Gubi Magazine - News 2013 In this magazine we have talked to the



Gubi Magazine - News 2013 In this magazine we have talked to the
Featuring: GamFratesi, Oliver Schick, Jacques Adnet, Jacob Gubi Olsen,
Robert D. Best, Louis Weisdorf, Gubi Olsen, Bonderup & Thorup,
Komplot Design, Gudmund Olsen & Greta M. Grossman.
issue #2
A Global Design House on a Journey
Cobra Wall Lamp
By Greta M. Grossman, 1950
Reedition 2013
Ronde Pendant
By Oliver Schick
New Design 2013
Gräshoppa Pendant
By Greta M. Grossman, 1948
Reedition 2013
Semi Pendant - Metallic
By Bonderup & Thorup, 1965
Reedition 2013
Gräshoppa Task Lamp
By Greta M. Grossman, 1948
Reedition 2013
Bestlite Porcelain
By Robert D. Best, 1930
Extension 2013
Beetle Chair
By GamFratesi
New Design 2013
Turbo Pendant
By Louis Weisdorf, 1965
Reedition 2013
Gubi Dining Table
By Komplot Design, 2003
New Design 2013
Gubi Chair & Stool - Center base
By Komplot Design, 2003
Extension 2013
Paper Tables
By GamFratesi
New Design 2013
gubi magazine
table of contents
round &
oliver schick
p. 22
Something Old
Something New
The gubi
p. 34
p. 50
A rebel with
From a
a Cause p. 28
It’s all
to a chair p. 14
p. 26
The bestlite
a british bauhaus legend
p. 38
the gubi collection
p. 24
Louis Weisdorf
p. 20
on a
p. 7
the world of
p. 32
of the
Words by
Adam Štěch, Anders Eske Hansen, Alex Tieghi-Walker,
Cédric Morriset, Jacob Gubi Olsen, Julie Ralphs & Louise
jacques adnet
light &
p. 46
sensibilityp. 8
Photos by
Adam Mørk, Heidi Lerkenfeldt, Julius Schulman, Anders
Ingvartsen, Packshotfactory, GamFratesi & Sacha Maric
our home
Artwork by
Stine Laurberg Hansen & Delphine Piault
Changing within
the changes
Thanks to
Evan Snyderman & Lily Kane, Sofie Brunner, GamFratesi,
Oliver Schick, Louis Weisdorf, Boris Berlin &
Alex Iskos, Pernille Brunse Sørensen & Suzana Oromaa
boris berlin
p. 44
We’re on a Journey // page 4
We’re on a Journey // page 5
- with a global view
p. 30
on a
At Gubi we’re on a continual quest. A journey. Fuelled by our passion to discover overlooked icons from
the past and future icons in the making, we’re aiming to make a distinctive name for ourselves in the international design arena and we consider ourselves a dynamic design force to be reckoned with.
I firmly believe that curiosity, courage and intuition are key components for Gubi’s current success. To me
design is all about discovering gems and following your instincts. It involves constant travelling – physically
and mentally, searching and finding long-lost remnants from the past as well as discovering contemporary,
cutting-edge designs from new designers and artists on the horizon.
The result of these journeys is an eclectic, intercontinental collection that blurs the lines between the past
and the future – today the Gubi collection spans almost 100 years of iconic design history and has grown
into an extensive assortment of extremely aesthetic, thought-provoking designs characterized by simple,
arresting shapes, original materials and innovative techniques.
In 2013 we welcome a wide range of exciting designs and personalities into the Gubi family – some are
already established in the international design arena, a few you have not seen in many years and others are
brand new, ready to take the stage.
Enjoy the magazine!
Jacob Gubi
We’re on a Journey // page 6
We’re on a Journey // page 7
A Designer’s Perspective
gräshoppa task lamp
color options
At Gubi we have a love affair with Grossman and it is essential to us, that this unique
Swedish female design icon, who took the US
by storm in the 1940’s and 50’s stays honored
and remembered for her contributions to the
Californian Design movement.
among men, she quickly proved herself and got a
sense of the craftsmanship and materials – she got
a feel of the furniture industry from the ground up
- something that without a doubt made her able to
keep her designs equally aesthetic and useful later
in life.
Few have accomplished what Greta M. Grossman
did in her time, much less women - only to then
disappear from the scene and become almost completely forgotten.
She was a woman of many talents – working with
everything from sculpting, drawing and writing
to architecture. However, it was really in some of
her less know furniture and perhaps even more in
her lamps designs that her unique sense of form
and delicate design language really came to life.
Grossman’s lights were always distinguished by
the use of simple, soft-edged forms and the use of
fashionable but contemporary colors.
Grossman was one of the first women to graduate
from the Stockholm School of Industrial Design
in the early 1930’s, today known as Konstfack.
Like so many of her peers, she was influenced by
European Modernism and great architects such
as Walter Gropius and Mies van der Rohe. But,
at the same time her designs still remained unique
and surprisingly functional, while simultaneously
delicate and powerful. She had her own vision!
“The only advantage a man has in furniture is his
greater physical strength.”
The lack of recognition for female talents kept her
on her toes – It definitely sparked a strong will and
determination to prove her capacity to the world,
but it had already started when she joined a local
furniture factory and carpentry. Working solely
We’re on a Journey // page 8
Early sketch of the Gräshoppa
Task Lamp
To Grossman modern design was;
“not a super imposed style, but an answer to present
conditions… developed out of our preferences for living
in a modern way.”
Greta M. Grossman at her desk,
Photographed by Julius Schulman
Advertisement for The Gräshoppa Task
Lamp from the original manufacturer
Ralph O. Smith
In the late 1940’s and 50’s Grossman conceived
a variety of designs for the lighting manufacturer
Ralph O. Smith and the furniture manufacturer
Glenn of California. She was acutely aware of the
American design aesthetic that was becoming
popular, and she blended it with the understated
language of Scandinavian design to create her own
distinctly California-style furniture.
We’re on a Journey // page 9
Cobra wall lamp
color options
The Gräshoppa Floor Lamp, Grossman 62-Series Desk & Masculo Chair by GamFratesi
Gräshoppa Pendant
She used new materials, introduced a playful nature to her pieces, and responded to the changing
lifestyle of the modern California household.
