Launched in 2016, SP01 is truly the epitome of a modern global design brand. Based in Australia, manufactured in Italy, and created in collaboration with designers from around the world, the design firm is making a name for itself through simple yet timeless pieces. And the company’s latest collaboration is no exception.
In partnership with Tim Rundle, SP01 has released a 10-piece collection that includes armchairs, tables, mirrors, and an ottoman. The line was previewed at Milan Design Week 2017, and balances a contemporary geometric aesthetic with Art Deco and Modernist influences. The combination of these two styles makes for a collection that feels both new and instantly classic—even one piece from the line is enough to make a statement.
Much like SP01, Rundle himself is a study in global design. A native of New Zealand, he now runs a London-based studio and based his collection for SP01 off of the design characteristics native to pre-WWII Sydney. Sleek, clean lines of metal are offset by rich jewel-tone fabrics and luxe materials. Some of the pieces come in neutral hues for anyone adhering to a more minimalist color palette, so there really is something for everyone.
Though if you are going to buy one thing, make it the Caristo Armchair. Easily the star of the collection, this re-interpretation of the classic retro wingback chair comes in more than 70 upholstery options for total customization and will lend a vintage feel to your living room decor.
The collection is on the pricier side: The ottomans start at $700 while the armchairs start at just over $2,000. That said, when you consider the expert craftsmanship and timeless design, they’re investment pieces worth splurging on. We spoke to Rundle to learn about how the collaboration came about, and what to expect from the line.
How did the partnership with SP01 come about?
A former colleague from Tom Dixon introduced me to Matt Lorrain, the Creative Director of SP01. We met at the Milan Furniture Fair shortly after I had started my studio, and discussed SP01’s plans for the new brand. They had recently launched their first collection, which was designed by Metrica, a highly respected Milanese design office, so I knew they were really serious. Shortly afterwards Matt got in touch with a brief for a new collection, and it all went from there.
Can you tell us about your design inspiration for the collaboration?
A key theme throughout the collection is the idea of taking classic furniture types and stripping them back to the essential, making them visually light in terms of the way they occupy a space. The Caristo Armchair, for example, could be viewed as our take on a classic wingback chair but with all the bulk removed, and poised on a lightweight frame. The Shu-Ying, on the other hand, is a version of a ‘tub chair’, the sort you see in hotel lobbies and bars, which are comfortable but compact.
How do you envision the furniture being used?
The pieces are designed to be suitable for both commercial spaces as well as homes, and are built to last. We’d love to see these pieces passed down through generations.
In what ways does the collection incorporate the pre-WWII architecture of Sydney?
While the collection is definitely not retrospective, it does acknowledge Sydney’s design history. For example, the silhouettes of the Michelle Mirrors have a graphic sensibility that draw from the arched forms common in Art Deco interiors, but are pared back and injected with functionality, such as the small side-table surface.
The modernist references actually draw on post-war Italian Modernism and the sense of optimism that was depicted through furniture designed with dynamic stances and bold silhouettes at the time.
Do you have a favorite item from the collection?
I’m really happy with how the Caristo armchair turned out. The bracket that connects the frame and the plywood shell was inspired by the simple, pragmatic technique of flattening the end of a steel tube to create a fixing point. We took this idea and refined it so that it would feel right on a high-end furniture piece.
Originally I thought we would have to cast a part to replicate the form, but working with the Italian manufacturers of the collection, we were able to recreate the technique in an honest way, allowing the natural behavior of the material to define the form.
The collection will be available to buy in the US via YLiving in early 2018. Until then, contact info@SP01design.com to purchase a piece directly from SP01, or check out any of the company’s US retail partners.
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