Page 1

Featuring: GamFratesi, Oliver Schick, Jacques Adnet, Jacob Gubi Olsen, Robert D. Best, Louis Weisdorf, Gubi Olsen, Bonderup & Thorup, Komplot Design, Gudmund Olsen & Greta M. Grossman.

issue #2 A Global Design House on a Journey

Cobra Wall Lamp By Greta M. Grossman, 1950 Reedition 2013

Ronde Pendant By Oliver Schick New Design 2013

Gr채shoppa Pendant By Greta M. Grossman, 1948 Reedition 2013 Semi Pendant - Metallic By Bonderup & Thorup, 1965 Reedition 2013

Gr채shoppa Task Lamp By Greta M. Grossman, 1948 Reedition 2013

Bestlite Porcelain By Robert D. Best, 1930 Extension 2013

Beetle Chair By GamFratesi New Design 2013

Turbo Pendant By Louis Weisdorf, 1965 Reedition 2013

Gubi Dining Table By Komplot Design, 2003 New Design 2013

Gubi Chair & Stool - Center base By Komplot Design, 2003 Extension 2013

Paper Tables By GamFratesi New Design 2013

gubi magazine

Words by Adam Štěch, Anders Eske Hansen, Alex Tieghi-Walker, Cédric Morriset, Jacob Gubi Olsen, Julie Ralphs & Louise Zastrow Photos by Adam Mørk, Heidi Lerkenfeldt, Julius Schulman, Anders Ingvartsen, Packshotfactory, GamFratesi & Sacha Maric Artwork by Stine Laurberg Hansen & Delphine Piault Thanks to Evan Snyderman & Lily Kane, Sofie Brunner, GamFratesi, Oliver Schick, Louis Weisdorf, Boris Berlin & Alex Iskos, Pernille Brunse Sørensen & Suzana Oromaa

We’re on a Journey // page 4

table of contents


round &

circular oliver schick

p. 22

Something Old Something New

The gubi

p. 34


p. 50

A rebel with From a


a Cause p. 28

It’s all


to a chair p. 14

p. 26


The bestlite a british bauhaus legend

p. 38

the gubi collection p. 24



architect Louis Weisdorf

p. 20

we’re on a

journey p. 7


& the world of


p. 32


master of the

Decorative Arts


jacques adnet

light &

p. 46

sensibilityp. 8 our home Changing within

the changes boris berlin

p. 44

We’re on a Journey // page 5

- with a global view

p. 30


We’re on a Journey // page 6


we’re on a

journey At Gubi we’re on a continual quest. A journey. Fuelled by our passion to discover overlooked icons from the past and future icons in the making, we’re aiming to make a distinctive name for ourselves in the international design arena and we consider ourselves a dynamic design force to be reckoned with. I firmly believe that curiosity, courage and intuition are key components for Gubi’s current success. To me design is all about discovering gems and following your instincts. It involves constant travelling – physically and mentally, searching and finding long-lost remnants from the past as well as discovering contemporary, cutting-edge designs from new designers and artists on the horizon. The result of these journeys is an eclectic, intercontinental collection that blurs the lines between the past and the future – today the Gubi collection spans almost 100 years of iconic design history and has grown into an extensive assortment of extremely aesthetic, thought-provoking designs characterized by simple, arresting shapes, original materials and innovative techniques. In 2013 we welcome a wide range of exciting designs and personalities into the Gubi family – some are already established in the international design arena, a few you have not seen in many years and others are brand new, ready to take the stage. Enjoy the magazine!

Jacob Gubi CCO

We’re on a Journey // page 7

A Designer’s Perspective



gräshoppa task lamp color options

At Gubi we have a love affair with Grossman and it is essential to us, that this unique Swedish female design icon, who took the US by storm in the 1940’s and 50’s stays honored and remembered for her contributions to the Californian Design movement.

among men, she quickly proved herself and got a sense of the craftsmanship and materials – she got a feel of the furniture industry from the ground up - something that without a doubt made her able to keep her designs equally aesthetic and useful later in life.

Few have accomplished what Greta M. Grossman did in her time, much less women - only to then disappear from the scene and become almost completely forgotten.

She was a woman of many talents – working with everything from sculpting, drawing and writing to architecture. However, it was really in some of her less know furniture and perhaps even more in her lamps designs that her unique sense of form and delicate design language really came to life. Grossman’s lights were always distinguished by the use of simple, soft-edged forms and the use of fashionable but contemporary colors.

Grossman was one of the first women to graduate from the Stockholm School of Industrial Design in the early 1930’s, today known as Konstfack. Like so many of her peers, she was influenced by European Modernism and great architects such as Walter Gropius and Mies van der Rohe. But, at the same time her designs still remained unique and surprisingly functional, while simultaneously delicate and powerful. She had her own vision! “The only advantage a man has in furniture is his greater physical strength.” The lack of recognition for female talents kept her on her toes – It definitely sparked a strong will and determination to prove her capacity to the world, but it had already started when she joined a local furniture factory and carpentry. Working solely

We’re on a Journey // page 8

To Grossman modern design was; “not a super imposed style, but an answer to present conditions… developed out of our preferences for living in a modern way.” In the late 1940’s and 50’s Grossman conceived a variety of designs for the lighting manufacturer Ralph O. Smith and the furniture manufacturer Glenn of California. She was acutely aware of the American design aesthetic that was becoming popular, and she blended it with the understated language of Scandinavian design to create her own distinctly California-style furniture.




3. 1.

Early sketch of the Gräshoppa Task Lamp 2.

Greta M. Grossman at her desk, Photographed by Julius Schulman 3.