The most famous of these lights is the Gräshoppa
floor lamp from 1948 and the Cobra table lamp
from 1950, that also won the Good Design Award
and was subsequently exhibited at the Good Design Show at the Museum of Modern Art.
color options
In 2013 and from exactly these two iconic designs
Gubi will extend the Grossman Collection with a
series of re-editions - The Gräshoppa Task Lamp,
The Gräshoppa Pendant & The Cobra Wall Lamp.
We’re on a Journey // page 10
All designs are original and will be available in a
series of finishes and colors that stay true to Grossman’s designs and vision.
The Gräshoppa Task Lamp & The Cobra Wall
Lamp were first seen as part of her installations in
the late 40’s and early 50’s and were part of the
extensive collection of lights that was originally designed for the Barker Brothers together with Ralph
O. Smith, a manufacturer in Burbank, California
who put most of Grossman’s lighting design into
production. However, as many other of her designs,
they were only produced in very limited numbers
We’re on a Journey // page 11
which make the original models extremely rare
and very much a collector’s item. The Gräshoppa
Pendant is a re-styling by Gubi using the original
shade as a pendant.
The Grossman Collection now consists of nine iconic
designs; The Gräshoppa floor lamp, the new task
light & pendant, The Cobra table lamp, floor lamp &
now also wall light. Notable is also the entire 62-series
consisting of a desk and three different dressers with
three, four and six drawers. Each and every Grossman
design is unique, light and iconic in expression –
equally relevant today as when first introduced.
A car and some shorts
In October 2012 the PMCA, Pasadena Museum
of California Art opened the exhibition A Car and
Some Shorts a retrospective show about Grossman’s
life. This time in the US where Grossman first had
her big break-through.
In the press release for A Car and Some Shorts the
lack of recognition of Grosmann’s (brilliant) talent
is underlined: “Her role in the Southern California
design movement has been largely under-recognized; this exhibition rediscovers her influential
and rare accomplishments as both an industrial
designer and architect.”
Gräshoppa Floor lamp
Grossman “62-series” Desk
Organized by the Swedish Museum of Architecture and R20th Century Gallery, New York City,
the exhibition is curated by Evan Snyderman of
R20th Century Gallery and Karin Åberg Waern,
curator from Arkitekturmuseet. It was first shown
in Stockholm in February, 2010 and has since then
travelled the world contributing to the acknowledgement of a truly iconic female designer and
In 2013 the retrospective Grossman exhibition will
be shown at the R20th Century Gallery.
Grossman “62-series” dresser 4
Cobra table lamp
Grossman “62-series” dresser 3
Grossman “62-series” dresser 6
We’re on a Journey // page 12
We’re on a Journey // page 13
Cobra Floor Lamp
How do you get from the first idea
to a final model?
10 Questions to the Designer(s)
A idea can come from a deep reflection or from a spontaneous vision.
Often even in the most unexpected
moments. Research and working in
the workshop are very important to
us and it is never just a drawing. We
work strictly with the Scandinavian
approach. In all the projects we are
used to having our hands on the materials, working directly on the physical
Fig. III
What is your fascination with
insects? Why Beetle…
We first designed the Beetle chair
prototype for the annual exhibition
Mindcraft12 in Milan curated by
Danish Crafts. We found the general
anatomy of the insects very interesting. The structure is made of different
plates separated by thin sutures
and this external shell supports and
protects the animal’s body. All these
elements are perfectly linked and
work in a fascinating way. Among
the different insects the classic beetle
looks gentle and charming so we ended up looking closely at beetles...
Fig. II
Fig. IV
From a
to a
GamFratesi & Gubi have embarked on a new journey… In 2013 two new design items, the Beetle
Chair & the Paper Table, from young and progressive Danish-Italian design duo - Enrico Fratesi
& Stine Gam - will see the light of day. Together with the Masculo Chair from 2008 these will
now constitute the GamFratesi Collection, an eclectic repertoire of design experimentation defined
by the dynamic meeting between classic Danish and Italian design traditions combined with the
couples characteristic use of playful and surprising elements - Oh yeah, and beetles, of course. We
had chat with the duo about the process of getting from a bug to a chair and how a messy stack of
ruled paper can become the source of inspiration for a table.
How do you get from the insect
world to furniture?
The design of the chair reinterprets
the characteristic elements of the beetles’ sections: shape, shells, sutures,
rigid outside and soft inside, while
maintaining comfort and functionality.
A stacking chair with castors…
that’s very unusual. Why did you
make it like this?
We started of by looking at the
dynamic ability of the insect in
space and reinterpretated that to a
four-legged chair on castors. We then
proceeded with the idea of adding more
value to the design, by creating a structure that allows the chair to be stacked.
Fig. V
Fig. I - opposite page
Beetle Chair prototype from GamFratesi studio.
Fig. II - this page
Inspiration boards, beetles and shape
studies from the studio.
Fig. III & Fig. IV
Sketches, notes and renderings for
the design of the back shell and
Fig. V
Beetle Chair prototypes from GamFratesi studio.
Fig. VI - next page
Stilleben from the studio, mockups
and early stages of the design
Fig. I
We’re on a Journey // page 14
We’re on a Journey // page 15
the classic
How do you maintain the balance
between traditional & surprising?
beetle looks
gentle and charming,
Often, a small detail is all it takes to
achieve or ruin an expression, and we
are very curious about that. We work
intensely with the balance between
harmony and disharmony, believing
that somewhere in between you
obtain reflection. This for instance,
can be seen in the use of piping on the
Bettle chair which also defines the
shape. It is particularly clear on the
back where the two shells meet.
so we ended up
closely at
Fig. VI
You continually travel and work
in two places… What do you get
from this?
Studying, researching and moving
constantly between our two countries
have become such a natural part of
us that it will most likely show in our
work. Copenhagen is a unique place,
a real sustainable city with a functional infrastructure and many cultural
activities. Italy has a unique tradition
and history. Also, we know some
amazing craftsmen in Italy that work
with us on the prototyping stage.
What are your individual roles
and how do you compliment each
other in your work?
