A most contemporary Karakter

Danish brand Karakter launches its debut collection by distinctive and diverse designers – including South Africa's own Anatomy Design.

Danish newcomer Karakter has unveiled its first collection with a lineup of furniture and products by a diverse crew of established and upcoming international designers. The driving forces behind the first collection, launched at Euroluce 2015, are Joe Colombo from Italy and Aldo Bakker from the Netherlands – who bring distinctly different design personalities to the lifestyle brand.

Joe Colombo represents functional, accessible design – as seen in his Il Kilometre multi-purpose shelving system. Made of wood and aluminium using various modules that slide on racks, it was inspired by a field trip the late designer made to Scandinavia in the 1960s. “The idea in itself should be uncompromising. Design should originate from a genuine desire to create or solve a problem – not a desire to sell,” says Karakter's CEO and partner, Christian Elving.
Aldo Bakker relishes organic shapes and high-impact showpieces that push their use of materials. The minimal wood construction of his Swing chair mimics the act of sitting down on a swing. Skeletal but resilient, one u-shaped piece of maple wood balances on two similar upturned pieces.
Bakker's Urushi table is a sculptural reference to tree trunks. The table’s chunky profile changes from each angle as you walk around it. The tapering legs are for example only visible from the front view. The legs can be moved independently of the tabletop to create a table of many different shapes. The mushroom-like Urushi stool consists of an upright, vertical shape and a flat, horizontal shape.
Guillaume Delvigne’s Bronco stool calls to mind a saddle. Through the fluidity of its form and its T-shaped structure, it has a robust, accessible and likeable identity. First produced by design company Super-ette, Bronco stool is now part of Karakter’s collection.
Bowl No1 by PlueerSmitt consists of two shapes. The top part is a ceramic dome into which a rectangular shape has been inserted to function as a handle. It forms the lid to a small bowl that serves as a storage place for small treasures.
South Africa’s own Andrea Kleinloog and Megan Hesse of Anatomy Design contributed the Awkward floor lamp. It looks slightly off-kilter but has been carefully proportioned with a somewhat nervous balance. The light can illuminate two areas in close proximity; two sides of a sofa or both an armchair and a desk. It was crucial to the design to keep all elements as delicate as physics could possibly allow.
PlueerSmitt’s Side Table No.2 consists of two stripped-down trestles and a bottom-heavy table top. Indents in the billowing underside of the table provide space for the sharp ends of the trestles to lock the legs and the top together. With shapes that look familiar one minute and confusing the next, this table challenges the viewer’s expectations.
These vases by Milia Seyppel were inspired by industrial architecture, machinery, and tools for mass fabrication. They are all straight lines and pure shapes. With a velvety soft surface reminiscent of concrete or stone, each vase carries different colour marks on the surface and irregular glazing on the inside – a clash of craft and industrial fabrication.