The Israeli design studio Sfog specialise in reusing and recycling of abandoned and forgotten objects found in warehouses, streets and flea markets. Their functionality is altered in the process to create new contexts and uses.
The studio’s creations range from unique, one of a kind items, series and interior design. Each work is handcrafted and tells its own individual story, thus revealing the fine line between art and design.
“This approach allows us to address design with an open mind, challenging art with functionality.”
Studio Sfog enjoy working in the spirit of bricolage, referring to Claude Levi Strauss’ book “The Science of the Concrete” where Strauss describes this as
“the infinite, improvisational recombination of a fixed series of elements by the designer improviser with tools not intended originally for the purpose in front of him”.
While both Yotam and Gidi hold a degree in design from two of the top schools in Israel, and keep up to date with the latest design styles and strategies, they choose not to solely rely on the standard techniques and tools available to the classic designer.
They prefer instead to focus on logic and self-study inside and outside of the studio.
“We let our work process guide the design and set its mark on the final product. This enables us to show the beauty and sophistication of the design solutions and reveal a new narrative from the original objects.”
Islington is home to numerous vintage shops and stalls. I love to stroll down Camden Passage at the weekend and search through the little shops and antique dealers for a unique piece or a bargain. However Camden Passage is not the only place you can find vintage furniture in Islington. Walking along Essex Road past the Criterion Auction House you come to a more contemporary furniture shop.
Fandango has been based in Islington for the last 15 years, sourcing 20th century retro furniture and working with interiors designers.
The shop is a triangular shape and the small space is crammed with furniture, lights and mirrors. I wait outside on a blue bench made of metal piping. As I wait to take a peek inside I am joined by others waiting to take a browse around, I’m glad it’s a nice and sunny.
After some people come out of the shop I finally get to speak to the owner, John, who tells me how he got into the furniture business. John started collecting pieces for his own house, going to car boot sales and flea markets. While travelling in continental Europe he discovered his love for vintage 20th century design.
Since 2009 Fandango has also been representing the East London Art Collective Chish & Fips and their Neon Works.
So when you are next in Islington it may be worth treading off the beaten track onto Essex Road to have a look at what you can find.