We do work very closely through all
the different stages of the creative
and developing process. We share
many of the same competences and
interests, and appreciate being able to
work in such a tight collaboration. It
is a rather symbiotic process, where
we are both so much into it, that it
often is impossible to distinguish who
started and finished what. Enrico is
very methodic and structured, while
Stine is more loose and messy. But in
many aspects we are very similar, for
instance, when it comes to convictions, joy, anger or frustrations. Our
range is quite parallel.
We’re on a Journey // page 16
We’re on a Journey // page 17
Paper Tables… There’s almost a
contradiction in the name itself.
How did this come about?
Fig. VI
It was not a project that was defined
in advance. One day the placing of
two sheets of paper suddenly created
a focus in the chaos on the desk.
By catching and enclosing in the confusion of lines in circles, they started
to appear with a certain geometrical
beauty and logic. The result is simply
reinterpreted in the tables by the use
of veneer.
What has been the main challenge
in the design process?
For the Beetle is was the issue of
merging the two shells, avoiding any
visible connection, and resolving the
upholstery with a precise solution.
In terms of the Paper table, it was the
challenge of defining the veneer typology and colours that expressed the
idea behind the project most suitably.
The simple play of veneers, become
as a silent and delicate graphic in the
Fig. VII
How do you see the two new designs in connection with the rest
of the Gubi Collection?
The chair is a friendly combination
of classic and contemporary lines in
unification with great quality and
craftsmanship - the fundamental
characteristics of the Gubi collection.
The chair is suited for informal meetings, allowing mobility around the
table creating a flexible and spontaneous workspace.
...the simple play
of veneers
a silent and
delicate graphic
element in the space.
VI - Opposite page
Visual notes: Sheets of paper and
lines meeting, early stage documentation
VII - Opposite page
The three different shapes and sizes
for the final Paper Tables.
VIII - This page
Paper Tables, the intersecting lines
re-interpreted in veneer
The tables work as a functional and
playful product in the collection as
they can create different expressions
and functions, depending on the size
and number of tables combined.
We’re on a Journey // page 18
We’re on a Journey // page 19
A Designer Portrait
We’re on a Journey // page 21
We’re on a Journey // page 20
Japanese rice paper lamps
The Turbo Pendant is Louis Weisdorf’s first product for Gubi and will be launched in 2013. lightness
spherical surface
His unique sense of form, function and aesthetics is characterized by sculptural
elegance and great lighting qualities. It is with pleasure that Gubi will be reintroducing the Turbo Pendant in the autumn of 2013, a glowing architectonic gem
from 1965 which most certainly deserves a place back in the spotlight.
the same
beautiful sculptural unity
Design of lamps and lighting has been a significant and noteworthy part of Weisdorf’s career. Working with pioneers within the field, such as Poul Henningsen
and Le Klint, Weisdorf has surrounded himself with the best. With a creative
nurturance and experience such as this, it is no wonder that his talent stretches so
far and his lamp designs have attracted national as well as international acclaim and
Since graduating from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts’ School of Architecture in 1954, Weisdorf has worked with everything from graphic-, interior- and
industrial design, to the planning of parks and recreational areas as well as most
fields within the building trade. This adds to an impressive résumé of notable projects from designing chairs and buildings for Verner Panton to working freelance for
Poul Henningsen. Throughout the 1960’s Weisdorf was employed at the studio of
Simon P. Henningsen in Tivoli, the famous Danish amusement park and pleasure
garden, where he designed “Perlen” and “Plænen”. His first lamp, the Golden
Conch designed exclusively for Tivoli, was used as decorative lighting in the trees.
form a
In his own words,
the studio of Architect
Louis Weisdorf (born 1939)
“specializes in versatility”.
This perfectly sums up the
long and notable career
of this multi-designer.
from the original press release
Latest family member
The philosophy behind Schick’s designs is in line
with the spirit of the Gubi Company, namely that
design should be original in idea and have a story
to tell:
a lively character, which sparks the associations and
emotions of the user. But the challenge is always to
create the right balance between the use and the effect
of the product, without being obtrusive.”
“My aim is to design products with character that
are timeless and easy to comprehend. They should be
simple in use, in production and even in their idea,
without being boring or lifeless. In my opinion the
narrative aspect of a product is just as important as its
function. We are all surrounded by these “creatures”
that we use for our daily needs and it its important
that they not only fulfill their technical function but
also tell us a small story. It is often only minor changes
or unexpected details that are needed to give a product
Oliver Schick was born in 1969 in Darmstadt, a
small yet architectonically and historically significant town, as it holds some of Germany‘s most
important places and buildings regarding the late
19th century Art Nouveau movement. Much affected by the cultural past of his hometown, Schick
studied product design at the HBK - University
of Fine Arts and Design in Saarbruecken. After
graduating, he worked freelance for several studios
and in 2005 he founded his own studio with a focus
We’re on a Journey // page 22
on furniture, lighting and interior design and has
since worked for companies such as Ligne Roset
and Skandiform. Schick also engages with a range
of more experimental projects with design-related
themes, focusing on materials, functions, usage and
sustainable development.
The Ronde Pendant is Oliver Schick’s first product
for Gubi and it will be launched in 2013. The bellshaped spun aluminium shade has references to the
traditional archetype of a pendant lamp. A unique
detail is the opening on the top with an overhanging collar that reminds of a jar such as a vase or an
amphora. Ronde is also in several languages the
word for round, circular or rotating.