Advertisement for The Gräshoppa Task Lamp from the original manufacturer Ralph O. Smith

We’re on a Journey // page 9


Cobra wall lamp color options

Gräshoppa Pendant color options

We’re on a Journey // page 10


The Gräshoppa Floor Lamp, Grossman 62-Series Desk & Masculo Chair by GamFratesi

She used new materials, introduced a playful nature to her pieces, and responded to the changing lifestyle of the modern California household. The most famous of these lights is the Gräshoppa floor lamp from 1948 and the Cobra table lamp from 1950, that also won the Good Design Award and was subsequently exhibited at the Good Design Show at the Museum of Modern Art. In 2013 and from exactly these two iconic designs Gubi will extend the Grossman Collection with a series of re-editions - The Gräshoppa Task Lamp, The Gräshoppa Pendant & The Cobra Wall Lamp.

All designs are original and will be available in a series of finishes and colors that stay true to Grossman’s designs and vision. The Gräshoppa Task Lamp & The Cobra Wall Lamp were first seen as part of her installations in the late 40’s and early 50’s and were part of the extensive collection of lights that was originally designed for the Barker Brothers together with Ralph O. Smith, a manufacturer in Burbank, California who put most of Grossman’s lighting design into production. However, as many other of her designs, they were only produced in very limited numbers

We’re on a Journey // page 11

which make the original models extremely rare and very much a collector’s item. The Gräshoppa Pendant is a re-styling by Gubi using the original shade as a pendant. The Grossman Collection now consists of nine iconic designs; The Gräshoppa floor lamp, the new task light & pendant, The Cobra table lamp, floor lamp & now also wall light. Notable is also the entire 62-series consisting of a desk and three different dressers with three, four and six drawers. Each and every Grossman design is unique, light and iconic in expression – equally relevant today as when first introduced.


A car and some shorts In October 2012 the PMCA, Pasadena Museum of California Art opened the exhibition A Car and Some Shorts a retrospective show about Grossman’s life. This time in the US where Grossman first had her big break-through. In the press release for A Car and Some Shorts the lack of recognition of Grosmann’s (brilliant) talent is underlined: “Her role in the Southern California design movement has been largely under-recognized; this exhibition rediscovers her influential and rare accomplishments as both an industrial designer and architect.” Organized by the Swedish Museum of Architecture and R20th Century Gallery, New York City, the exhibition is curated by Evan Snyderman of R20th Century Gallery and Karin Åberg Waern, curator from Arkitekturmuseet. It was first shown in Stockholm in February, 2010 and has since then travelled the world contributing to the acknowledgement of a truly iconic female designer and personality. In 2013 the retrospective Grossman exhibition will be shown at the R20th Century Gallery.

Cobra table lamp

Grossman “62-series” dresser 3

We’re on a Journey // page 12


Gräshoppa Floor lamp

Grossman “62-series” Desk

Grossman “62-series” dresser 4

Grossman “62-series” dresser 6

We’re on a Journey // page 13

Cobra Floor Lamp

10 Questions to the Designer(s)

beetle chair

From a to a

GamFratesi & Gubi have embarked on a new journey‌ In 2013 two new design items, the Beetle Chair & the Paper Table, from young and progressive Danish-Italian design duo - Enrico Fratesi & Stine Gam - will see the light of day. Together with the Masculo Chair from 2008 these will now constitute the GamFratesi Collection, an eclectic repertoire of design experimentation defined by the dynamic meeting between classic Danish and Italian design traditions combined with the couples characteristic use of playful and surprising elements - Oh yeah, and beetles, of course. We had chat with the duo about the process of getting from a bug to a chair and how a messy stack of ruled paper can become the source of inspiration for a table.

Fig. I

We’re on a Journey // page 14



How do you get from the first idea to a final model? A idea can come from a deep reflection or from a spontaneous vision. Often even in the most unexpected moments. Research and working in the workshop are very important to us and it is never just a drawing. We work strictly with the Scandinavian approach. In all the projects we are used to having our hands on the materials, working directly on the physical prototype.

Fig. III


What is your fascination with insects? Why Beetle… We first designed the Beetle chair prototype for the annual exhibition Mindcraft12 in Milan curated by Danish Crafts. We found the general anatomy of the insects very interesting. The structure is made of different plates separated by thin sutures and this external shell supports and protects the animal’s body. All these elements are perfectly linked and work in a fascinating way. Among the different insects the classic beetle looks gentle and charming so we ended up looking closely at beetles...

Fig. II

Fig. IV


How do you get from the insect world to furniture? The design of the chair reinterprets the characteristic elements of the beetles’ sections: shape, shells, sutures, rigid outside and soft inside, while maintaining comfort and functionality.


A stacking chair with castors… that’s very unusual. Why did you make it like this? We started of by looking at the dynamic ability of the insect in space and reinterpretated that to a four-legged chair on castors. We then proceeded with the idea of adding more value to the design, by creating a structure that allows the chair to be stacked.

Fig. V

Fig. I - opposite page Beetle Chair prototype from GamFratesi studio. Fig. II - this page Inspiration boards, beetles and shape studies from the studio. Fig. III & Fig. IV Sketches, notes and renderings for the design of the back shell and frameant. Fig. V Beetle Chair prototypes from GamFratesi studio. Fig. VI - next page Stilleben from the studio, mockups and early stages of the design

We’re on a Journey // page 15



How do you maintain the balance between traditional & surprising? Often, a small detail is all it takes to achieve or ruin an expression, and we are very curious about that. We work intensely with the balance between harmony and disharmony, believing that somewhere in between you obtain reflection. This for instance, can be seen in the use of piping on the Bettle chair which also defines the shape. It is particularly clear on the back where the two shells meet. Fig. VI


What are your individual roles and how do you compliment each other in your work? We do work very closely through all the different stages of the creative and developing process. We share many of the same competences and interests, and appreciate being able to work in such a tight collaboration. It is a rather symbiotic process, where we are both so much into it, that it often is impossible to distinguish who started and finished what. Enrico is very methodic and structured, while Stine is more loose and messy. But in many aspects we are very similar, for instance, when it comes to convictions, joy, anger or frustrations. Our range is quite parallel.

We’re on a Journey // page 16


the classic

beetle looks

gentle and charming, so we ended up

closely at





You continually travel and work in two places‌ What do you get from this? Studying, researching and moving constantly between our two countries have become such a natural part of us that it will most likely show in our work. Copenhagen is a unique place, a real sustainable city with a functional infrastructure and many cultural activities. Italy has a unique tradition and history. Also, we know some amazing craftsmen in Italy that work with us on the prototyping stage.

