They’re such familiar items but very few of us have any idea how long they’ve been around. We found them at Ambiente in a really wide range of settings – design classics that keep pace with the spirit of the times, and have done so for decades. We love them and they continually give us pleasure, whether in their original form or updated for today’s fashions. On our Ambiente Blog we present three timeless iconic classics that are guaranteed to raise the pulse of design fans of all ages.
Say it with design
Weddings, births, graduation ceremonies or birthdays – the list of happy events is almost endless. On the hunt for inspiration and the right present, we not only discovered some great gift ideas, we also – to our huge delight – found ourselves delving into the history of design. On a fascinating trip through the world of consumer goods at Ambiente we came across high-quality designs and products to give to our nearest and dearest, or possibly even buy for ourselves!
Wooden monkey conquers the world
The wooden monkeys of Danish designer Kay Bojesen seem to be everywhere these days. They pop up in fashionable households and in lifestyle and interior design magazines. We see them singly or in packs, always good natured, hanging from picture frames or lamps, sitting on desks or peering at us mischieviously from bedside tables. Their ubiquitous presence is remarkable and has sparked our interest in these cheeky chaps made from teak and limba wood.
Bojesen, who trained as a silversmith with Georg Jensen, also designed wooden toys from the 1920s onwards. The famous monkey first saw the light of day in 1951 and quickly made its way from the children’s bedroom into the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Over the following six decades it has become a popular collectors’ item and was described by Wallpaper magazine as the “embodiment of Danish design”. An illustrious career for this little animal, which comes in three sizes. Since 1990, the entire collection of Bojesen wooden animals has been manufactured by the Rosendahl Design Group in collaboration with the Bojesen family.
The other equally cute members of the collection – dachshund, rabbit, hippo, bear and elephant – have never quite achieved the iconic status of the monkey. Although they also show the ability of Kay Bojesen to breathe life into wood, it is the monkey with its humour and vitality that remains the real star of the ensemble. Children and adults alike have long been delighted by these high-quality, handmade wooden figures – as playthings or cheerful decorations. For us, the little monkey is clearly one of those perfect gifts and is still completely on trend today.
Balance and precision in a simple case are the qualities that characterise the Henning Koppel wristwatch collection, a new edition of which was launched by Georg Jensen in 2014. The Koppel watch was revolutionary when it debuted in 1978 with its innovative replacement of numbers with simple dots. The response at the time was extremely positive and the restrained, minimalist design is still very popular. The Koppel watch, particularly the black version, soon became known as the “Architect’s Watch” and has become a symbol for high-class understatement. The new collection is virtually unchanged from the original and the models are available with a selection of dials and updated straps. We are in agreement: Many youngsters might well be prepared to study a bit harder for their exams if there was the prospect of receiving one of these watches.
The simple wall clocks and alarm clocks from the same design line also inspired us. We immediately thought of lots of occasions for which one of these products could be nicely gift-wrapped. The three reinterpretations of the Koppel wall clock from Copenhagen design studio ‘All The Way To Paris’ struck us as particularly charming and also somewhat more feminine. The designers have combined old patterns and colours from the Georg Jensen archive with the original clock design and have succeeded in creating a very fresh and contemporary item that – if truth be told – we’d ideally like to buy for ourselves.
For more warmth
Stelton vacuum jugs have long decorated coffee tables and kitchen shelves. Launched in 1977 under the simple name EM77, they have been one of the most popular products of the Danish company for nearly forty years. Each spring and autumn it is clothed in new trend colours, which is one reason why we feel that Erik Magnussen’s kitchen classic is the perfect present. In stainless steel or robust ABS plastic, the slim jug combines easily with different styles and makes an elegant eyecatcher anywhere. With its captivatingly timeless and simple design and widely acclaimed functionality, it’s no wonder that it has found its way into more and more offices. The non-drip rocker stopper ensures ease of handling with no spills. To pour coffee or tea the jug only needs to be tilted and then closes securely once placed upright again, keeping the contents warm. Whether as a wedding or birthday gift, we agree that you can’t go wrong with this jug.