color options
We’re on a Journey // page 23
Cobra Table Lamp
by Greta M. Grossman
Nagasaki Chair
by Mathieu Matégot
Gubi Stool
by Komplot Design
Ronde Pendant
by Oliver Schick
Bonaparte Chair & Pouffe
by Gubi Olsen
Adnet Circulaire
by Jacques Adnet
Semi Pendant
by Bonderup & Thorup
Ronde Pendant
by Oliver Schick
Grossman “62-series” Desk
by Greta M. Grossman
Beetle Chair
by GamFratesi
Aoyama Dining Table
by Paul Leroy
Pedrera Floor Lamp
by Barba Corsini
Gubi Lounge Table
by Komplot Design
Bestlite Table Lamp
by Robert D. Best
Pedrera Pendant
by Barba Corsini & Joaquim R. Millet
Gubi Chair 2
by Komplot Design
Quistgaard Safari Chair
by Jens Quistgaard
Kangourou Table
by Mathieu Matégot
the gubi collection
Learn more on
Pedrera Table Lamp
by Barba Corsini & Joaquim R. Millet
Masculo Chair
by GamFratesi
Grand Piano Sofa
by Gubi Olsen
Bestlite Porcelain
by Robert D. Best
Turbo Pendant
by Louis Weisdorf
Pedrera Pendant
by Joaquim R. Millet
Gräshoppa Task Lamp
by Greta M. Grossman
Bestlite Wall Lamp
by Robert D. Best
Masculo Lounge Chair
by GamFratesi
Pedrera Table
by Barba Corsini
Coatrack Black
by Mathieu Matégot
Y! Table
by Henning Larsen Architects
Gräshoppa Floor Lamp
by Greta M. Grossman
Dedal Bookshelf
by Mathieu Matégot
Gubi Chair
by Komplot Design
We’re on a Journey // page 24
Gräshoppa Pendant
by Greta M. Grossman
Gubi Pouffe
by Gubi Olsen
Cobra Wall Lamp
by Greta M. Grossman
Paper Table
by GamFratesi
Adnet Rectangulaire
by Jacques Adnet
Gubi Stool
by Komplot Design
Gubi Chair
by Komplot Design
PedreraTable Lamp
by Joaquim R. Millet
A3 Stool
by Paul Leroy
Semi Pendant
by Bonderup & Thorup
Grossman “62-series” Dresser
by Greta M. Grossman
Bestlite Pendant
by Robert D. Best
Bestlite Floor Lamp
by Robert D. Best
We’re on a Journey // page 25
Nagasaki Stool
by Mathieu Matégot
Gubi Lounge Chair
by Komplot Design
Cobra Floor Lamp
by Greta M. Grossman
Timeless Trends
Following the successful launch of Bestlite Brass we have gone into the
archives and decided to re-launch a metallic version of the iconic Semi
pendant from 1968. Semi takes its name from the semicircle, which is the
whole idea behind the lamp – the simple geometric shape. The idea behind the lamp came about in the late 60’s, where architecture students,
Torsten Thorup & Claus Bonderup wanted to create a lamp that functionally gave as much light as possible, enabling the light itself to reflect into
the shade and then out into the space below.
The lamp was re-launched by Gubi in 2010 in lacquered aluminium just
like the originals from the 60’s and 70’s. But, originally the Semi was also
available in different metallic versions such as brass, copper and chrome.
Rumours even speak of a gold version… However, these vintage metallic
models are very rare today, so we are happy to bring them back into play in 2013.
The new Semi lights will be available in chrome & brass.
color options
These metallic editions brings a completely “new” and more delicate expression into play – made from handspun aluminium they will be available
in chrome or brass paired with a white lacquered shade underneath to
maintain the best light.
In the 1970’s the Semi pendants were also made in brass, copper and chrome. Original metallic editions in the old manufacturing of the Semi pendants.
We’re on a Journey // page 26
We’re on a Journey // page 27
the gubi universe
with Jacob Gubi
#1 Conversations
As part of an ongoing journey
By Julie Ralphs
A rebel
a cause
A passion for art and innovation
fuel the fire of Jacob Gubi, whose
relentless quest for distinctive and
emotionally evocative designs
reflect a mix of eclectic influences.
Key factors which are alive and
kicking at his namesake global
design house - Gubi. Curiosity,
courage and intuition are deeply
entrenched in Jacob’s way of being
and are intrinsic to the company’s
identity as a treasure hunter.
Discovering overlooked icons from
the past and icons in the making.
This interview is the first in a series of conversations with Jacob, where he shares personal insights
about his background, his search for icons and
some of the attributes which define Gubi as a
vibrant company on the cutting edge of design.
Bringing aesthetics from
“As far back as I can remember, I was a rebel.
When I was a teenager helping my father in his
furniture and arts & crafts business, I always
wanted to do things differently - in terms of design
or innovation or ways of doing business. My father
was the boss, so I had to find my way through
the business and put my own fingerprint on the
company. My parents have a Danish heritage and
I thought it would be interesting to bring different
aesthetics from abroad into the equation. I grew up
in a home surrounded by different artistic influences. My grandfather was a painter and had all kinds
of African masks and figures, Japanese paintings
and Italian and Moroccan designs. Basically I’ve
taken that eclectic mix with me and translated it
into a business paradigm.”
A desire to be different
“I don’t get any personal satisfaction from doing
a product that everyone else is doing. I think it’s
a waste of time. I did it once for office interiors.
We had to make the designs more generic and I
decided: never again. I don’t want to do standard
things. Now I only pursue things which touch me
“I’m driven by a curiosity to find artists and visionaries ahead of their time. Like Jens Quistgaard, an
auto didactic sculptor known for his silver cutlery,
cookware and jewellery. He wasn’t trained as a designer and that’s why he was more free form in his
approach to designing furniture. And Boris Berlin
from Komplot Design, who partnered with Poul
Christiansen to create the Gubi Chair, which is
part of the permanent collection at MoMA. Boris is
a Russian guy who is more like a scientist. He was
trained as a photographer and became a designer
because of his passion for creating. He’s fascinated
with forms but more intrigued by working with
new materials.”
“I’m driven by a curiosity to find artists and visionaries
An intuition for icons
“When I was first presented with the Gubi Chair ahead of their time”
idea, I only saw a hand-made miniature of the shell
but that was enough for me to see its potential as an
instant classic. The design had clear references to
Eames and Mid-Century Modern but still with its
own expression. At the same time, it was based on
new technology: 3D veneer. The Gubi Chair was
the first of its kind to use this technology.”
We’re on a Journey // page 28
I’m always looking for design treasures. Searching
old archives, books, visiting old museums around
the world. I often go to Paris to art and design galleries in the 6th arrondissement, where they feature
artists starting to make a name for themselves.
Of course, I love the flea market at Clignancourt.
That mix of different environments is inspiring. I
get to see designers doing limited edition pieces.
Then I can see if a piece is too detailed or uses too
many materials to become a design we can then
inventive. He found a way to integrate different
design cultures into a holistic design identity to
create a homogeneous portfolio of products. Like
they do at the Vitra Design Museum, where there’s
a mix of classics and new designs. As I see it, iconic
design is like art. If it’s a beautiful piece, you can
match it into any environment. The same could be
said of furniture.”
