud monochromatic bursts. In terms of its attitude and energy, the style of furniture is a reverberation of Memphis’s late comeback—more primary- than parti-colored. (It’s no coincidence that Pierre Charpin, a student of Memphis Group cofounder George Sowden, was honored as the Designer of the Year at Maison in Paris.) 

 Bright hues were often worn on slight frames, like tubular steel, which had the effect of making the furniture and lighting appear flat or immaterial at a distance. Manuel Amaral Netto, the artistic director of the young Portuguese studio Util, which exhibited at Maison, described the look as "images illustrated as products." But in the dead of winter, and at the dawn of a new year, the dichotomy set up a different tension: that hope is always fragile. 


Color Unleashed - Photo 1 of 12 - Bretelle Chair&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;When it’s fully dressed, Luca Martorano and Georg Muehlmann’s Bretelle chair is wrapped in colorful "suspenders." It can be customized with 160 shades of ribbon.&nbsp; georgmuehlmann.it

Bretelle Chair 

 When it’s fully dressed, Luca Martorano and Georg Muehlmann’s Bretelle chair is wrapped in colorful "suspenders." It can be customized with 160 shades of ribbon.  georgmuehlmann.it


Color Unleashed - Photo 2 of 12 - Cutting Board&nbsp;</p><p>Cartoony polyethylene cutting boards by Muller Van Severen for valerie_objects are delightful alternatives to wood or stone slabs.&nbsp; valerie-objects.com

Cutting Board 

Cartoony polyethylene cutting boards by Muller Van Severen for valerie_objects are delightful alternatives to wood or stone slabs.  valerie-objects.com


Color Unleashed - Photo 3 of 12 - 04 Chair&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;The craftsmen at Belgium’s Ateliers J&amp;J paired welded tubular steel with ashor oak-veneered wood panels to create a rail-thin look.&nbsp; ateliersjetj.com

04 Chair 

 The craftsmen at Belgium’s Ateliers J&J paired welded tubular steel with ashor oak-veneered wood panels to create a rail-thin look.  ateliersjetj.com



Color Unleashed - Photo 4 of 12 - Magic Lamp&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;A range of graphic Kvadrat cotton fabric shades enliven the Magic lamp by Isabelle Gilles and Yann Poncelet for Colonel.&nbsp; &nbsp;moncolonel.fr

Magic Lamp 

 A range of graphic Kvadrat cotton fabric shades enliven the Magic lamp by Isabelle Gilles and Yann Poncelet for Colonel.   moncolonel.fr


Color Unleashed - Photo 5 of 12 - Bold Chair&nbsp;<br></p><p>Beneath its removable textile cover, which comes in 13 colors, Moustache’s Bold <br>chair is an updated version of a bended chair in tubular steel.&nbsp; moustache.fr

Bold Chair 

Beneath its removable textile cover, which comes in 13 colors, Moustache’s Bold
chair is an updated version of a bended chair in tubular steel.  moustache.fr


 

Color Unleashed - Photo 6 of 12 - Diamond Pendant&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;Neo/Craft founder <br>and 2015 Dwell Young Gun Sebastian Scherer’s hexagonal pendant plays with light, shadow, and perspective.&nbsp; neocraft.com

Diamond Pendant 

 Neo/Craft founder
and 2015 Dwell Young Gun Sebastian Scherer’s hexagonal pendant plays with light, shadow, and perspective.  neocraft.com


Color Unleashed - Photo 7 of 12 - Lazy Susan&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;Maison Dada of Shanghai reimagined the traditional Chinese table with fixed <br>and rotating tops in different tones, textures, and patterns.&nbsp; maisondada.com

Lazy Susan 

 Maison Dada of Shanghai reimagined the traditional Chinese table with fixed
and rotating tops in different tones, textures, and patterns.  maisondada.com



Color Unleashed - Photo 8 of 12 - Grid Armchair&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;Design duo Pool’s modular sofa system for Petite Friture, which includes <br>a graphic armchair, started as a send-up of the Bauhaus.&nbsp; petitefriture.com

Grid Armchair 

 Design duo Pool’s modular sofa system for Petite Friture, which includes
a graphic armchair, started as a send-up of the Bauhaus.  petitefriture.com


Color Unleashed - Photo 9 of 12 - Hal Pendant&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;With the pendant’s glass shade removed, Guillaume Delvigne and La Chance’s nod to HAL 9000 of 2001: A Space Odyssey becomes clearer.&nbsp; &nbsp;lachance.fr

Hal Pendant 

 With the pendant’s glass shade removed, Guillaume Delvigne and La Chance’s nod to HAL 9000 of 2001: A Space Odyssey becomes clearer.   lachance.fr



Color Unleashed - Photo 10 of 12 - Loop chair&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;Rodet, which has shaped tubular steel for nearly 40 years, likens the powder-coated lines of Fred Rieffel’s chair to the curves of a race track.&nbsp; &nbsp;rodet-home.net

Loop chair 

 Rodet, which has shaped tubular steel for nearly 40 years, likens the powder-coated lines of Fred Rieffel’s chair to the curves of a race track.   rodet-home.net


Color Unleashed - Photo 11 of 12 - Twisted jug&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;Glimpsed from <br>above, a spiral-shaped gradient lets users check the volume of ingredients in Gabriele Rosa’s measuring jug for Alessi.&nbsp; alessi.com

Twisted jug 

 Glimpsed from
above, a spiral-shaped gradient lets users check the volume of ingredients in Gabriele Rosa’s measuring jug for Alessi.  alessi.com



Color Unleashed - Photo 12 of 12 - Kama Stool&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;Le point D’s Kama bar stool comes in eight metal colors and four seat finishes, and the flexible design lets you switch sides to sit or sit/stand.&nbsp; &nbsp;lepointd.com

Kama Stool 

 Le point D’s Kama bar stool comes in eight metal colors and four seat finishes, and the flexible design lets you switch sides to sit or sit/stand.   lepointd.com