The pleasure of relaxation

sancal-majestic-collection_011115_01With clean, rational lines, Tiptoe by Rafa Garcia for Sancal takes contemporary pieces one step forward. A design based on a philosophy of simplicity and functionality, it is a sofa that can be used with different styles to create calm, serene environments.sancal-majestic-collection_011115_04The slim legs give the piece its name, a model that is quiet, subtle, light and nimble, as if it were tip-toeing around the living room. As well as setting off the design, the legs provide a sophisticated touch in either of their finishes: copper or graphite.
sancal-majestic-collection_011115_02Tiptoe is irresistibly cosy. Its studied depth, variety of modules and various types of arm, mean that it can be configured to fit into any home. The use of fibre and memory foam in its cushions makes this one of our most comfortable products. Wallow in scatter cushions by adding extra deep modules or a chaise lounge.

Pop into the KE-ZU showroom and experience it for yourself! sancal-majestic-collection_011115_03

Sancal’s New Offices …

12182561_1035287596495049_671867285415680339_oAt Sancal they believe that all spaces should be friendly and open, places where they can grow and develop without constraint. With their products helping to create working environments with that ethos in mind at Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Amazon and Visa, to name just a few, Sancal thought they could utilise their home-grown skills to greater effect on their own workplace. 12188096_1035288039828338_8354103554789712543_o

The installation of a series of colourful murals in the Sancal factory, as part of their 40th birthday celebrations sparked the inspiration for the office redesign.

And so, the moribund beige walls, both physical and metaphorical, were ripped out. In their place, the interior design studio Taza & Tacillas created an indoor “garden” where vitality can flourish. The carpet features a path that runs past long tables topped with Tartana acoustic canapes. A giant illustration of potted plants by Malota follows the organic theme.12186653_1035287846495024_7461505444474320591_o

Another exclusive art installation, this time by Jesús Galváñ, brightens up the kitchen area which also doubles as a meeting space. Yet more privacy can be gleamed amongst the trees of their own tiny forest glade, sheltered by two high-backed REW sofas illuminated by Le Corbusier’s Lampe de Marseille.

Just as in their factory, scatter cushions and hooks climb a trellis warmed by a setting sun.12194659_1035287713161704_7826005783054544641_oFor those looking to cultivate their own magic garden, here’s a full list of products that have sprouted up around Sancal’s: Tartana, Pion, REW, Mosaico, Vichy, Tea, Casta, Sumo, Konoha, Perigallo, Mandarinas, and Cairo.

We hope you enjoy the pictures as much as we do! 12208710_1035287609828381_4285522232902073399_n 12182449_1035287866495022_7794017544911266095_o 11693900_1035287816495027_7694560561163198970_n


German Design Award Winner

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Frames by Jaime Hayon for Expormim has been selected winner of the German Design Award 2016 for Excellent Product Design!

What the members of the jury Prof. Oliver Grabes & Sebastian Herkner said:

“In the Frames furniture collection, traditional outdoor furniture for the interior and thus for use all year long was newly interpreted. With a classic framework structure produced in Thonet’s bending technique that forms three surfaces and a covering of woven wicker, the designer, whose signature is clearly recognisable, succeeded in producing a beautiful piece of traditional crafted art”.


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Congregate, reflect or simply relax


A common childhood memory is of time spent playing outdoors and the sense of wonder and adventure the natural world inspired. As French designer Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance demonstrates  with his new Colours Collection of upholstered benches for Bernhardt Design, these simple childhood memories can provide fertile ground for exciting new ideas.


“When I was young, I loved playing in streams and rivers, and stepping stones were central to my adventures. They formed paths from one side to the other and were places to stop and observe the world,” says Duchaufour-Lawrance. “I wanted to create that experience with furniture where people could congregate, reflect or simply relax.” As a result, Duchaufour-Lawrance created a flexible seating system of elegantly simple shapes.

Colours is comprised of twelve fully-upholstered pieces that can either stand alone or be combined in different ways. Designers can configure large groupings in open lobbies and atriums, or linear arrangements in hallways and corridors. Individual benches can complement large groupings or anchor smaller areas.


