DESIGN Archives - The General Aesthete

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IN SITU 01 by Förstberg Arkitektur och Formgivning



IN SITU 01, by Malmö-based Förstberg Arkitektur och Formgivning, is the first in their series of furniture inspired by temporary construction structures at building sites. In this design, the functional form is exposed, but its finishes upgraded and the aesthetic refined: flooring framework used for casting concrete slabs serves as the surface, but smooth and lightly oiled, and the adjustable telescopic supports are lightweight, with a clean white finish.

More at: Förstberg Arkitektur och Formgivning

Six Picks: The Pepper Grinder

Salt and Pepper Grinders

Thought to be invented by Peugeot in 1842 (the French company was manufacturing metal tools before the cars we know today), the handheld pepper grinder has had many incarnations; from the giant thing over your shoulder at an Italian restaurant, to the battery powered device in your gourmand relative’s cupboard, it hasn’t always been pretty. These days, the pepper mill has made its way into almost every household, not only for pepper, but for salt and spices. While the classic Peugeot will always be in style, and you can’t deny the beauty of a vintage Jens Quistgaard for Dansk teak grinder, here is a selection of modernized grinders that bring smart design to the dining table (and a set of laboratory-style shakers, for good measure).

1. Norway Says for Muuto, $62; 2. Par Cork Shakers Set by Nendo for Materia, $50; 3. Tower Grinders by Tom Dixon, $85, $75; 4. Menu Grinder Set by Norm Copenhagen $62; 5. Ori by Hay, $35; 6. Graph by Jens Fager for Petite Friture, $82

LAMP-01 by Carlos Santaella




At the intersection of industrial design and Nordic-inspired cool is LAMP-01, by Carlos Santaella. The wood frame (in beech or pine) features a matte black finish, and suspended inside is a 20-watt fluorescent, flood-style bulb.

Santaella’s Querétaro, Mexico-based design studio works with partners designing residential furniture and lighting, LAMP-01 is his first consumer release.

More at: Carlos Santaella

LAMP-01 is available to order online at Snob Cultural.

Pillow by Snarkitecture

Pillow by Snarkitecture

Pillow by Snarkitecture

What appears to be a soft, phone-sized pillow, is actually a hand-cast gypsum cement sculpture that serves as an artfully minimalist resting place for your iPhone. Thoughtfully designed with a niche on the underside to accomodate the phone’s cable, Pillow comes from Brooklyn-based collaborative Snarkitecture.

$68, available at Snarkitecture

Capturing the Swedish West Coast with L:a Bruket

L:a Bruket Products
I’ll admit that I was first drawn to L:a Bruket by their unmistakably Scandinavian packaging (nominated for The Swedish Design Award in 2012). I kept seeing photos of the line, but never ran into it here in the States. Finally, I got my hands on a good selection, and looks aside, could not be more pleased with the products.

L:a Bruket is produced in the town of Varberg, on the west coast of Sweden. Sourcing local, raw, and organic materials for their formulations, the small company takes no interest in trends of the beauty industry as a whole, avoiding chemicals or filler at all costs; this rustic but modern approach results in a decidedly Swedish, simple-but-effective line.

L:a Bruket SeaweedPerhaps L:a Bruket’s most interesting product is not so much a “product” at all, but Tångbad: dried, hand-harvested Swedish seaweed. Because this variety, Fucus Serratus, lives by filtering the ocean for nutrients, it amasses large quantities of vitamins and minerals. Possessing many health benefits, including circulation improvement and muscle relaxation, as well as antioxidant compounds that help with the signs of aging and treatment to skin irritation, the seaweed helps to recreate a restorative dip in the coastal waters of Sweden, especially when combined with L:a Bruket’s minimalist white envelope of Havssalt.

Like many of its other exports, Sweden excels in the grooming department (think Sachajuan, Verso, Byredo) but perhaps what L:a Bruket demonstrates so beautifully is that simplicity is the premier luxury.

More at: L:a Bruket

Omizubata N House by Iida Archiship Studio

Innovative Japanese architecture firm Iida Archiship Studio has built a strong reputation with modernist structures that are thoughtfully responsive to their surroundings. This example, the Omizubata N House, set within the forested town of Kauizawa, is a weekend retreat that, like Iida’s other work, gracefully balances elegance and minimalism, while taking its immediate environment into serious consideration.

Omizubata N HouseStacked concrete columns support an exaggerated, dissymmetrical roof that extends to create a wraparound veranda and significant outdoor space at the structure’s front. The house’s open-to-nature design is obvious, while still maintaining a good sense of order and just enough transparency.

Omizubata N House

Omizubata N HouseInside, the gabled-roof design allows for a double-height ceiling, as well as a lofted study.

Omizubata N HouseWood-clad finishing both references and communicates with the forested environment.

Omizubata N House

More at: Iida Archiship Studio
Photos: Iida Archiship Studio

National Fragrance Day

Today is National Fragrance Day, which is just another one of those not-really-a-holiday holidays. Nonetheless, as has been hinted here before, I’m a serious fragrance lover myself. I am the crazy person that, in a state of perfume-induced inebriation, wanders out of Aedes de Venustas to the streets of New York City, like a drunk straight from the bar. My endless fascination with the sense of smell, the evocations of fragrance, and how perfume works with an individual’s body chemistry, have resulted in a collection that could adequetely perfume a few lifetimes. I thought it might be fun to introduce you to a couple of my favorites that are well-suited to this time of year, and also look good on the shelf (this is The General Aesthete, after all).