The art of living with art
“I like to buy old things, combined with a few new
things together with art. Again, it’s an eclectic
approach. It’s very important to have art around
What makes a design a classic?
me. By art I mean 3D objects or something kinetic.
“There has to be some kind of compelling emotion- With different views depending on where you are
in the room.”
al appeal. I like simple expressions with very few
details. A design has to be beautiful and sculptural.
Something that’s not too much, but then again, not What’s next on the design
too minimal. With some form of visual attraction
that makes it stand out when you see it together
“Right now I’m curious about Bauhaus, with a
with 50 other products. And it has to make you feel focus on the Austrian design culture from the
good. A design also has to add something in terms
start of the 20th Century. People like the Austrian
of innovation. From a practical point of view, of
architect Josef Hoffmann and Austro-Hungaricourse, it has to be possible to produce at a reason- an architect Adolf Loos. Both were pioneers in
able cost.”
contemporary design in Vienna during the Art
“As i see it, iconic design is like art.
If it’s a beautiful piece,
you can match it into
any environment.
The same could be said
of furniture.”
Attracting new talent
“Ever since the Gubi Chair became part of MoMA’s permanent collection, it brought us a certain
credibility. Now we’re in a better position to attract
designers with new ideas. I get design proposals
every day. It’s exciting to have reached a level we
can leverage, where we can collaborate with the
artists we truly want. I’m working very much from
an art perspective. I was very inspired by my experience working with Giulio Cappellini. He had a
gift for discovering new talent whose designs were
not always as commercial as others but still very
We’re on a Journey // page 29
Deco and Art Nouveau movements. So far, we’ve
been discovering old and new designers primarily
from Europe. But, I’m not concerned with where
a designer is from. For me, what’s more important
is that they have a story to tell and a clear point of
view. We live in a global world, so …”
Julie Ralphs is a creative and awarded writer, she is also
former creative director at BBDO and has a background
in visual arts. She writes for many exclusive Danish and
International companies such as Armani, Burberry, Bang &
Olufsen, Fritz Hansen, Chanel, Benetton, by Malene Birger,
Cartier, Designers Remix, VS & Frame Magazine.
the gubi universe
Showroom Copenhagen
with a global view
We might be rooted in Scandinavia but it is extremely important for us to keep a distinctive global
outlook - and sense of aesthetics. This is why we have chosen our home base to be in Copenhagen’s docklands.
Our Gubi headquarter, showroom & offices span a
2,000 square meter space that used to be a tobacco
warehouse. The plans for the renovation was created by world-renowned architect, Dorte Mandrup
– it took a few years to get it ready but the result of
the renovations is a modern, ultra expansive space
with wide solid wood Dinesen planks, raw painted
walls and large metal framed windows allowing for
views for both sides of the harbor – respecting the
original industrial look.
The rough surroundings of the industrial harbor
outside our windows forms a sharp contrast to the
refined environments where you’ll find our Gubi
collection. This has now been our home for more
than 10 years and it still remains an amazing space
for our collection and company to grow, play and
So, while the urban plans for this unique area
keeps developing and the Freeport is now almost
completely gone and by 2020 the area will be
transformed into a blend of residential, business
It was intuition that initially guided us to this area
and industrial buildings right on the waterfront
quite early, which has since become a magnet for
other firms working within architecture and design. - the most important things for us still remain; A
sense of space, the grand scale and not to mention
The latest addition to the neighborhood is an
amazing world-class gallery space – the Faurschou the amazing light that continues to be a source of
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We’re on a Journey // page 31
the gubi universe
Outside Gubi
& THE WORLD OF danish
Kokkeriet is a unique blend of Danish designs and International icons from Gubi - The Safari Chair, Aoyama table, the Gräshoppa floor lamps and Gubi chairs.
Many places around the globe, but particularly in
Copenhagen, the Gubi name is somewhat synonymous
with good food and exclusive dining. So, while the whole
world looks to Copenhagen for great dining these days –
we are proud to be able to show some of our finest references
from and around our capital.
From the Noma – Nordic Food Lab, whose purpose is to
explore the building blocks of Nordic cuisine through traditional and modern gastronomies to Geranium and Kokkeriet, both recently awarded Michelin stars and now also
the bakery & deli-chain Emmerys - they have all chosen
Gubi designs to be part of their interior statements.
In July 2013, the former Noma Head Chef, Matthew Orlando, will open his first restaurant, Amass, in Copenhagen.
Housed in the former Burmeister & Wain shipyards, the
restaurant features 736 square meters of loft space and
retains the industrial elements from the original building.
The interior design will be provided by Gubi.
We want to collaborate with our customers on creating their
original creative vision using our designs in a contemporary
context and projects like these make us proud. This is just
one of the ways in which we aim to put Gubi on the map
as a global player on the design scene. In an ever-changing
international landscape, it takes an enormous amount of
drive and determination to obtain this and there’s no better
way than working together with great clients.
Emmerys is a great example of mixing new and old design icons - Adnet Circulaire Mirrors, Gubi Chair, Y! Table and Pedrera Lights.
Noma Foodlab is decorated with the Gubi bar stool and the Gubi 2 chair - both by Komplot Design. The Y! table is by Henning Larsen Architects.
We’re on a Journey // page 32
We’re on a Journey // page 33
the gubi universe
An outsiders perspective
We asked design historian, architectural editor, curator and co-founder of the OKOLO creative collective, Adam Štěch, to give us his insightful perspective on today’s design trends and place the Gubi brand
within the context of the contemporary design scene.
If one flips through today’s magazines on design, one would most likely notice the elements of adventure
and storytelling used in the production and marketing strategies of new design products. The discovering
of forgotten or relatively unknown designs, as well as collaborating with new, young designers is very
popular right now. This is no wonder, as these strategies create ideal opportunities for great success.
The creativeness, the adventure, the re-introduction of new-found classics, essentially brings something
new and interesting to the table. And it is therefore no wonder that new generations of brands, who know
how to connect these things, are successfully conquering the current design arena. One of these companies is Danish Gubi.
