London Design Festival: Pudelskern Exhibits Saddler & Mrs Robinson at Mint
I love it when a design company concerns itself with story. Two of the most creative narratives have come from wallpaper makers Grow House Grow and Jill Malek, who gather inspiration from literature, history, and philosophy. Now Austrian trio Pudelskern is joining fishing from the primordial soup of fiction, admitting, "We like to tell stories with our objects."
Composed of Horst Philipp, Nina Mair, and Georg Ã–hler, Pudelskern (pudel means poodle in German, in case you were wondering; see their logo, in which a show poodle makes up the nucleus of an atom) brings together members that specialize in architecture, design, and cabinet-making. Two of their products will be exhibiting at Mint during London Design Festival: Saddler and Mrs. Robinson.
Saddler. Designed by Pudelskern.
Saddler is a two-toned wooden chair with a molded leather seat and back that features ovals of varying sizes "to soothe the curves of the rider." The easy chair uses ash and nut wood beneath its sheath of textured leather that forms "a smooth landscape of valleys and hills." While the leather is doubtless sexy (Pudelskern points out that the material itself is made of skin, making sitting on Saddler a meeting of skin on skin), it does not detract from the "artful details of joinery being assembled by mortise and tenon." Wood and leather, smooth and rough, curved and edgy, beast and man, horse and rider-Saddler revels in the tension of opposites.
Another piece to be exhibited at the Mint interior design showroom is the enigmatic Mrs Robinson, named after that heavenly vixen from The Graduate, so well-played by Anne Bancroft. This alluring chest of drawers, made of maple and MDF, "knows how to dress-and she very much knows how to keep secrets." On the surface, Mrs Robinson is smooth and hard to read, but inside she has a lot to hide: the drawers reveal "colourful patterns" on the sides that are only visible when the rectangles get opened via a push mechanism (no handles, since Mrs Robinson is the only one doing the manhandling). Tapered legs intensify the cabinet's feminine profile, as do the fine outlines of the drawer fronts. Both Saddler and Mrs Robinson illustrate Pudelskern's process of creating a life behind an object-and the backstory makes the final product that much more intriguing.
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