“Colours are generated from the passage of light through an atmosphere that carries different degrees of dullness” –  Aristotle apparently

This post has nothing to do with post holiday blues and the dullness of those long dark winter days – no really. This is an appreciation of Blue and how designers have used this incredible colour in its various shades and hues. Blue has long been associated with quality work. Far back into the Middle Ages the cost of  Ultramarine led to its use sparingly for the finest works, and so our association of Blue with quality began. 

Whether a luminous iridescent or a flat matt pigment designers have chosen a variety of shades to launch and promote new products in the past year. Starting from the lighter brighter blue from a spring morning (its January – I’m feeling hopeful!) down to a deeper day-into-night shade  


At the beginning of the year in Stockholm Ineke Hans chose to exhibit her Fly Chair  in a beautiful matt sky blue. Produced by Arco  its simple oak frame has been matt lacquered, allowing the form of the chair to been seen in varying shades.

At the same show Ligne & Roset displayed Confluences by Philippe Nigro seen here in a range of tonal blues.   Launched at IMM Cologne the interlocking yin yang design not only allows different arrangements but also posture settings for the different users.   


Quilt by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec was launched by Established & Son at Salone del Mobile Milan. Using a shade of blue that expresses the moment that day turns to night . Appropriately enough, the day I got to see this the chair had been taken over by a lady in her twilight years who just wouldn’t move. For anyone.

















At Design Miami/Basel 2009 designer Tomáš Gabzdil Libertiny of Studio Libertiny  The Bic Blue Cabinet. As the name suggests  Tomáš has used the ink from the ubiquitous Bic pen to colour his cabinet  not for him the finest most expensive natural pigment! That said though he hasn’t just coloured in an MDF cabinet and whacked on a bit of varnish. For 26,000 you get a handmade American Walnut cabinet, coated with Bic ink and hand-finished with French Polish; layer upon layer applied as you would to antique furniture. The combination of ink and polish give the cabinet an iridescence; a reminder of why this colour has been inspiring and intriguing artists for centuries. The finishing touches of gold plated hinges and Libertiny logo are hidden inside, there is no handle, it is a push to open system.

bic-closed-fullbic-open-fullAt the London Design Festival Benjamin Hubert chose blue for Splay his Coat stand for De La Espada. Seen here with all the other products this prolific new designer has launched in the last year.


And if you wanted to completely immerse yourself in blue, you could have visited the magical art installation Seizure by Roger Hiorns. Created by pumping 75,000 litres of copper sulphate into an abandoned council flat at letting the evaporating liquid form incredible blue crystals. It must have been quite some moment cracking open the seal to see if it had actually worked. Thankfully it had. Sadly the block and its crystal contents will be demolished – but then they said that last year…

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