New design products are always affected by ever-changing trends. If we leave aside the conventional area
of shapes, patterns and materials, the trends that have dominated in the recent years is the celebration
of the past and of the youth, though this might sound somewhat paradoxical. Since the late nineties, we
have seen a return to historical values in applied art and also a great interest in the youngest generation of
designers. A kind of retro mania and nostalgia of the modernist movement of the 20th century has been
in the forefront of public and professional interest and furniture brands have responded to the wave of retro by re-editing modernist gems, such as the furniture of Le Corbusier, Charlotte Perriand, Jean Prouvé,
Alvar Aalto, Franco Albini and Carlo Mollino.
Something old
something new
by Adam Štěch
In addition, youth culture and progressive design dominates the current scene and many diverse trends of
neo-modernism or neo-postmodernism to conceptual or performative tendencies are visible. The young
students of prestigious universities, including the London-based Royal College of Art, Swiss ECAL and
Dutch Eindhoven Academy, have the advantage that editors and creative directors of furniture brands
are always on the lookout for the latest thing, and it might be their design that ends up on in the production hall. A place in the spotlight requires a progressive brand, among which the French new wave, led by
Moustache and La Chance, Belgian Objekten, Italian Discipline and innovative Scandinavian labels such
as Gubi, Hay, One Nordic Furniture Company and Artek, stand out.
In recent years, more established brands, such as Cassina, Molteni & C., Tacchini, Steiner and Arflex
have also introduced a number of re-editions of modernist furniture to their collections, a development
associated with new and complex productions methods and historical research. Thanks to the openness
of the market, an improved mapping of design history is being developed and the discoveries of new and
forgotten names have begun to appear in the collections of brands that traditionally have focused exclusively on contemporary design.
The combination of traditional and contemporary present new opportunities for the individual brands,
as finding new products that relate to their original philosophy allows them to discover entirely new sides
of themselves. The German brand e15, for example, has presented re-editions of modernist Ferdinand
Kramer in addition to their existing products, Danish brand &Tradition has created an innovative
collection of lights with iconic designs by Verner Panton and Arne Jacobsen. Gubi is also an example of
a new type of brand that both materially and intellectually invests in both areas. Searching for forgotten
products as well as cooperating with young designers is a smart move as it enhances the marked of the
manufacturers and attracts a manifold group of customers.
“We do not actually make solely re-editions! The company was born out of current and new designs in
1967. Then later came the Gubi chair, something that marked a new beginning, but at the same time our
company had the Bestlite collection, a true classic Bauhaus so... Our vision is to really build an iconic
collection, iconic regardless of geography or history. “
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We’re on a Journey // page 35
the gubi universe
the gubi universe
As CCO Jacob Gubi, points out, the company is not only based on re-editions, but on the combination of
both production methods. But with the re-editions Gubi has done an important job of pulling forgotten
designers out of the achieves and back into the well-deserved spotlight.
The products of Greta Magnusson Grossman, Mathieu Matégot, Jens Quistgaard, Barba Corsini,
Bonderup & Thorup and Jacques Adnet have introduced Modernism to the current market in a new and
exciting way and the selection is an impressive example of hard work and knowhow. The preparation
that goes into a project such as this, going through all those archives, museums and foundations, requires
commitment, intuition and patience.
The result, however, is an educational series of furniture, working especially well with the selection of
contemporary designers and the development of completely new products. The generally unknown
historical designers support the attractiveness of the products as their untold stories make the customers
curious. The production of relatively unknown yet original re-editions is also a very sophisticated way of
challenging the traditional canon of design, which is widely promoted at the expense of lesser known artists.
“I do think it is in my genes to be a bit of a treasure hunter ... and that often takes you back in time.
I believe it is important and I want to contribute to give credit to some of the great unknown masters who in their time, maybe never got the recognition they deserved. And I also want my business to be
credited for this work of discovering. “
The development of new products is, of course, essential to many brands, in order to maintain a fresh and
relevant profile. Gubi is unique in this case, with an impressive selection of designs from the past and the
present. 50-year-old functional and practical design and the whole current production create a collection
that stands out as a unified chain and the timelessness of the products opens up to a mutual dialogue.
Modernist avant-garde products can inspire positive thinking of contemporary artists and they in turn
can inspire and help place historical forms in the present. This intergenerational dialogue offers brands
and their customers, recognizable design from new and interesting angles. Forgotten items are placed
within a new historical frame and their importance is made visible for the current market. Exploring old
ways of production, material use and working with original documents and historical artifacts re-introduces modernist tradition to the general public and contributes to a different understanding of design.
Selected pieces from history can also support the current vision of the brand and create a unified whole.
Unknown design names of the past and the present has an exotic feel to it and can create an original
public image for the manufacturer. A brand such as Gubi can attract a wide range of customers yet still
maintain its unique philosophy and personality - if they continue to re-edit and produce carefully selected and sophisticated pieces.
it is in my genes to be a bit of a treasure hunter
and that often takes you back in time. I believe it is
important and I want to contribute to give credit
to some of the great unknown masters
The result of the old-and-new phenomenon is a whole generation of exciting and innovative furniture
brands combining historical periods, styles and brilliant contemporary and historical ideas in their product range and its benefits are recognized by more and more brands. To have one or two re-editions in
your collection combined with newly developed products is a challenge though, as the balance between
old and new can easily be thrown off. Danish Gubi, which has pioneered the strategy for years, solves
this problem very wisely, as the historical pieces in the collection are gaining contemporary life next to
products designed by young talented designers.
Adam Štěch is a design- and architecture editor and curator, based in Prague, Czech republic. He is co-founder of OKOLO creative collective who specialize in new theoretic contexts and original presentation of design, architecture and fashion. Adam
has written for Wallpaper, Cool Hunting, Domus, Mark, Damn, Modern and Modernism and has collaborated with Form
magazine, Depot Basel gallery, Casa Mollino, Phillips de Pury, SightUnseen and Architonic.
We’re on a Journey // page 36
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An Iconic Retrospective
The Bestlite
A British Bauhaus Legend
By Alex Tieghi-Walker
years on, Britain’s contribution to the Bauhaus movement is testimony that considered product design never ages
Well known in design circles and in the history books as Britain’s first contribution
to the Bauhaus movement, revered in the first half of the twentieth century by institutions including the Savoy Hotel and the early modernism pioneers, the Bestlite is remarkable not just
for its initial inspiration and creation but more so for its longevity and dedication to its original design, first
drawn up over 80 years ago.