“Noé is a keen observer of the world around us, and with Colours, he has distilled a very particular experience with nature into a relevant, practical and organic collection of products,” says Jerry Helling, President of Bernhardt Design. “The collection is ‘organic’ in all senses of the word – with gently rolling shapes and free form configurations, it feels almost natural.”

“The irregularity of these shapes and the fluidity of the groupings help create a very inviting visual in an architectural world that is relatively linear,” states Duchaufour-Lawrance. With Colours’ mixture of faceted and rounded surfaces, designers can assemble flexible groupings to support different ways of congregating. As with much of Duchaufour-Lawrance’s work, the organic shapes are balanced with crisp tailoring and details. Soft curves create visual interest while saddle stitch detailing inserts geometric structure.


Colours can be upholstered in any Bernhardt Textiles fabric or leather, or the customer’s own material. For additional visual interest, the seats of each module may be upholstered in a different material from the sides.

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A tribute to Pierre Paulin

As one of the major designers of the 20th century famous for producing seats shaped like mushrooms, tulips and ribbons, it is little wonder that Les Puces du Design and the German gallery owner Jean-Yves have come together to present a tribute to Pierre Paulin.

The tribute will bring together, in one place, Paulin’s extensive collection of seating designs which challenge our understanding of what a chair should look like.

Among the items on display will be his many creations for Dutch brand Artifort which not only pushed aesthetic boundaries during the mid 20th Century but demanded new construction methods and upholstery techniques.

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The exhibition runs from October 8th to 11th, at the Les Puces du Design, so if you find yourself in Paris be sure to check it out.

More details here.




Unstructured Seating …

Does a comfy chair need to be bulky? Based on many of the offerings on the market, you might conclude as much. But Brandon Kim‘s new Lilt chair for Bernhardt Design proves otherwise—it is a sleek lounger with a wide seat that seems to balance precariously upon a stainless steel frame running along its edges, without any crossbar supports.

Now based in Manhattan, Kim began working on concepts for Lilt in October 2012, when he was still a student at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. (He graduated in 2013.) Bernhardt had approached Kim with a brief for a lounge seat. “From the beginning, there was a goal to create a chair that has a simple and streamlined aesthetic,” Kim says. “But, more importantly, the chair had to also be as lightweight as possible. The chair’s weight should be proportional to its clean aesthetic.” Kim knew that with a stainless steel frame, he had to be prudent with the amount of material used: “In order to limit and reduce the weight as much as possible, an efficient way of supporting the chair was needed instead of adding chunks of metal.

That challenge led the designer to innovate on the structure of the chair itself, re-envisioning how the frame could offer more support with less material. Kim recalled climbing the trees in his backyard and sitting in their branches as a child. Sparked by that memory, the concept for Lilt became centred around the idea of sitting on a tree branch—inspiring a triangular structure in the back legs of the chair.

“The triangular frame structure resembles branches and physically renders a scene of users sitting on a tree,” Kim says. Not only did the frame provide an interesting aesthetic detail, it also offered the structural support Lilt needed. The three-way joinery on each side provides extra durability and strength, allowing Kim to forgo any crossbar support in the seat’s shell or back. Looking back on the initial concept, Kim admits that it was a bit of a gamble. “I knew it could support a lot due to the x-y-z, three-way joinery,” Kim says. “There was no way it was going to wobble, but I was prepared to have to add a crossbar. None of us knew if it would be enough, but after the official stress test, it was surprisingly sturdy.” Lilt weighs a little more than 40 pounds and can easily hold more than eight times its weight.

Right out of school and working with a tight budget, Kim made prototypes sparingly and inexpensively—starting with paper and cardboard scale models while making iterations to his design in CAD. “As a young designer who just got out of a college, the cost for building prototypes isn’t easy,” Kim says. “Therefore, I tried to be as close as possible to what I wanted to design with the prototypes at the early stage.” Kim modeled Lilt in CAD, testing elements like proportions and pitch angles by comparing his chair to others on the market. To do this, Kim downloaded several 3D models of his competitors’ chairs and then compared them virtually to Lilt by setting them up side-by-side in render environments. He would then go to furniture stores, sit in the chairs and carefully examine these details in person, making adjustments to his own seat’s back in the computer model. “By doing this, I was able to closely predict how my chair would actually feel,” he says. “I repeated this step many times until I felt enough and right.” When it came time to make a full-scale, functioning prototype, Kim was satisfied with the result. “My prediction happened to be 99% correct,” he says.

