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All the nice stuff, in one place. Whether it’s furniture, lighting, kitchenware or home related goods, you will find it here. The Nice Stuff is a place for all things design, and all things nice. As a platform for publishing the latest and greatest, oldest and boldest design work from in and around the design industry, we aim to create a friendly and inviting community of design lovers, thinkers and expressionists. Design isn’t something that should be exposed, it is something that needs to be expressed. Expressing design means raising awareness of the latest concept creations, while acting as a root of inspiration, for future solutions. We are here to serve your interests, as a stage for design expression, inspiration and awakening.


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Inside this issue



The Highlight


The Gallery


The Interview Corner


Design Awakening Diaphanous


Further Reading


In The Next Issue


Get In Touch


Submit Your Work

Lufa by Fernando Laposse

Product & Object Showcase

A Catch Up With Vonnegut Kraft Studio

Our Recent Reads

Highlights Of Issue 3

Contact Us

Submissions & Entries


The Highlight

Discover the creative ways in which Mexican-born designer Fernando Laposse uses loofah; a naturally growing fruit vine; amongst his wide collection of at tractive household products in a quest to create sustainable furniture.

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Overview 62 8 Design Awakening

This issue invites it ’s readers to discover the delicate theor y of ‘diaphanous’ within industrial design around us, gaining a knowledge through an in spiring journey of ancient Greek philosophy and ▲ contemporar y objects.

8 Further Reading



We take a moment of our time to catch up with the creatives over at Vonnegut Kraft to discuss their unique design approach, taking a deeper insight of their Crescent Lounger, and understanding their m aterial ▲

selection process.

The Interview Corner The galler y presents a unique range of classic objects, spaces and architecture, including a playful set of organic, vegetable inspired cutler y, a fabric book stand by Makoto Koizumi and many more. ▲

Take a look at some of the books we have recently read. Learn about the impor tance of ‘ the grid’ in graphic/print design and discover the essence of Japanese design in a display of 300 fascinating objects. ▲

24 The Gallery


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The Highlight


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Lufa Collection Fernando Laposse 2012



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“Loofah is a subtropical fruit vine, similar to pumpkins and cucumbers.”


exican born and recent graduate of London’s University of Arts, Fernando Laposse, has taken upon the task to expand on the use and application of sustainable materials and their place within design. With extensive research, he has conjured a beautiful collection of goods, created from loofah. Popular in Asia, loofah is a natural, sub-tropical fruit vine, similar to pumpkins and cucumbers. It grows vertically, attaching itself to trees and surroundings. Sharing characteristics with Bamboo, loofah reproduces at considerable speed; taking approximately 6 months to harvest with around 8,000 fruits per hectare, thus attracting Laposse to explore it’s qualities, values and potential uses. Taking advantage of loofah’s natural properties, and with a helping hand of a local Mexican carpenter, Fernando Laposse creatively explores the possibilities of using loofah in everyday household items.


Plant Pot

Fernando Laposse 2012

When applied to the outer body of the plant pot, the airy and fibrous textures of the loofah material create a bold

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but warm skin for the pots. The dusty yellow tone contrasts perfectly with the luscious greens of the vegetation, whilst keeping a natural and harmonized aesthetic throughout.



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Fernando Laposse 2012


The application of the loofah in this lamp has been selected with purpose. Laposse could have merely applied it to the entirety of the product; it’s head, it’s body, it’s base. Instead, it has been used rationally for the shade. The diagonal cut at the end immediately gives the product a greater dynamic and personality, almost echoing the process of a farmer chopping into the surface of the material, producing a similar effect.



Fernando Laposse

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Throughout the collection, Laposse’s application of loofah has been executed with consideration of it’s structural properties and physical benefits. His chair, however, takes an approach which some would consider brave. In a rather experimental fashion, a large, flat and considerably dense block of loofah has been placed; similar to how a standard cushion would; on a wooden platform. With the intention of performing as a comfortable but supportive surface, it is here that Laposse expresses his trust for the naturally spongy material. For what initially appears fragile, ultimately performs with strength, durability and confidence.



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Fernando Laposse 2012

Resting in a compact state on the underside of a table, the spongy material has been manipulated into shape through a dense compression inside a geometric metal housing. This use of the material differs to it’s other delicate applications, showing it’s versatility. Suspended within the compressed loofah, a rectangular opening is framed. Performing as a draw, it sits comfortably in the fibourous nest.