We’re on a Journey // page 17



Paper Tables… There’s almost a contradiction in the name itself. How did this come about?

Fig. VI

It was not a project that was defined in advance. One day the placing of two sheets of paper suddenly created a focus in the chaos on the desk. By catching and enclosing in the confusion of lines in circles, they started to appear with a certain geometrical beauty and logic. The result is simply reinterpreted in the tables by the use of veneer.


What has been the main challenge in the design process? For the Beetle is was the issue of merging the two shells, avoiding any visible connection, and resolving the upholstery with a precise solution. In terms of the Paper table, it was the challenge of defining the veneer typology and colours that expressed the idea behind the project most suitably. The simple play of veneers, become as a silent and delicate graphic in the space.

Fig. VII


How do you see the two new designs in connection with the rest of the Gubi Collection? The chair is a friendly combination of classic and contemporary lines in unification with great quality and craftsmanship - the fundamental characteristics of the Gubi collection. The chair is suited for informal meetings, allowing mobility around the table creating a flexible and spontaneous workspace. The tables work as a functional and playful product in the collection as they can create different expressions and functions, depending on the size and number of tables combined.

We’re on a Journey // page 18



...the simple play becomes

of veneers

a silent and

delicate graphic element in the space.


VI - Opposite page Visual notes: Sheets of paper and lines meeting, early stage documentation VII - Opposite page The three different shapes and sizes for the final Paper Tables. VIII - This page Paper Tables, the intersecting lines re-interpreted in veneer

We’re on a Journey // page 19

A Designer Portrait




Louis Weisdorf

In his own words, the studio of Architect Louis Weisdorf (born 1939) “specializes in versatility”. This perfectly sums up the long and notable career of this multi-designer. Since graduating from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts’ School of Architecture in 1954, Weisdorf has worked with everything from graphic-, interior- and industrial design, to the planning of parks and recreational areas as well as most fields within the building trade. This adds to an impressive résumé of notable projects from designing chairs and buildings for Verner Panton to working freelance for Poul Henningsen. Throughout the 1960’s Weisdorf was employed at the studio of Simon P. Henningsen in Tivoli, the famous Danish amusement park and pleasure garden, where he designed “Perlen” and “Plænen”. His first lamp, the Golden Conch designed exclusively for Tivoli, was used as decorative lighting in the trees. Design of lamps and lighting has been a significant and noteworthy part of Weisdorf’s career. Working with pioneers within the field, such as Poul Henningsen and Le Klint, Weisdorf has surrounded himself with the best. With a creative nurturance and experience such as this, it is no wonder that his talent stretches so far and his lamp designs have attracted national as well as international acclaim and attention. His unique sense of form, function and aesthetics is characterized by sculptural elegance and great lighting qualities. It is with pleasure that Gubi will be reintroducing the Turbo Pendant in the autumn of 2013, a glowing architectonic gem from 1965 which most certainly deserves a place back in the spotlight. The Turbo Pendant is Louis Weisdorf’s first product for Gubi and will be launched in 2013.

We’re on a Journey // page 20



spherical surface

We’re on a Journey // page 21


beautiful sculptural unity

Japanese rice paper lamps




form a

the same

from the original press release

Latest family member





The philosophy behind Schick’s designs is in line with the spirit of the Gubi Company, namely that design should be original in idea and have a story to tell:

a lively character, which sparks the associations and emotions of the user. But the challenge is always to create the right balance between the use and the effect of the product, without being obtrusive.”

“My aim is to design products with character that are timeless and easy to comprehend. They should be simple in use, in production and even in their idea, without being boring or lifeless. In my opinion the narrative aspect of a product is just as important as its function. We are all surrounded by these “creatures” that we use for our daily needs and it its important that they not only fulfill their technical function but also tell us a small story. It is often only minor changes or unexpected details that are needed to give a product

Oliver Schick was born in 1969 in Darmstadt, a small yet architectonically and historically significant town, as it holds some of Germany‘s most important places and buildings regarding the late 19th century Art Nouveau movement. Much affected by the cultural past of his hometown, Schick studied product design at the HBK - University of Fine Arts and Design in Saarbruecken. After graduating, he worked freelance for several studios and in 2005 he founded his own studio with a focus

We’re on a Journey // page 22

on furniture, lighting and interior design and has since worked for companies such as Ligne Roset and Skandiform. Schick also engages with a range of more experimental projects with design-related themes, focusing on materials, functions, usage and sustainable development. The Ronde Pendant is Oliver Schick’s first product for Gubi and it will be launched in 2013. The bellshaped spun aluminium shade has references to the traditional archetype of a pendant lamp. A unique detail is the opening on the top with an overhanging collar that reminds of a jar such as a vase or an amphora. Ronde is also in several languages the word for round, circular or rotating.