Designed in 1930 by Robert Dudley Best, at the time heir to Best & Lloyd, the world’s largest lighting
company, the new light design was a break from the company’s more traditional clientele which had included the Titanic and the Orient Express.
Robert Dudley Best, a keen design enthusiast on top of his prominence as a young industrialist, had spent
the 1920s travelling around Europe meeting designers and furthering his interest in the modernist movement. After visiting the Exhibition of Modern Design in Paris in 1925, he took his interest in the new
designs of the time by Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier and enrolled at the school of industrial design
in Dusseldorf, Germany, and at schools in Paris. Interested in breaking the barriers between industrial and
artistic merit, Best’s ideals were shared by his friend Walter Gropius of Bauhaus fame. On Best’s return to
the United Kingdom he sat down to draw up the first blueprints for the Bestlight we have today.
Best’s trip had fuelled an unbroken enthusiasm and plans for how his groundbreaking design would work
with the factory, which his father and grandfather had directed since 1840. Best wanted the factory’s new
collection to symbolise the spirit of the age by appealing to the more avant-garde architects and setting
a new agenda for lamp design. Following Bauhaus principles, Best had done away with the trimmings
and detail of traditional Best & Lloyd products; he had both commercial and domestic use in mind and
believed that lighting should be functional and practical as well as elegant. Best showed his drawings to
his father but Best senior doubted severely whether his son’s designs would work with its clean design so
different from the lighting the company normally produced.
The Original Bestlite table lamp
Portrait of Robert Dudley Best
First adopted by garages and the Royal Air Force engineering departments, much to the disappointment of
Best junior, the lamp was further marketed for use as hall stands as the telephone began to enter domestic
use. A feature in Architects Journal lauding Bestlite with the title of the first evidence of Bauhaus in Britain
brought the lamp to the attention of the design conscious; Best extended his collection further than simple
desk lamps and produced a catalogue of 10 variant forms of the light, from floor lamps to flexible wall lamps
and pendants whose light could be adjusted in every way; Best had created one of the most comprehensive
and functional collections of lighting of all time.
We’re on a Journey // page 38
Catalogue page showing Bestlite BL1 from
the original manufacturer – Best & Lloyd.
Bestlite production from Best & Lloyd
Bestlite Collection photo – Kangourou Table &
BL3 S Floor Lamp
Bestlite production from Best & Lloyd
We’re on a Journey // page 39
This page
Bestlite Brass Collection photo – Bestlite BL2, Adnet Rectangulaire & Grossman “62-series” Dresser
opposite page
Overview the bestlite Collection - all models in
Brass Charcoal Black
Bestlite installed at the Danish National Theatre
Bestlite in the rooms at Wythe Hotel, New York
Photo by: Dan Funderburgh
BL1 Table Lamp
BL2 Table Lamp
BL3 m floor Lamp
BL5 Wall Lamp
BL6 Wall Lamp
BL7 Wall Lamp
BL9 s Pendant
BL9 m Pendant
color options
elebrated Art Deco interior designer Betty Joel selected the wall lamp during a
refurbishment of the suites at the Savoy in the mid 1930s and the Bestlite was
placed in Buckingham Palace and Downing Street, being famously used by the
War Cabinet and Winston Churchill as captured in Churchill’s famous portrait
by Cecil Beaton. Architect Wells Coates chose the Bestlite for use in his luxury
Isokon building in North London, opened in 1934. Each one of the 34 Ikoson flats had been furnished with Bestlite fittings in turn used by the notable residents including crime-writer Agatha
Christie and Bauhaus luminary Walter Gropius himself.
A steady stream of design supporters secured the Bestlite in design history, from the early modernist set including Marcel Breuer and Arthur Korn, chiefly responsible for bringing Modernism
to Germany and the UK, to connoisseurs of the late twentieth century including Terence Conran and Stephen Bayley and fashion designers including Paul Smith.
When Danish designer Gubi Olsen and his son Jacob Gubi, noticed the Bestlite lamp in a shoe
shop in Copenhagen, they knew instinctively that the lamp was special. After some research
they located the manufacturer and took a trip to Birmingham to trace the light’s heritage, where
they discovered that the once glorious Best & Lloyd factory now only had 15 employees left
in old and dated premises. The products and protocols had been wrapped in newspaper and it
was hard to find evidence of Best & Lloyd’s illustrious past. In 1994, the Best and Gubi families
signed an agreement that stated Gubi would take over the sales rights in Scandinavia; five years
on and the company acquired international rights to the manufacture of the Bestlite collection.
Adding 3 additional variants of the design to the collection, the Bestlite is now featured in the
permanent collections at the London Design Museum and the V&A, and has been used as a
symbol of understated design elegance in public establishments such as the Danish National
Theatre, the Wythe Hotel and the Crosby Street Hotel in New York. Bestlite is sold in the best
design shops worldwide, and a noble history has been revived, living out the vision that Robert
Dudley Best had once imagined.
Alex Tieghi-Walker is a London-based editor who writes about design, travel and gastronomy regularly for Wallpaper*,
NOWNESS and Protein. He is part of the team behind the Peckham Hotel, a new arts, culture and events space in South London, and also publishes A Tale of Three Cities, a journal celebrating young writers and photographers from London, Paris and
We’re on a Journey // page 40
We’re on a Journey // page 41
Bestlite porcelain
in a new light!
In 2013 Gubi will be adding a completely new
look and feel to the classic Bestlite – a porcelain shade. The new translucent and soft white
shade is made from casted porcelain. It gives
the lamp a softer, less centered light, creates a
whole new ambience and offers a wide range of
This page
Bestlite Brass Collection photo – Bestlite BL3 M, Kangourou Table
We’re on a Journey // page 42
We’re on a Journey // page 43
A Designers Perspective
boris berlin
A chat with partner in Komplot and a half of the design-duo Iskos-Berlin, Boris Berlin, about pushing the
boundaries and the importance of letting the materials speak for themselves.
Gubi Stool // Center Base
By Komplot Design
Your motto in Iskos-Berlin is “mobilis in mobile” which means
changing within the changes” or “movement within mobility”.
What does it mean to you?
You say you like to work with new technologies and materials,
to explore their impact on everyday objects. What comes first
the material or the actual design?
