Atelier Forever / Shanghai Plus One

Visions of a Future Now


Above: From Atelier Forever‘s Hybrid Collection. These simple pieces radiate something new despite their awkward familiarity. These struck me as somehow similar in feeling to some sketches I made some time ago. These simple glasses are an inspiration for even more typographic hybrids. Here are some of mine from around 2000. Show me yours?


Above: Letraset tÿpø forms. I used to make hundreds of these. Ja, Kameraden! Ficciones Typografika.

I feel these crystal forms are kindred spirits, if only in thinking about the possibilities of the future. These simple glasses radiate an awkward beauty, and speak volumes about essential human concerns: for utility, beauty, and social lubricants.


Above: More samples from Forever‘s exciting laboratory. A full service design studio, they excel at product and interiors, but have also ventured into graphic projections.
Is this the new China? I feel there is a hint of proletarian tongue-in-cheek subversion to these forms that is delightful.


Above: Samples from Forever‘s graphic work.

All in all, a lovely morning out there in the garden of global design. What optimism these glasses and forms project! See also another international duo setting up shop in Shanghai, DesignRepublic.


Above: From their Moooi Collection. Leather replaces velvet in this old made new design. What does a customer see in this chair? Western elegance and
modern to the touch?

From their about page: Design Republic stands for a new birth of life and style. At its foundation, it is a republic of life – life that creates meaning and understanding through its relationship to objects of habitation. We seek to explore the relationship between people and the simple objects they use in life – a plate, a teacup, a chair; it is here where we discover the beauty of everyday life.”

I know they are marketing away here, but a fascinating twist on the idea of a republic, non? Consider the location especially and what this means about what these designers think about their market in Shanghai and beyond. Interesting choices.

If you are not in this market now, is it already to late? Apropo gardens, anyone working with Chinese characters is a true gardener of typographic forms.

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