color options

We’re on a Journey // page 23


Cobra Table Lamp by Greta M. Grossman

Nagasaki Chair by Mathieu Matégot

Gubi Stool by Komplot Design

Ronde Pendant by Oliver Schick

Bonaparte Chair & Pouffe by Gubi Olsen

Semi Pendant by Bonderup & Thorup

Grossman “62-series” Desk by Greta M. Grossman

Adnet Circulaire by Jacques Adnet

the gubi collection Learn more on

Pedrera Table Lamp by Barba Corsini & Joaquim R. Millet

Bestlite Porcelain by Robert D. Best

Masculo Chair by GamFratesi

Grand Piano Sofa by Gubi Olsen

Pedrera Table by Barba Corsini

Turbo Pendant by Louis Weisdorf

Pedrera Pendant by Joaquim R. Millet

Gräshoppa Task Lamp by Greta M. Grossman

Bestlite Wall Lamp by Robert D. Best

Masculo Lounge Chair by GamFratesi

Coatrack Black by Mathieu Matégot

Y! Table by Henning Larsen Architects

Dedal Bookshelf by Mathieu Matégot

Gubi Chair by Komplot Design

We’re on a Journey // page 24

Gräshoppa Pendant by Greta M. Grossman

Gubi Pouffe by Gubi Olsen


Ronde Pendant by Oliver Schick

Beetle Chair by GamFratesi

Aoyama Dining Table by Paul Leroy

Pedrera Floor Lamp by Barba Corsini

Gräshoppa Floor Lamp by Greta M. Grossman

Cobra Wall Lamp by Greta M. Grossman

Paper Table by GamFratesi

Adnet Rectangulaire by Jacques Adnet

Gubi Stool by Komplot Design

Gubi Chair by Komplot Design

PedreraTable Lamp by Joaquim R. Millet

A3 Stool by Paul Leroy

Semi Pendant by Bonderup & Thorup

Gubi Lounge Table by Komplot Design

Bestlite Table Lamp by Robert D. Best

Pedrera Pendant by Barba Corsini & Joaquim R. Millet

Gubi Chair 2 by Komplot Design

Quistgaard Safari Chair by Jens Quistgaard

Kangourou Table by Mathieu Matégot

Grossman “62-series” Dresser by Greta M. Grossman

Bestlite Pendant by Robert D. Best

Bestlite Floor Lamp by Robert D. Best

We’re on a Journey // page 25

Nagasaki Stool by Mathieu Matégot

Gubi Lounge Chair by Komplot Design

Cobra Floor Lamp by Greta M. Grossman

Timeless Trends




Following the successful launch of Bestlite Brass we have gone into the archives and decided to re-launch a metallic version of the iconic Semi pendant from 1968. Semi takes its name from the semicircle, which is the whole idea behind the lamp – the simple geometric shape. The idea behind the lamp came about in the late 60’s, where architecture students, Torsten Thorup & Claus Bonderup wanted to create a lamp that functionally gave as much light as possible, enabling the light itself to reflect into the shade and then out into the space below.

The lamp was re-launched by Gubi in 2010 in lacquered aluminium just like the originals from the 60’s and 70’s. But, originally the Semi was also available in different metallic versions such as brass, copper and chrome. Rumours even speak of a gold version… However, these vintage metallic models are very rare today, so we are happy to bring them back into play in 2013. These metallic editions brings a completely “new” and more delicate expression into play – made from handspun aluminium they will be available in chrome or brass paired with a white lacquered shade underneath to maintain the best light.

We’re on a Journey // page 26


The new Semi lights will be available in chrome & brass. color options

In the 1970’s the Semi pendants were also made in brass, copper and chrome. Original metallic editions in the old manufacturing of the Semi pendants.

We’re on a Journey // page 27

with Jacob Gubi #1 Conversations As part of an ongoing journey

By Julie Ralphs

A rebel with a cause

A passion for art and innovation fuel the fire of Jacob Gubi, whose relentless quest for distinctive and emotionally evocative designs reflect a mix of eclectic influences. Key factors which are alive and kicking at his namesake global design house - Gubi. Curiosity, courage and intuition are deeply entrenched in Jacob’s way of being and are intrinsic to the company’s identity as a treasure hunter. Discovering overlooked icons from the past and icons in the making.

This interview is the first in a series of conversations with Jacob, where he shares personal insights about his background, his search for icons and some of the attributes which define Gubi as a vibrant company on the cutting edge of design. Bringing aesthetics from abroad “As far back as I can remember, I was a rebel. When I was a teenager helping my father in his furniture and arts & crafts business, I always wanted to do things differently - in terms of design or innovation or ways of doing business. My father was the boss, so I had to find my way through the business and put my own fingerprint on the company. My parents have a Danish heritage and I thought it would be interesting to bring different aesthetics from abroad into the equation. I grew up in a home surrounded by different artistic influences. My grandfather was a painter and had all kinds

of African masks and figures, Japanese paintings and Italian and Moroccan designs. Basically I’ve taken that eclectic mix with me and translated it into a business paradigm.” A desire to be different

“I don’t get any personal satisfaction from doing a product that everyone else is doing. I think it’s a waste of time. I did it once for office interiors. We had to make the designs more generic and I decided: never again. I don’t want to do standard things. Now I only pursue things which touch me emotionally.” “I’m driven by a curiosity to find artists and visionaries ahead of their time. Like Jens Quistgaard, an auto didactic sculptor known for his silver cutlery, cookware and jewellery. He wasn’t trained as a designer and that’s why he was more free form in his approach to designing furniture. And Boris Berlin from Komplot Design, who partnered with Poul Christiansen to create the Gubi Chair, which is part of the permanent collection at MoMA. Boris is a Russian guy who is more like a scientist. He was trained as a photographer and became a designer because of his passion for creating. He’s fascinated with forms but more intrigued by working with new materials.”

“I’m driven by a curiosity to find artists and visionaries “When I was first presented with the Gubi Chair ahead of their time” An intuition for icons

idea, I only saw a hand-made miniature of the shell but that was enough for me to see its potential as an instant classic. The design had clear references to Eames and Mid-Century Modern but still with its own expression. At the same time, it was based on new technology: 3D veneer. The Gubi Chair was the first of its kind to use this technology.”