It means that we are aware of a world that moves- changes and we move as
well. We’ll at least try not to stop, to change and develop all the time.
Movement is life! There is, of course, also a connotation to the Danish word
for furniture which is mobile, möbel, møbel…
It is very difficult to distinct it that strictly. If when you say “actual design”,
you mean the result, how the object ends up looking, then I’ll say that it probably already exists somewhere inside as a premonition, as a dream. Then you
meet the material and suddenly the dream materializes in its shape and body.
How do you get from the initial idea to a prototype?
What do you mean when you say that the materials should
choose their own direction?
It depends on the idea. They are different – like children: Some are gentle
some stubborn and others refuse to eat well. The process is known – from
sketch to full scale drawing, full scale model and so on. In case of the Gubi
chair I think we were lucky – there were no backlashes and zig-zags.
But the technique was new and many tests had to be done. The initial idea was
clear and was never compromised, but to prove that it worked, a tool had to be
made, a real moulding tool milled in aluminum.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Gubi Chair // Center Base
By Komplot Design
Gubi Dining Table // Wooden Base
By Komplot Design
We’re on a Journey // page 44
We draw inspiration from everywhere, from dreams and art exhibitions to bins
of rejected items and waste in the manufacturing factories, from landscapes to
reviews of technological innovations.
We believe that through design history, many traditions within the field have
been preoccupied with the idea of total control over function, form, material
and so on. This striving for control of our surroundings is probably a typical
urge of Western culture, being both its principal strength and its greatest failing. Instead of fighting against “mistakes” by forcing the material to behave
“perfectly” (often against its nature), we choose to accept the way the material “wants” to behave, the way its nature tells it to move. But it demands a
paradigm shift, a change in our aesthetic point of view.
How does this apply to your latest designs for Gubi?
You’ll see soon. Komplot’s latest design for Gubi is a follow-up of an already
existing concept, the completion of it.
We’re on a Journey // page 45
An Iconic Retrospective
Jacques Adnet
French master of
the Decorative Arts
By Cedric Morriset
had Adnet arrived there than he made a name for
The architect and interior designer defined
himself as “innovative and classic, the champion himself by rejecting the established style, a move
that propelled him in 1927 to the directorship of
of a tradition looking to the future”.
the Compagnie des Arts Français, which had been
purchased by a shareholder of Galeries Lafayette.
“He was ahead of contemporary trends”, said
Alain-René Hardy of Adnet in the definitive monAs the successor of Süe and Mare, Jaques Adnet
ograph on the artist which he co-authored with
not only developed creations in a new “bourgeois
Gaëlle Millet (published by Editions de l’Amamodernist” style, but also audaciously invited
teur). For this expert on the decorative arts of the
collaborations from a number of major creators
20th century, Adnet was also always among the
of the period, including Charlotte Perriand, Jean
first artists to express new trends, proof of which
Puiforcat and numerous wallpaper artists.
can be seen in the various stages of his career.
In the 1920s, each great Parisian store had its
own design studio with its own name: the design
studio belonging to Printemps was called “Primavera”; the studio of Bon Marché, “Pomone”. At
the Galeries Lafayette, Maurice Dufrêne was the
artistic director of “La Maîtrise”. Adnet graduated from the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris in the
early 1920s, and came by chance into contact
with this well-known decorative artist, who gave
him an opportunity in the design studio. Scarcely
but also the first choice of new glass technologies.
“Jacques Adnet put these to good use”, recalled
Alain-René Hardy. He was one of the first artists to
employ coloured mirrors and the new architectural
glass, with which he created chairs and tubular
bedside tables. He also produced the mirrors and
small items of furniture entirely constructed of
silvered glass screwed to a frame which were to
make his name.
In the aftermath of a period of creation inspired,
under the influence of the Regionalist movement,
by ancient furniture – which can also be seen in
Adnet was an innovative thinker, but was also orig- the work of Charlotte Perriand (particularly in
her tripod stools and straw-bottomed chairs) – in
inal in his choice of form and materials, including
the post-war period, Adnet began to cover his
metal and glass. It was therefore natural that the
furniture with leather. Although a true member of
glass manufacturer and research company Saint
Gobain should commission him to design a pavilion the avant-garde in his time, the decorative artist
was not alone in employing this technique. While
dedicated to the material for the 1937 Exposition
Internationale des Arts et Techniques in Paris. The Jaques Quinet and Paul Dupré-Lafon produced
furniture covered in metal, throughout the 1950s
pavilion was as spectacular in its construction as
and 1960s, Jaques Adnet employed wood, bamboo
in its taste, and earned Jaques Adnet not only the
Grand Prix d’Architecture et d’Ensemble Mobilier, or a wide choice of coloured leather.
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We’re on a Journey // page 47
The quintessence of the “Adnet spirit”, the Adnet
Rectangulaire & Adnet Circulaire mirrors embody
both the creator’s passion for glass and the integration of leather that made his reputation. These
timeless mirrors, one circular with a leather strap and
the other rectangular and studded with the buckets
characteristic of his work, revive the talent of one of
the most revered French designers, whose perennial
and innovative work is still highly sought after.
We’re on a Journey // page 48
“This leather furniture has always been popular”,
explained Alain-René Hardy, “because it represents good taste and good style. The legend that
tells that Jaques Adnet had his furniture covered by
Hermès also undoubtedly contributed somewhat to
his success.”
With these designs being part of the Gubi collection, Adnet’s visionary work has now found its
We’re on a Journey // page 49
place among the best-known signatures of modern
design. The continuing story of a never-ending
Cedric Morisset, an Independent Journalist and Curator and
Design Consultant has been working in the field of interior
and product design as a design consultant for major companies in the world of luxury products, retail design and media.
In addition to his consulting business, Cédric Morisset also
work as a journalist for Le Figaro, AD France and L’Express.
Follow us on our journey ...
The zodiac sign of Pisces, which is also Gubi Olsen’s star sign and
very suitably depicts two “gubies” is one in a series of twelve zodiac
signs that Gudmund Olsen created in 1973. It has since 1990 been
the Gubi logo and in its own way symbolizes much of what the company stands for, as it is a nice historical reference as well as a tribute
to the Gubi design legacy.
We’re on a Journey // page 50