Helmed by Design Miami co-founder Ambra Medda, L’ArcoBaleno is an extraordinary online marketplace for the cultured design enthusiast. To provide further insight on the often laboriously handcrafted objects they purvey, the well-informed team has created a rich source of editorial content, which includes interviews and studio visits with their international roster of designers, travel stories tracing design wares back to their origins, intriguing history lessons on various design movements, surveys of cities known for their distinct design approach and even more. Below are a few standouts from the surplus of enticing articles you can find at L’ArcoBaleno.
1. Brazilian Modern
Curator Christian Larsen provides a brief but insightful survey of Brazil’s distinct take on modernism, detailing how an entire national identity was born out of the period. From Sergio Rodrigues’ “Mole” chair and the laid-back Carioca lifestyle it embodied to the experiments in woodworking by Joaquim Tenreiro and José Zanine Caldas, Larsen explains how the movement’s focus celebrated both the country’s rich history and also its bold new approach to architecture, no better illustrated than through the work of legendary architect Oscar Niemeyer.
2. Souda Pops!
Since graduating from Parsons The New School of Design in 2012, the trio behind Brooklyn-based studio Souda—Isaac Friedman-Heiman, Shaun Kasperbauer and Luft Tanaka—have been turning heads with their unorthodox lighting and inventive home decor. L’ArcoBaleno checks in with the collective to learn more about where they seek inspiration (including a field trip to the Queens headquarters of legendary piano manufacturers Steinway & Son), the challenges of working in NYC and what their plans are for the future.
3. To the Source
Thanks to increasing visibility online and an international resurgence in traditional handicrafts, once unknown African artisans are now able to show the world what makes their methods and techniques so exceptional. One example of the continent’s outstanding artistry can be found in Etsha baskets, which are handwoven in Botswana by a group of women considered masters of their craft. Using only strands from mokola palms, they weave intricate patterns into variously shaped baskets, which can take months to finish depending on their size.
4. Ana Kraš
The young Serbian-born, New York–based designer Ana Kraš is best known for her Bonbon Lamp series, a family of one-of-a-kind handmade lanterns. Kraš methodically wraps yarn sourced from various knitwear labels’ remnant stock around powder-coated metal frames made in LA to her specifications. From her early days studying design in Belgrade to advice from German designer Konstantin Grcic, Kraš shares the varied influences that have helped shape her design ethos.
5. La Dolce Vita on the Sea
Experienced sailor Peter Sandmeyer (who traversed the Atlantic on Germany’s fastest racing yacht) digs into the glamorous history behind legendary Italian yacht-builders Riva. Celebrated for their sleek aesthetic as much as their innovative engineering, Sandmeyer relates how Carlo Riva’s perfectionism turned the family business into an international icon beloved by everyone from Prince Rainier to Sean Connery.
6. Reload The Current Page
After growing up in Cyprus in the early ’90s, Michael Anastassiades left to study industrial design at London’s Royal College of Art, where he not only learned to create meaningful dialogue through design but also found a new home in the UK capital. This year the veteran designer returned to Cyprus for a solo show entitled “Reload the Current Page,” an exhibition at Point Center Gallery in Nicosia that speaks to the country’s economic crisis through a collection of objects that experiment with scale.
7. A Little Bit of Magic
“We see art and furniture in everything,” explains design duo and romantic couple Hannes Van Severen and Fien Muller of their organically driven artistic outlook. Residing in the Belgian countryside, the pair find inspiration more in their everyday surroundings than art history. The result is an ongoing collection of whimsically sensible furniture with streamlined silhouettes, pleasant pops of color and interesting use of material.
As a student at Jerusalem’s Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Arthur Brutter‘s mission was to create the world’s first earthquake-proof table. With the help of his professor and mentor Ido Bruno, Brutter conducted extensive research, including rigorous engineering testing at Italy’s Padova University, and created a lightweight but incredibly durable table that can protect people in dangerous environments. The work is so groundbreaking in its own right, EPT is now part of MoMA’s permanent collection.