We’re on a Journey // page 28

the gubi universe

I’m always looking for design treasures. Searching old archives, books, visiting old museums around the world. I often go to Paris to art and design galleries in the 6th arrondissement, where they feature artists starting to make a name for themselves. Of course, I love the flea market at Clignancourt. That mix of different environments is inspiring. I get to see designers doing limited edition pieces. Then I can see if a piece is too detailed or uses too many materials to become a design we can then produce.”

inventive. He found a way to integrate different design cultures into a holistic design identity to create a homogeneous portfolio of products. Like they do at the Vitra Design Museum, where there’s a mix of classics and new designs. As I see it, iconic design is like art. If it’s a beautiful piece, you can match it into any environment. The same could be said of furniture.” The art of living with art

“I like to buy old things, combined with a few new things together with art. Again, it’s an eclectic approach. It’s very important to have art around What makes a design a classic? me. By art I mean 3D objects or something kinetic. “There has to be some kind of compelling emotion- With different views depending on where you are in the room.” al appeal. I like simple expressions with very few details. A design has to be beautiful and sculptural. Something that’s not too much, but then again, not What’s next on the design agenda? too minimal. With some form of visual attraction that makes it stand out when you see it together “Right now I’m curious about Bauhaus, with a with 50 other products. And it has to make you feel focus on the Austrian design culture from the good. A design also has to add something in terms start of the 20th Century. People like the Austrian of innovation. From a practical point of view, of architect Josef Hoffmann and Austro-Hungaricourse, it has to be possible to produce at a reason- an architect Adolf Loos. Both were pioneers in able cost.” contemporary design in Vienna during the Art

“As i see it, iconic design is like art. If it’s a beautiful piece, you can match it into any environment. The same could be said of furniture.”

Attracting new talent “Ever since the Gubi Chair became part of MoMA’s permanent collection, it brought us a certain credibility. Now we’re in a better position to attract designers with new ideas. I get design proposals every day. It’s exciting to have reached a level we can leverage, where we can collaborate with the artists we truly want. I’m working very much from an art perspective. I was very inspired by my experience working with Giulio Cappellini. He had a gift for discovering new talent whose designs were not always as commercial as others but still very

We’re on a Journey // page 29

Deco and Art Nouveau movements. So far, we’ve been discovering old and new designers primarily from Europe. But, I’m not concerned with where a designer is from. For me, what’s more important is that they have a story to tell and a clear point of view. We live in a global world, so …” Julie Ralphs is a creative and awarded writer, she is also former creative director at BBDO and has a background in visual arts. She writes for many exclusive Danish and International companies such as Armani, Burberry, Bang & Olufsen, Fritz Hansen, Chanel, Benetton, by Malene Birger, Cartier, Designers Remix, VS & Frame Magazine.

Showroom Copenhagen


home with a global view

We’re on a Journey // page 30

the gubi universe

We might be rooted in Scandinavia but it is extremely important for us to keep a distinctive global outlook - and sense of aesthetics. This is why we have chosen our home base to be in Copenhagen’s docklands. Our Gubi headquarter, showroom & offices span a 2,000 square meter space that used to be a tobacco warehouse. The plans for the renovation was created by world-renowned architect, Dorte Mandrup – it took a few years to get it ready but the result of the renovations is a modern, ultra expansive space with wide solid wood Dinesen planks, raw painted walls and large metal framed windows allowing for views for both sides of the harbor – respecting the original industrial look.

The rough surroundings of the industrial harbor outside our windows forms a sharp contrast to the refined environments where you’ll find our Gubi collection. This has now been our home for more than 10 years and it still remains an amazing space for our collection and company to grow, play and develop.

So, while the urban plans for this unique area keeps developing and the Freeport is now almost completely gone and by 2020 the area will be transformed into a blend of residential, business It was intuition that initially guided us to this area and industrial buildings right on the waterfront quite early, which has since become a magnet for other firms working within architecture and design. - the most important things for us still remain; A sense of space, the grand scale and not to mention The latest addition to the neighborhood is an amazing world-class gallery space – the Faurschou the amazing light that continues to be a source of inspiration. Foundation.

We’re on a Journey // page 31

Outside Gubi


& THE WORLD OF danish


Many places around the globe, but particularly in Copenhagen, the Gubi name is somewhat synonymous with good food and exclusive dining. So, while the whole world looks to Copenhagen for great dining these days – we are proud to be able to show some of our finest references from and around our capital. From the Noma – Nordic Food Lab, whose purpose is to explore the building blocks of Nordic cuisine through traditional and modern gastronomies to Geranium and Kokkeriet, both recently awarded Michelin stars and now also the bakery & deli-chain Emmerys - they have all chosen Gubi designs to be part of their interior statements. In July 2013, the former Noma Head Chef, Matthew Orlando, will open his first restaurant, Amass, in Copenhagen. Housed in the former Burmeister & Wain shipyards, the restaurant features 736 square meters of loft space and retains the industrial elements from the original building. The interior design will be provided by Gubi. We want to collaborate with our customers on creating their original creative vision using our designs in a contemporary context and projects like these make us proud. This is just one of the ways in which we aim to put Gubi on the map as a global player on the design scene. In an ever-changing international landscape, it takes an enormous amount of drive and determination to obtain this and there’s no better way than working together with great clients.

Emmerys is a great example of mixing new and old design icons - Adnet Circulaire Mirrors, Gubi Chair, Y! Table and Pedrera Lights.

We’re on a Journey // page 32

the gubi universe

Kokkeriet is a unique blend of Danish designs and International icons from Gubi - The Safari Chair, Aoyama table, the Gräshoppa floor lamps and Gubi chairs.

Noma Foodlab is decorated with the Gubi bar stool and the Gubi 2 chair - both by Komplot Design. The Y! table is by Henning Larsen Architects.

