Stockholm Design Week 2016: Smaller Objects
Founded last year by Swedish architects Claesson Koivisto Rune, Smaller Objects launched its second collection of household products at Stockholm Design Week (February 8-14) – alongside a new, alternative royalty model for its designers.
Product designers will now earn 75% of the proceeds, compared to the typical 5% or less. This is achieved by allowing them to finance the manufacturing themselves, enabling them to work directly with smaller suppliers and on smaller editions. In an era of disruptive, 'sharing economy' business models like Uber and Airbnb, Smaller Objects' concept sees the designer as entrepreneur, taking an active role in the development and business processes as well as the design.
The new collection includes items by a number of international names, including prolific Japanese studio Nendo and Italian designer Luca Nichetto. Phantom (pictured above) by Japanese designer Jin Kuramoto is a small bowl that appears seamlessly lightweight, yet is rigid enough to hold keys or small change. He worked with Japanese manufacturer NBC Meshtec Inc. to develop a technique for heat-pressing polyester mesh – typically used for producing oil filters in car engines – into an object that would use the least amount of material. The bowl's opaque finish appears non-material, pointing to its name.
The continuing trend for smaller accessories and complementary collections is enabling big-name brands to enter into new markets with lower price points, attracting younger consumers. Look to Maison & Objet for more. To find out about consumer-creators enjoying a greater sense of control over the design process, see Design Democracy, Outsider.