Under designer Tord Boontje, now working as a professor--Head of Design Products at the Royal College of Art--90 students and recent MA graduates presented their furniture at this year's Salone del Mobile in Milan. As if they weren't lucky enough to have Boontje for a teacher, whose work takes advantage of unusual materials and practical forms (see his mosaic boxes for Bisazza), the students got to show their work in a disused factory "taking the typology of a hotel." Their pieces, including product design and furniture, were "displayed in zones corresponding to the functions and spaces commonly found in the interior, such as the reception area, lounge and bedrooms."
Boundary Desk. Designed by Felix de Pass.
Recent graduate Felix de Pass, who in 2009 won the Art Helen Hamlyn Design Award from the Royal College, presented his Boundary Desk, which was the piece that garnered him the title of "British Council for Offices Award for Working Life." Just a year ago, his desk system earned these comments from the judges: "Unlike much work furniture imported into the home, this flexible and multi-functional system for the homeworker is scaled for domestic use. It is beautifully resolved in terms of detail." And that detail begins with the corners of Boundary Desk, "where a singular repeated aluminium dovetail extrusion connects all the materials together, allowing for easy assembly / disassembly." Better still, the desk frame hides integrated tracks--tracks that allow you to incorporate various attachments such as drawers, trays, and shelves. The office/home desk system also conceals "cable management solutions and privacy screens." So a basic desk becomes a desk that accommodates different users and work purposes--including the needs of the hotel traveler (which takes us back to the hospitality-inspired Salone exhibit at which the desk showed).
Change the lengths of "the horizontal extrusions" and make this desk a larger size. Constructed of high-pressure, solid-core laminate with anodised aluminum extrusion, solid beech, and sheet aluminum, Boundary Desk looks sleek and simple. I liken it to the contemporary version of the Nelson Swag Leg Desk created by George Nelson for Herman Miller, which also incorporates dashes of color to spice up a highly functional design. With the bursts of magenta, aqua, and acid green, Boundary Desk turns itself from a blank canvas to a piece of pop art.