We’re on a Journey // page 33

An outsiders perspective

Something old something new by Adam Štěch

We’re on a Journey // page 34

the gubi universe

We asked design historian, architectural editor, curator and co-founder of the OKOLO creative collective, Adam Štěch, to give us his insightful perspective on today’s design trends and place the Gubi brand within the context of the contemporary design scene. If one flips through today’s magazines on design, one would most likely notice the elements of adventure and storytelling used in the production and marketing strategies of new design products. The discovering of forgotten or relatively unknown designs, as well as collaborating with new, young designers is very popular right now. This is no wonder, as these strategies create ideal opportunities for great success. The creativeness, the adventure, the re-introduction of new-found classics, essentially brings something new and interesting to the table. And it is therefore no wonder that new generations of brands, who know how to connect these things, are successfully conquering the current design arena. One of these companies is Danish Gubi. New design products are always affected by ever-changing trends. If we leave aside the conventional area of shapes, patterns and materials, the trends that have dominated in the recent years is the celebration of the past and of the youth, though this might sound somewhat paradoxical. Since the late nineties, we have seen a return to historical values in applied art and also a great interest in the youngest generation of designers. A kind of retro mania and nostalgia of the modernist movement of the 20th century has been in the forefront of public and professional interest and furniture brands have responded to the wave of retro by re-editing modernist gems, such as the furniture of Le Corbusier, Charlotte Perriand, Jean Prouvé, Alvar Aalto, Franco Albini and Carlo Mollino. In addition, youth culture and progressive design dominates the current scene and many diverse trends of neo-modernism or neo-postmodernism to conceptual or performative tendencies are visible. The young students of prestigious universities, including the London-based Royal College of Art, Swiss ECAL and Dutch Eindhoven Academy, have the advantage that editors and creative directors of furniture brands are always on the lookout for the latest thing, and it might be their design that ends up on in the production hall. A place in the spotlight requires a progressive brand, among which the French new wave, led by Moustache and La Chance, Belgian Objekten, Italian Discipline and innovative Scandinavian labels such as Gubi, Hay, One Nordic Furniture Company and Artek, stand out. In recent years, more established brands, such as Cassina, Molteni & C., Tacchini, Steiner and Arflex have also introduced a number of re-editions of modernist furniture to their collections, a development associated with new and complex productions methods and historical research. Thanks to the openness of the market, an improved mapping of design history is being developed and the discoveries of new and forgotten names have begun to appear in the collections of brands that traditionally have focused exclusively on contemporary design. The combination of traditional and contemporary present new opportunities for the individual brands, as finding new products that relate to their original philosophy allows them to discover entirely new sides of themselves. The German brand e15, for example, has presented re-editions of modernist Ferdinand Kramer in addition to their existing products, Danish brand &Tradition has created an innovative collection of lights with iconic designs by Verner Panton and Arne Jacobsen. Gubi is also an example of a new type of brand that both materially and intellectually invests in both areas. Searching for forgotten products as well as cooperating with young designers is a smart move as it enhances the marked of the manufacturers and attracts a manifold group of customers. “We do not actually make solely re-editions! The company was born out of current and new designs in 1967. Then later came the Gubi chair, something that marked a new beginning, but at the same time our company had the Bestlite collection, a true classic Bauhaus so... Our vision is to really build an iconic collection, iconic regardless of geography or history. “

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the gubi universe

As CCO Jacob Gubi, points out, the company is not only based on re-editions, but on the combination of both production methods. But with the re-editions Gubi has done an important job of pulling forgotten designers out of the achieves and back into the well-deserved spotlight. The products of Greta Magnusson Grossman, Mathieu Matégot, Jens Quistgaard, Barba Corsini, Bonderup & Thorup and Jacques Adnet have introduced Modernism to the current market in a new and exciting way and the selection is an impressive example of hard work and knowhow. The preparation that goes into a project such as this, going through all those archives, museums and foundations, requires commitment, intuition and patience. The result, however, is an educational series of furniture, working especially well with the selection of contemporary designers and the development of completely new products. The generally unknown historical designers support the attractiveness of the products as their untold stories make the customers curious. The production of relatively unknown yet original re-editions is also a very sophisticated way of challenging the traditional canon of design, which is widely promoted at the expense of lesser known artists. “I do think it is in my genes to be a bit of a treasure hunter ... and that often takes you back in time. I believe it is important and I want to contribute to give credit to some of the great unknown masters who in their time, maybe never got the recognition they deserved. And I also want my business to be credited for this work of discovering. “ The development of new products is, of course, essential to many brands, in order to maintain a fresh and relevant profile. Gubi is unique in this case, with an impressive selection of designs from the past and the present. 50-year-old functional and practical design and the whole current production create a collection that stands out as a unified chain and the timelessness of the products opens up to a mutual dialogue. Modernist avant-garde products can inspire positive thinking of contemporary artists and they in turn can inspire and help place historical forms in the present. This intergenerational dialogue offers brands and their customers, recognizable design from new and interesting angles. Forgotten items are placed within a new historical frame and their importance is made visible for the current market. Exploring old ways of production, material use and working with original documents and historical artifacts re-introduces modernist tradition to the general public and contributes to a different understanding of design. Selected pieces from history can also support the current vision of the brand and create a unified whole. Unknown design names of the past and the present has an exotic feel to it and can create an original public image for the manufacturer. A brand such as Gubi can attract a wide range of customers yet still maintain its unique philosophy and personality - if they continue to re-edit and produce carefully selected and sophisticated pieces. The result of the old-and-new phenomenon is a whole generation of exciting and innovative furniture brands combining historical periods, styles and brilliant contemporary and historical ideas in their product range and its benefits are recognized by more and more brands. To have one or two re-editions in your collection combined with newly developed products is a challenge though, as the balance between old and new can easily be thrown off. Danish Gubi, which has pioneered the strategy for years, solves this problem very wisely, as the historical pieces in the collection are gaining contemporary life next to products designed by young talented designers. Adam Štěch is a design- and architecture editor and curator, based in Prague, Czech republic. He is co-founder of OKOLO creative collective who specialize in new theoretic contexts and original presentation of design, architecture and fashion. Adam has written for Wallpaper, Cool Hunting, Domus, Mark, Damn, Modern and Modernism and has collaborated with Form magazine, Depot Basel gallery, Casa Mollino, Phillips de Pury, SightUnseen and Architonic.