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Room Divider

Fernando Laposse 2012


Taking into account the natural properties of loofah, Laposse has applied it in a delicate and constructional fashion, onto a tall standing rectangular frame. When dried, treated and pressed into a thin sheet, the material becomes translucent. When layered accordingly, the dried sheets not only boast a beautiful appearance, they tell a story of process. Although privacy is key, various gaps remain between the sheets. Laposse has allowed the material to dictate the overall form, accepting spontaneous flaws. By having faith in the material and confidence in his craft, the divider is an honest expression of Laposse’s work.


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The Gallery



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Giulio Iacchetti 2015 Household Appliance


Wire Ware

Naoto Fukasawa 2011 Kitchen Appliance


Pin Press

OOO My Design 2011

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FLOS Gatto Table Lamp

Achille Castiglioni & Pier Giacomo Castiglioni, 2009 Lighting


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Minimalism Steel Tape Dispenser

Moulton Design 2010 Household Appliance


Swedish Furniture

A2 2010 Furniture


Measured Time Clock

Isamu Noguchi 1932

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Household Appliance



Nendo 2010 Household Appliance


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COMISEN Book Stand

Makoto Koizumi 2004 Household Appliance


Riverside Tea House

Lin KaiXin 2015 Interior Design



Qiyun Deng 2013

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Kitchen Appliance


Skagerak Cutter Series

Niels Hvass 1999 Furniture


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Clothes Hanger

JUNHUA FURNITURE 2014 Household Appliance


Tea Bag & Ring

Naoto Fukasawa 2000 Kitchen Appliance


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Sweeper & Funnel

Jan Kochanski 2013 Household Appliance



Kirstie Van Noort 2011 Tableware



Stefano Pugliese 2013

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Household Appliance



Slow Design 2013 Household Appliance


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Ty Nant

Ross Lovegrove 2002 Food & Drink


Well Tempered Chair

Ron Arad 1986 Furniture


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The Interview Corner



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Designers & Makers


his month, we caught up with the twin-talent, Katrina Vonnegut and Brian Kraft, from Vonnegut Kraft design studio. Born and established in Brooklyn, New York, Vonnegut Kraft design studio was founded by a pair of creative enthusiasts with the vision of producing functional pieces, driven by attention to detail, material and sculptural compositions. Inspired by the iconic forms and textures of ancient Egypt and Africa, their range of work displays creative versatility, which has led to luxurious craftsmanship and beautifully thoughtful designs.


Katrina Vonnegut & Brian Kraft


“Constructing something early on in the sketch process is the drive.� We understand that you are involved in both the designing and the making

Katrina: I studied Furniture design at Rhode Island School of Design as an undergraduate and graduated in

of a product, you have a holistic process. What are your backgrounds in design and what lead to where you are today?

2009. After graduating I moved to NYC and met Brian in the neighbourhood we were both living in Brooklyn and we started working on furniture projects together.

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Brian: I don’t have any formal training in design or furniture making. I majored in English at NYU, and after graduating became a self-taught furniture and cabinet maker doing a lot of custom and mill-work projects in the city. When I met Katrina, we knew we wanted to work together and slowly began developing pieces as Vonnegut/ Kraft.


The works of Vonnegut Kraft are a result of a collaboration between two designers. How does the input from two forces have an impact on the journey of a project- from start to finish?

Katrina: We both design and fabricate the pieces, but our overall approach to design and making is very different from one another. Brian has an acute sense for the details and composition which influences much of the way our pieces are engineered and built. He tends to work very directly and hands on from rudimentary early sketches. Brian: Katrina’s approach is probably more traditional, many sketches and drawings, model making before fabricating anything. My tendency to immediately get into constructing something early on in the design/sketch process is the drive that allows us to revise and build works with such efficiency.



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It is immediately clear that material selection and preproduction processes both play an significant role in deciding a product’s aesthetic. The same could be said for their functionality and the way they perform. Through extensive practical work in their studio, Katrina and Brian have been able to create a collaborative work flow that allows their initial ideas to evolve from a sketch to a physical object.

Dune Candelabra

A particular focus on material selection is an influential


driving force behind the pair’s collection and has given each object their own identity.

Household Appliance


Katrina: Probably the Nocturne Credenza in the way that it balances subtlety and restraint while still being decorative in its minimalist. We really laboured over the details together: the moments where its various corner curvatures meet, culminating in geometry that might be considered both geometrically logical and graphically surprising.

Which project expresses the most success from the involvement of two designer head spaces? What aspects of the project/design show this?