The Infidels by AGONIST

AGONIST is one of my favorite fragrance houses; based in Sweden, their scents are inspired by the Nordic climate and culture, and their raw but nuanced approach to perfume and tone is really in its own league.

The Infidels is an unusual and strangely faceted perfume that I consider on the masculine side of unisex. At first spray, you get a strong, surprisingly fresh smell, which, with a little time, develops into something rich and mysterious, but still quietly underlined by sharpness. The concentrated jammy base, combined with a good dose of cumin, evokes something carnal but not overbearing. During its dark phase, The Infidels offers woody florals, aforementioned cumin that progresses through its own chapters, and an interesting powder note, something I’d typically shy away from, but that is not off-putting or flat. The Infidels is not so unusual as to be distracting, but its references to brooding anger and sex are interesting to experience as it develops on your skin. Strangely, it seems that after this low-on-the-skin heaviness passes, the perfume returns to a palatable (albeit very discreet) freshness, almost like it never happened in the first place, making The Infidels one of those perfumes that is even more for the wearer than for those you encounter. As AGONIST describes the fragrance as “inspired by the exact moment when the bud is about to burst,” The Infidels is perfect for those still-cold spring nights.




Geranium pour Monsieur by Frédéric Malle

On a fresher note, Geranium pour Monsieur by Frédéric Malle is a genius composition by perfumer Dominique Ropion. On paper, the clean sharpness of this fragrance would make for something I’d be hesitant to even consider, but it turns out Geranium pour Monsieur is a bit of a perfume Trojan horse. The bitter mint and menthol opening is structured in a way that isn’t comparable to the mint quality you might be used to in other men’s fragrance (read: chewing gum), but it isn’t really wearable at that pitch. Luckily, in short time, it develops into a perfectly elegant, very clean, but distinctive scent. The inclusion of interesting synthetic additives (an across-the-industry norm, but something the Malle house seems to excel in) provides odd notes of anise and floral that you can’t quite pinpoint, but don’t have a chemical tone, making for the perfect dry down, where a discreet note of incense also makes an appearance. Simple, but thoughtfully composed without even a single floral note, Geranium pour Monsieur is a fragrance that is decidedly spring.

More at: AGONIST, Frédéric Malle

“Odors have a power of persuasion stronger than that of words, appearances, emotions, or will. The persuasive power of an odor cannot be fended off, it enters into us like breath into our lungs, it fills us up, imbues us totally. There is no remedy for it.”
― Patrick Süskind, Perfume

Lighting by Lukas Peet

Lukas Peet is a Canadian designer who received his industrial design training at the prestigious Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands. This year’s winner of Canada’s The Design Exchange Emerging Designer competition, Peet practices in several fields, receiving much recognition for his elegantly minimalist lighting designs.

Lukas Peet, Rudi

One of Peet’s most iconic designs is the Rudi series. Produced in collaboration with New York City-based manufacturer Roll & Hill, Rudi consists of bent metal tubes holding dimmable cold cathode lamps. The form resembles fine jewelry, and the light is suspended by its own cord, simply knotted at the top.



A couple of Peet’s latest designs include Slab, a flat LED pendant, produced in a variety of surfaces (shown in felt), as well as Button, a tiltable LED pendant that hangs from a nylon rope through holes in the lamp itself, just like a button.


While Peet’s striking table lamps are only prototypes, their studied, timeless designs are certainly worth mentioning. Specular and Diffuse merge beauty and function; Specular, inspired by specular reflections and rays of light, illuminates both table surface and ceiling, without the blinding effect of a bare bulb. Diffuse, a smaller-scale lamp, is composed of a ceramic base and a simple mirrored bulb to produce a warm table or desktop glow.

With many outstanding lighting designers emerging of late, Lukas Peet is certainly one to keep an eye on. Though this is just a brief introduction to one facet of his work, Peet’s imaginative, but practical designs have a stamp and direction all their own.

More at: Lukas Peet Design

Revolution Glassware by FFerrone Design

Revolution Glassware by FFerrone Design

Revolution Glassware by FFerrone Design

Though Chicago-based designer Felicia Ferrone’s Revolution glassware collection has been out for a few years, there is nothing trendy or dated about these thoughtfully minimalist designs. The glasses may look delicate, but the hand-blown borosilicate is safe for extreme temperatures, an excellent vehicle for experiments in molecular mixology. The suspended-in-air design is not only striking, but clever in that the glasses can be inverted to serve as a different size.

Available at: FFerrone Design

An excellent companion: Molecule-R’s Cocktail R-Evolution Kit

Volume Lamp by GamFratesi

Volume Lamp by GamFratesi


Volume Lamp by GamFratesi

Recalling stereo dials of the 1980s, GamFratesi’s Volume table lamp is controlled by rotating its palm-sized shade to increase or decrease light output. The die-cast aluminum and acrylic design, manufactured by Danish company Lightyears, underlines the fact that clever and intuitive design is best left perfectly understated.

More at: Lightyears