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the gubi universe

it is in my genes to be a bit of a treasure hunter and that often takes you back in time. I believe it is important and I want to contribute to give credit to some of the great unknown masters

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An Iconic Retrospective

The Bestlite A British Bauhaus Legend

By Alex Tieghi-Walker


years on, Britain’s contribution to the Bauhaus movement is testimony that considered product design never ages

Well known in design circles and in the history books as Britain’s first contribution to the Bauhaus movement, revered in the first half of the twentieth century by institutions including the Savoy Hotel and the early modernism pioneers, the Bestlite is remarkable not just for its initial inspiration and creation but more so for its longevity and dedication to its original design, first drawn up over 80 years ago. Designed in 1930 by Robert Dudley Best, at the time heir to Best & Lloyd, the world’s largest lighting company, the new light design was a break from the company’s more traditional clientele which had included the Titanic and the Orient Express. Robert Dudley Best, a keen design enthusiast on top of his prominence as a young industrialist, had spent the 1920s travelling around Europe meeting designers and furthering his interest in the modernist movement. After visiting the Exhibition of Modern Design in Paris in 1925, he took his interest in the new designs of the time by Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier and enrolled at the school of industrial design in Dusseldorf, Germany, and at schools in Paris. Interested in breaking the barriers between industrial and artistic merit, Best’s ideals were shared by his friend Walter Gropius of Bauhaus fame. On Best’s return to the United Kingdom he sat down to draw up the first blueprints for the Bestlight we have today. Best’s trip had fuelled an unbroken enthusiasm and plans for how his groundbreaking design would work with the factory, which his father and grandfather had directed since 1840. Best wanted the factory’s new collection to symbolise the spirit of the age by appealing to the more avant-garde architects and setting a new agenda for lamp design. Following Bauhaus principles, Best had done away with the trimmings and detail of traditional Best & Lloyd products; he had both commercial and domestic use in mind and believed that lighting should be functional and practical as well as elegant. Best showed his drawings to his father but Best senior doubted severely whether his son’s designs would work with its clean design so different from the lighting the company normally produced. First adopted by garages and the Royal Air Force engineering departments, much to the disappointment of Best junior, the lamp was further marketed for use as hall stands as the telephone began to enter domestic use. A feature in Architects Journal lauding Bestlite with the title of the first evidence of Bauhaus in Britain brought the lamp to the attention of the design conscious; Best extended his collection further than simple desk lamps and produced a catalogue of 10 variant forms of the light, from floor lamps to flexible wall lamps and pendants whose light could be adjusted in every way; Best had created one of the most comprehensive and functional collections of lighting of all time.

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1. The Original Bestlite table lamp 2. Portrait of Robert Dudley Best 3. Catalogue page showing Bestlite BL1 from the original manufacturer – Best & Lloyd. 4. Bestlite production from Best & Lloyd 5. Bestlite Collection photo – Kangourou Table & BL3 S Floor Lamp 6. Bestlite production from Best & Lloyd

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This page Bestlite Brass Collection photo – Bestlite BL2, Adnet Rectangulaire & Grossman “62-series” Dresser opposite page 7. Overview the bestlite Collection - all models in Brass Charcoal Black 8. Bestlite installed at the Danish National Theatre 9. Bestlite in the rooms at Wythe Hotel, New York Photo by: Dan Funderburgh

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BL1 Table Lamp

BL2 Table Lamp

BL3 m floor Lamp

BL5 Wall Lamp

BL6 Wall Lamp

BL7 Wall Lamp

BL9 s Pendant

BL9 m Pendant

color options



elebrated Art Deco interior designer Betty Joel selected the wall lamp during a refurbishment of the suites at the Savoy in the mid 1930s and the Bestlite was placed in Buckingham Palace and Downing Street, being famously used by the War Cabinet and Winston Churchill as captured in Churchill’s famous portrait by Cecil Beaton. Architect Wells Coates chose the Bestlite for use in his luxury Isokon building in North London, opened in 1934. Each one of the 34 Ikoson flats had been furnished with Bestlite fittings in turn used by the notable residents including crime-writer Agatha Christie and Bauhaus luminary Walter Gropius himself. A steady stream of design supporters secured the Bestlite in design history, from the early modernist set including Marcel Breuer and Arthur Korn, chiefly responsible for bringing Modernism to Germany and the UK, to connoisseurs of the late twentieth century including Terence Conran and Stephen Bayley and fashion designers including Paul Smith.


When Danish designer Gubi Olsen and his son Jacob Gubi, noticed the Bestlite lamp in a shoe shop in Copenhagen, they knew instinctively that the lamp was special. After some research they located the manufacturer and took a trip to Birmingham to trace the light’s heritage, where they discovered that the once glorious Best & Lloyd factory now only had 15 employees left in old and dated premises. The products and protocols had been wrapped in newspaper and it was hard to find evidence of Best & Lloyd’s illustrious past. In 1994, the Best and Gubi families signed an agreement that stated Gubi would take over the sales rights in Scandinavia; five years on and the company acquired international rights to the manufacture of the Bestlite collection. Adding 3 additional variants of the design to the collection, the Bestlite is now featured in the permanent collections at the London Design Museum and the V&A, and has been used as a symbol of understated design elegance in public establishments such as the Danish National Theatre, the Wythe Hotel and the Crosby Street Hotel in New York. Bestlite is sold in the best design shops worldwide, and a noble history has been revived, living out the vision that Robert Dudley Best had once imagined. Alex Tieghi-Walker is a London-based editor who writes about design, travel and gastronomy regularly for Wallpaper*, NOWNESS and Protein. He is part of the team behind the Peckham Hotel, a new arts, culture and events space in South London, and also publishes A Tale of Three Cities, a journal celebrating young writers and photographers from London, Paris and Berlin.

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Bestlite porcelain

in a new light! In 2013 Gubi will be adding a completely new look and feel to the classic Bestlite – a porcelain shade. The new translucent and soft white shade is made from casted porcelain. It gives the lamp a softer, less centered light, creates a whole new ambience and offers a wide range of applications.

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This page Bestlite Brass Collection photo – Bestlite BL3 M, Kangourou Table

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A Designers Perspective



CHANGES A chat with partner in Komplot and a half of the design-duo Iskos-Berlin, Boris Berlin, about pushing the boundaries and the importance of letting the materials speak for themselves.

Gubi Chair // Center Base By Komplot Design

Gubi Dining Table // Wooden Base By Komplot Design

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movement is


boris berlin

Gubi Stool // Center Base By Komplot Design

Your motto in Iskos-Berlin is “mobilis in mobile” which means changing within the changes” or “movement within mobility”. What does it mean to you?

