Around the World in 80 Chairs: Colourful Hemp Chairs, London

Hemp Chairs by © Studio Aisslinger in Soho, London. Courtesy of 19 Greek Street.

Studio Aisslinger is based in Berlin and was founded by the German designer Werner Aisslinger. His works cover the spectrum of experimental, artistic approaches, including industrial design and architecture.

He seeks to use the latest technology in creating his designs and has helped introduce new materials and techniques to the world of product design. The stackable monobloc hemp chairs are made from hemp and kenaf, which are both renewable materials and have been designed for a lightweight eco friendly manufacturing process.


Around the World in 80 Chairs: Reversible Bench, London

Siri Bench by Claudia Moreira Salles | © Espasso. Courtesy of 19 Greek Street

Nahui Ollin – Unique Recycled Style

Nahui Ollin bags are made from recycled materials. Every bag is unique and is constructed from old sweet wrappers, newpapers, barcodes, magazines or bottle labels. Nahui Ollin is inspired by ancient South American traditions and mythology.

The bags are crafted using  ancient Mayan weaving techniques. It can take up to four thousand sweet wrappers and as long as four days for an individual artisan to make one bag.

Their unique process ensures that no two bags are the same and despite being made from paper wrappers and labels, they do stand the test of time and weather for tear-free, long-term durability.

Each bag is hand-made from around 1500 individual wrappers and follows a process of folding, weaving and sewing each one into place – sometimes taking up to three days to make. Being that the wrappers are put into place one at a time, each bag is produced in its own colour scheme and pattern, insuring that it is one-of-a-kind.

Although you may expect most Nahui Ollin bags to be colourful and cute, aimed more at young teenage girls than grown women, you’d be surprised at how diverse the range of bags are. There is a huge variety in shape, size and style of these unique bags, whether you are looking for an evening bag, a bag for grocery shopping or a smart bag to wear to the office.

Nahui Ollin is also the name given to a famous Mexican artist’s model Carmen Mondragon by Gerald Murillo (also known as Dr Atl) with whom she had an intense love affair. He named her after the symbol of Aztec renewal meaning “four movement” – the fifth and last epoch and the sun of earthquakes which will result in the extinction of the human race.

Carmen Mondragon also known as Nahui Ollin, this photo also shares a close resemblence to the Nahui Ollin logo.

“According to Mondragón’s own writings, Nahui Olin is a cosmogonic name that signifies the strength and the power of the movements that emit light, life and force.” The Fiery Spirit Of Carmen Mondragon

Nahui Ollin seek to remain ethical as well as sustainable in the production of their goods, ensuring they stick to Fair Trade and Sweatshop free practices in Mexico.

Their growing family of upcycling partners such as Tootsie, Disney, Hershey’s, pez, and Target has allowed them to create a cottage industry helping to support local artisans. The bags are a stylish alternative to the  handbags made by the big designers, they are ethical, sustainable  and you will be sure to have the only one of it’s kind as each bag is individual.

Around the World in 80 Chairs: Wall Chairs, Design Junction London

Chairs hanging on the wall at Design Junction, London. Part of the Design Festival 2012.

Design London: Lounge Lover Shoreditch

Photo courtesy of Lounge Lover

I recently had drinks in Lounge Lover in Shoreditch. After hearing people rave about it for several years I was surprised it was still so popular, as many bars have a relatively short life span. Just a short walk from Brick Lane and Shoreditch High Street, it’s tucked away in an old brick warehouse building on Whitby Street next to the popular fine dining restaurant Les Trois Garcons.

Photo courtesy of Lounge Lover

Lounge Lover opened after the owners of Les Trois Garcons – Hassan, Michel and Stefan decided to convert a defunct meat packing factory  into a stunning space in 2003. As soon as I walked in I realised why it’s charm and eccentric style was still attracting the fashion crowd after all these years. It’s almost like stepping into the world of Alice and Wonderland, away from the busy high street and cold East End streets.

Photo courtesy of Lounge Lover

When you step inside, a beautiful maze of hanging plants and draping materials welcomes you in, leading you to flamboyant sofas, red drapes and an abundance of surreal artwork. Antique street lamps line the bar and small wooden carousel horses hang from the ceiling looking over glass tables and plush chairs. The vibrant and colourful decor creates a perfect atmosphere for a night out or a post dinner drink. There is a huge range of exotic cocktails to choose from and if you’re feeling hungry, you can order tasty Japanese inspired tapas.

Photo courtesy of Lounge Lover

The long main room leads into a succession of themed areas such as the Cage featuring a large swan in its centre, the Dolls House which hosts a large hippos head at its entrance, as well as the Baroque and the Gold Room allowing guests to experience a range of different interiors.

Photo courtesy of Lounge Lover

The large oriental vases, antique wall hangings and mismatched chandeliers almost give the impression you are in a cave of raided vintage treasures. However the decor works exceptionally well and the colourful lighting adds to the extraordinary feel along with the very fitting electro lounge music.

Photo courtesy of Lounge Lover

Lounge Lover brings a taste of decadence and lasting style to Shoreditch, with its eclectic decor and delicious cocktails continuing to attract the fashion and celebrity crowd even after all these years.

Around the World in 80 Chairs: Hand Painted Chair, Grass Valley California

Hand painted chair outside a straw bale house in Grass Valley, Northern California.