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“Our work is conceptualized with reference to ancient silhouettes.” You have a distinct and bold aesthetic. How would you describe the brand’s style? What has been the main root of inspiration for project aesthetics?

Katrina: Our work is often conceptualized with a reverence for and reference to the decorative arts and often features hand hewn and graphic gestures paying homage to ancient silhouettes in an unmistakably contemporary context.

Many of the products in the range involve heavy use of raw materials; glass, stone and wood. What has been the most challenging material to work with? What difficulties have occurred during projects? How has material, alone, influenced the end result of the product?

Katrina: Brian and I decided to design a glass pendant; we were really coming from a place of limited knowledge in how the piece would be made. Not being skilled glass blowers, we decided to hire a friend to blow the glass, and in order for us to have some control over the process, we built a three-part mold for the shade. We worked through several iterations of our mold to get the pitch and detailing, but ultimately in the end we compromised with the process and embraced the irregularity in the glass that we couldn’t control.




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Crescent Lounger

2015 Furniture


“Formal familiarity of the crescent may be referential to Egyptian headrests.�

Katrina: The formal familiarity of the Crescent may be referential to Egyptian/African headrests. The piece was

of geometry and expresses great priority for the cushion. What stimulated the form of this to take shape?

really conceived from sketching different iterations of unusual daybed forms, many of which tended to take on highly graphic profiles. The geometric balance is something that came rather intuitively. We also love the playfully bold notion/gesture of the headrest having its

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We love the Crescent Lounger. It shows a comfortable control

own rest.


The Crescent lounger is by far one of the pair’s most iconic designs. Not only that, it is one that oozes a symbolic connotation and semiotics. Heavily linked with the styles of ancient Egyptian and African headrests, the lounger takes upon a bold and classical personality. The two vertical head posts cup the pillow in their arched hands. We are encouraged to perceive that the cushion is of great significance. Resting gracefully, it is a dominating element within the composition of the design.



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Would you agree that your products are aimed at a niche audience? And if so, who would you most like to see experience your products? Any product in particular?

Katrina: I would say yes and no. It may be true that a niche audience appreciates our work, but we’ve never consciously aimed our work towards anyone in particular. We hope that people who are drawn to our work or acquire our work might have visceral connections to the pieces beyond the current aesthetic trends.

It is believed that much of your time is spent being hands on in the

Katrina: I think editing, and especially the ability to spontaneously edit with conviction in the workshop

workshop. You must have gained a master set of practical skills and qualities. As a designer, which skill do you believe is the most useful, effective and beneficial?

when you feel something is off, even after you’ve started building and feel the pressure to finalize a piece is really integral and the most important part of our work.

“the pressure to finalize a piece is really integral and the most important part of our work.”


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Design Awakening


Diaphanous the second issue

di - aph - a - nous


riginating from the ancient Greek word ‘Diaphenes’, Diaphonous is a construction of the two words: ‘dia’, meaning ‘through’, and ‘phainain’ meaning ‘to show’. Combined, we are presented with the expression ‘see through’, a phrase highly popular within our modern era and used commonly world wide. To many, the term ‘see through’ is spoken with reference to the physical state of a material and the ability for the human eye to see what is behind it. This in fact is half of the story. What we are really seeing here is a transformation of a product’s identity, through the application and process of light. Ultimately, diaphanous describes the visual effect of a material and how light influences it’s appearance. The inner content is made partially visible to the viewing eye.


For the females, it was dresses in particular that took upon the iconic diaphanous imagery. When making contact with light, illumination of the delicate material would partially reveal the content of what lay behind the dress, essentially exposing the beauty within.




“Diaphanous is that which receives light internally through all of its substance�

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Dating back to the times of ancient Greece , the presence and understanding of the term diaphanous found its way into the likes of clothing. Specifically woman, especially goddesses, were notoriously renowned for wearing ‘seethrough’ clothing. These were traditionally made of delicate fabrics; off-white silks and semi-opaque cottons were favoured. For the females, it was dresses in particular that took upon the iconic diaphanous imagery. When making contact with light, illumination of the thin material would partially reveal the figure that lay behind the dress, exposing the beauty within. For onlookers, this was a glimpse into the beauty of a woman, portraying a sense of purity. For woman at the time, it was a modest expression of femininity. Things are not primitively diaphanous. A transparent silk dress is not diaphanous nor a tinted glass lamp. Nothing is made diaphanous, unless light has been omitted and has penetrated throughout the body of a product. Rather, it describes the process of internal illumination, of which the core is later made visible to the eye. Aristotle states: “Diaphanous is that which receiver light internally through all of its substrate”.