You say you like to work with new technologies and materials, to explore their impact on everyday objects. What comes first the material or the actual design?

It means that we are aware of a world that moves- changes and we move as well. We’ll at least try not to stop, to change and develop all the time. Movement is life! There is, of course, also a connotation to the Danish word for furniture which is mobile, möbel, møbel…

It is very difficult to distinct it that strictly. If when you say “actual design”, you mean the result, how the object ends up looking, then I’ll say that it probably already exists somewhere inside as a premonition, as a dream. Then you meet the material and suddenly the dream materializes in its shape and body.

How do you get from the initial idea to a prototype?

What do you mean when you say that the materials should choose their own direction?

It depends on the idea. They are different – like children: Some are gentle some stubborn and others refuse to eat well. The process is known – from sketch to full scale drawing, full scale model and so on. In case of the Gubi chair I think we were lucky – there were no backlashes and zig-zags. But the technique was new and many tests had to be done. The initial idea was clear and was never compromised, but to prove that it worked, a tool had to be made, a real moulding tool milled in aluminum. Where do you get your inspiration? We draw inspiration from everywhere, from dreams and art exhibitions to bins of rejected items and waste in the manufacturing factories, from landscapes to reviews of technological innovations.

We believe that through design history, many traditions within the field have been preoccupied with the idea of total control over function, form, material and so on. This striving for control of our surroundings is probably a typical urge of Western culture, being both its principal strength and its greatest failing. Instead of fighting against “mistakes” by forcing the material to behave “perfectly” (often against its nature), we choose to accept the way the material “wants” to behave, the way its nature tells it to move. But it demands a paradigm shift, a change in our aesthetic point of view. How does this apply to your latest designs for Gubi? You’ll see soon. Komplot’s latest design for Gubi is a follow-up of an already existing concept, the completion of it.

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An Iconic Retrospective

Jacques Adnet

French master of the Decorative Arts

By Cedric Morriset had Adnet arrived there than he made a name for The architect and interior designer defined himself as “innovative and classic, the champion himself by rejecting the established style, a move that propelled him in 1927 to the directorship of of a tradition looking to the future”. the Compagnie des Arts Français, which had been purchased by a shareholder of Galeries Lafayette. “He was ahead of contemporary trends”, said Alain-René Hardy of Adnet in the definitive monAs the successor of Süe and Mare, Jaques Adnet ograph on the artist which he co-authored with not only developed creations in a new “bourgeois Gaëlle Millet (published by Editions de l’Amamodernist” style, but also audaciously invited teur). For this expert on the decorative arts of the collaborations from a number of major creators 20th century, Adnet was also always among the of the period, including Charlotte Perriand, Jean first artists to express new trends, proof of which Puiforcat and numerous wallpaper artists. can be seen in the various stages of his career. In the 1920s, each great Parisian store had its own design studio with its own name: the design studio belonging to Printemps was called “Primavera”; the studio of Bon Marché, “Pomone”. At the Galeries Lafayette, Maurice Dufrêne was the artistic director of “La Maîtrise”. Adnet graduated from the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris in the early 1920s, and came by chance into contact with this well-known decorative artist, who gave him an opportunity in the design studio. Scarcely

but also the first choice of new glass technologies. “Jacques Adnet put these to good use”, recalled Alain-René Hardy. He was one of the first artists to employ coloured mirrors and the new architectural glass, with which he created chairs and tubular bedside tables. He also produced the mirrors and small items of furniture entirely constructed of silvered glass screwed to a frame which were to make his name.

In the aftermath of a period of creation inspired, under the influence of the Regionalist movement, by ancient furniture – which can also be seen in Adnet was an innovative thinker, but was also orig- the work of Charlotte Perriand (particularly in her tripod stools and straw-bottomed chairs) – in inal in his choice of form and materials, including the post-war period, Adnet began to cover his metal and glass. It was therefore natural that the furniture with leather. Although a true member of glass manufacturer and research company Saint Gobain should commission him to design a pavilion the avant-garde in his time, the decorative artist was not alone in employing this technique. While dedicated to the material for the 1937 Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques in Paris. The Jaques Quinet and Paul Dupré-Lafon produced furniture covered in metal, throughout the 1950s pavilion was as spectacular in its construction as and 1960s, Jaques Adnet employed wood, bamboo in its taste, and earned Jaques Adnet not only the Grand Prix d’Architecture et d’Ensemble Mobilier, or a wide choice of coloured leather.

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We’re on a Journey // page 47


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The quintessence of the “Adnet spirit”, the Adnet Rectangulaire & Adnet Circulaire mirrors embody both the creator’s passion for glass and the integration of leather that made his reputation. These timeless mirrors, one circular with a leather strap and the other rectangular and studded with the buckets characteristic of his work, revive the talent of one of the most revered French designers, whose perennial and innovative work is still highly sought after.

“This leather furniture has always been popular”, explained Alain-René Hardy, “because it represents good taste and good style. The legend that tells that Jaques Adnet had his furniture covered by Hermès also undoubtedly contributed somewhat to his success.” With these designs being part of the Gubi collection, Adnet’s visionary work has now found its

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place among the best-known signatures of modern design. The continuing story of a never-ending success. Cedric Morisset, an Independent Journalist and Curator and Design Consultant has been working in the field of interior and product design as a design consultant for major companies in the world of luxury products, retail design and media. In addition to his consulting business, Cédric Morisset also work as a journalist for Le Figaro, AD France and L’Express.

The zodiac sign of Pisces, which is also Gubi Olsen’s star sign and very suitably depicts two “gubies” is one in a series of twelve zodiac signs that Gudmund Olsen created in 1973. It has since 1990 been the Gubi logo and in its own way symbolizes much of what the company stands for, as it is a nice historical reference as well as a tribute to the Gubi design legacy.

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Gubi Magazine - News 2013  
Gubi Magazine - News 2013  

For Salone del Mobile 2013 Gubi will be present an exciting range of new designers and re-editions, such as GamFratesi, Oliver Schick, Louis...