New sculptural desktop accessories are everything from classic leather to metal, concrete and crystal making settling down to work something to write home about says BEATRICE ISOLA.
A perfectly made desk at work will surely ignite the right zeal and attitude to work. The way desks at work are arranged reflects the kind of home we have.
Hence smart product designers are developing new ways to make people have productive days at work. They are crafting desk accessories from luxe, often unexpected materials.
Celebrated artist and architect Ron Arad has collaborated with Swarovski to create a highly covetable collection of desk accessories. For his Alphabet & Numbers range. He cut chunky, tactile 15cm high crystal sculptures in the shapes of different letters of the alphabet and numbers from 0 to 9.
His creation is one of the modern designs that makes the desktop never looked so good. It’s a delightful, witty but functional. They could serve as bookends or as paperweights, numbered and lettered to denote specific projects. It is surly a more glamorous way to organise piles of reports and correspondence.
The choice of material makes Tom Dixon’s Cube collection unique; a continuation of his exploration into cabinets of curiosities. As with many his previous designs, Dixon incorporates rose-tinted, copper-plated zinc alloy, including the interior of the Mondrian Hotel in London.
His use of the material now in small desk objects shows meticulous polish which are reflective, and have a mellow, warm glow. The tape dispenser, desk tidy tray and stapler gives an impression of someone working on a sci-fi laboratory desk. The sheen of the sculptural tablet stand speaks of efficiency and order.
Also, Hermès launched the impeccably well-turned-out Equilibre d’Hermès collection last year in Milan. As is the way with most of Hermès designs, everything looks like a gently manicured, futuristic interpretation of classic craft and styling.
In the collection is a fawn calfskin blotter with a natural solid maple stand. There is also the gold-plated-brass magnifying glass that balances like a set of scales on a leather cone. Also, the Icosahedron paperweight is fundamentally a function-free purchase, but is pleasant to touch. It rolls around with numbers on each panel.
The serene dove-grey calfskin Grosvenor collection at Smythson is what could be regarded as an understated elegance. The collection consists of a letter rack, blotter and pen pot.
The designer Michel Charlot’s O-Tidy is a fun, slightly cartoon-like plastic saucer, incorporating a pen pot that comes in six different colours.
A product and furniture designer based in Vienna, Klemens Schillinger’s Tabletop Landmarks have been fashioned from concrete. Each piece is also a playful experiment in formalism. Schillinger started by experimenting with simple geometric shapes and repetition. He didn’t intend to create something that resembled archetypal building shapes, but the resemblance was obvious when he designed the large Landmarks bowl. He just went with it and designed his bookends set, based on the shape of a pyramid. The choice of concrete is functional as well as aesthetic as it emphasises architectural resemblance but also gives weight to the pieces, for larger books.
Punctuating a desk with fascinating shapes and textures is like hanging art on a white wall, but for many people, harmony is more appealing than a bold statement in an era when desks are often dominated by computers.
The Connecticut-based design studio Bassam Fellows is known for sleek modernism that leans on mid-century innovations. Its two designers, Craig Bassam and Scott Fellows, use the term “craftsman modern” to describe their aesthetic, which is embodied in the home they share in New Canaan – one of Philip Johnson’s 1950s architectural masterpieces, right across the street from his landmark Glass House.
Their desk accessories are made of walnut, a favourite material for the rich. It comes in two styles- the Sharp Series and the Soft Series. The former is defined, as its name suggests, by precise and architectural lines, in the style of a parallelogram. The latter features gently rolled edges. Each set is carved from a solid wood block and both are modular: there are three Sharp boxes; and two Soft boxes with a Soft tray. At home, Bassam has the Soft series on his table, while Fellows uses the Sharp objects.
Most people prefer to work on large tables, rather than desks. Tables don’t tend to have drawers, so the designers developed these pieces to satisfy a need. They wanted pieces that are beautiful and tactile to the touch. They used off-cuts of walnut that are too small to be used in their Tractor stools, chairs and tables. They have a heft to them that makes them feel special, like little sculptures.
The desk accessories share many of the same details as their furniture deigns. They strove for clarity in their environments and want things to coordinate. For them, sitting down at an immaculately ordered desk is the perfect way to start the day.