Another feature Kim looked at when making these trips to furniture stores was the comfort of the different seats. With no crossbar support, Lilt would need a rigid seat shell—but as a lounge chair, it also needed to be quite comfortable. Kim opted for a quarter-inch-thick thermoformed plastic shell, with a three-quarter-inch foam lining on top. “The seat itself does not contain too much of cushion since the foam is only three-fourths of an inch,” Kim says. “However, in my opinion, comfort is not something that can be determined by the thickness of the seat. Of course, a thick soft foam is a very decisive factor, but I believe a harmony between the particular seat height and the precisely right back-pitch angle is the most significant element that affects comfort. Lilt has those elements perfectly orchestrated.”

Kim carefully tweaked the chair’s lines both for comfort and for overall elegance. Each line follows strict rules. For example, when viewing Lilt from the front, all side contours of the seat shell are laid out to be on the same angle as the four legs. “Every contour line and angle is carefully drawn and orchestrated to really sing the same song,” Kim says. He also studied how the chair interacted with each staged render environment. “I wanted a piece that can easily be harmonized in many surroundings as if it was always there,” he says. “I believe that’s where true elegance comes from.”

From initial design to final product—a process which spanned roughly five to six months—Kim says that the design remained largely unchanged. “The shape and form were always there from the beginning,” he says. “It’s just that making calls on proportion, leg angles, leg thickness, seat height, seat curvature and the pitch of the seat took a long process. . . . Among the list of those decisions, if any of them was off, then the chair would’ve never become what it’s like right now.” Lilt is now on display in the KE-ZU showroom, and more of Kim’s work can be found on his website,

Carly Ayres

Originally published

Inside Alicia’s home …

main.original (1)Pierre Paulin’s Ribbon Chair takes pride of place in music legend Alicia Keys 32-room house in Englewood, New Jersey.

A completely upholstered design by Paulin from 1966 and manufactured by Artifort. The chair is a a professional, innovative take on the well-known ribbon form and a beautiful example of applied art. The chair is featured in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia.main.originalmain.original (2)


Sydney Indesign 2015

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Immerse yourself in familiar domestic rituals whilst exploring the newest designs from the Milan Fair, ICFF New York and Neocon in a life affirming installation by Other Architects. Showcasing furniture and lighting from leading international brands Andreu World, Axona Aichi, Bernhardt Design, Enea, Expormim, Forestier, Lzf, Parachilna, Sancal and Vondom.

Take the direct bus between The Galleria and 69 O’Riordan Street on both Friday & Saturday! Free basement parking available at 69 O’Riordan Street…elevator to Level 1 for KE-ZU and other Sydney Indesign showrooms.

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Tickets selling fast!

Livelife Talk with Sam Marshall, Shelley Simpson, Tim Ross & Nick Lobo

Friday 14th August, 12.00 pm

Longevity & Icons: Is the age of the icon over?

Don’t forget to use the discount code LLVIP to get 25% off.


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The Project

Rituals: The Art of Tradition

In collaboration with Other Architects / otherothers

Perhaps, in the absence of communal life and collective belief, it is the routines and habits of the home that constitute our remaining engagement with ritual. In our closed and hidden spaces, we harbour secret superstitions and private rites.

Far from being inconsequential, these domestic rituals are our way of affirming our place in the world, of instilling meaning amidst the chaos of contemporary life.


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Meet me at KE-ZU …

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Rituals: The Art of Tradition

KE-ZU in collaboration with Other Architects / otherothers for Sydney InDesign 2015. 

Perhaps, in the absence of communal life and collective belief, it is the routines and habits of the home that constitute our remaining engagement with ritual. In our closed and hidden spaces, we harbour secret superstitions and private rites. Far from being inconsequential, these domestic rituals are our way of affirming our place in the world, of instilling meaning amidst the chaos of contemporary life.

13 – 15 AUG 2015

Showroom 33, Level 1, 69 O’Riordan Street, Alexandria