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Diaphanous history 1425




Woman’s Dress

Radio In A Bag


Ancient Greeks

Daniel Weil




Although it may not be obvious at first sight, the process of diaphanous has in-fact existed for a long time, and has found itself implemented in a wide variety of objects. Transcending through the era of ancient Greece, to the very modern technology we use today, such as a the Dyson vacuum cleaner, diaphanous has existed in everyday objects without our conscious understanding.




Gotham Pocket Watch

Harry Koskinen



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Harry Koskinen


Koskinen’s Cosy Lamp, specifically the grey edition, is a beautiful example of where an object has taken upon a state of diaphanous. It’s form entirely mimics the shape of a classic lamp shape, but before we can come this realisation, our line of sight is first presented with the inner bulb. The bulb, which often would be hidden, is displayed to us behind the smoky, translucent glass exterior. What are we being told? Why is it not hidden? Why does the product undertake the shape of a lamp shade if it is not going to shade anything? What we can assume here is that the bulb, in this situation, is much more than ‘just

heart of the product. Although the bulb is the central focus point here, we cannot disregard the existence of the translucent glass body. It’s slightly smoky skin creates a layer of visual restriction, as if it were protecting it’s ‘heart’; not letting our eyes interrogate the inside so easily. What we can conclude from assessing the Cosy Lamp, is that the product is confident to show it’s entire composition of

a bulb’. Investigating deeper, we can realise that without a bulb, this product could not function. Therefore, just like the body without a heart, the lamp would be dead; it is the core of the product. Through the walls of the exterior, into the space of the interior, our eyes reach the

elements. From it’s outer body to the very core, the lamp expects all aspects to be appreciated and respected; all parts are equal in unity.


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Further Reading




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“Ja ma wi exp

WA: The Essence Of Japanese Design

Rossella Menegazzo 2014


apanese design harnesses its aterials and respects tradition ith forward-thinking and xperimentation.�


he book engages the reader within an deep exploration of the beauty and essence of Japanese design through the analysis of 300 objects. Ranging from everyday household items, stylish fashion pieces to calligraphy brushes and other classics. The exquisitely composed book focuses on objects themselves, with projects organized by material. Chapters are based on wood, metal, glass, ceramics & stone, paper, fabric and synthetic materials. From the likes of Shiro Kuramata, Naoto Fukasawa and Sori Yanag, some of the most renowned Japanese designers have been included, with the addition of other up-and-coming designers. The book ultimately provides readers with a knowledge of how Japanese design harnesses its materials and how it respects tradition with forward-thinking and experimentation.


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“the grid, the father foundatio of page composition, can assi with page etiquette


reating publications and print is a task that has been achieved by many. From small brochures and leaflets, to large printed wall displays and billboards, graphic design plays a huge role within the industry. However, behind the embedded assortment of coloured inks and attractive, visible content, lies a story that many have not considered, and have yet to appreciate. Page formation, structure and layout are all laws of graphic design which have to be accounted for if a perfect product is to be made. In the book, Allen Hurlburt invites us to explore into the use of grids within a wide variety of media, such as the layout of magazines, newspapers and books. Divided into, a categorized, three sections, Hurlburt displays a great collection of examples where the grid has played its part, and where it has been best applied.


on ist e.�

The Grid

Allen Hurlburt 1982


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Inside the next issue




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Plumen The Interview Corner

Discover the future plans of the British light bulb company, as we catch up with the creator behind the iconic 003 bulb.

George Riding Emerging Design

The recent graduate and exhibitor of New Designers, London lays his creative cards on the table to talk us through his recent collection.

Sophie Smallhorn The Gallery

Take a glimpse at the beautiful artistic works of a colour, proportion and shape enthusiast.


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Get in touch






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Design Submission


The Nice Stuff is constantly seeking new content to publish, and welcomes submissions from all areas within the design sector. Whether you are a product, graphic or furniture designer, architect or illustrator and would like to see your work published, send us an email.



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Disclaimer The Nice Stuff does not, in any way, own or claim to own the rights for any product image and gives full credit to owners, photographers and those responsible for supplying such resources. All images owned by The Nice Stuff are annotated. We try to credit all images as much as possible (e.g. product name, product designer, photographer), but it can be very difficult to give complete credit to all content published.


The Nice Stuff

The Nice Stuff Magazine, Issue Two.  

This is the second digital magazine publication by The Nice Stuff. Flick through the pages and enter our world of design; beautiful object g...