Designers on your doorstep
As many are aware, the interior space of contemporary homes is either decreasing or in a constant state of change, as is the case for some renters. The Oubre Coat Stand, primarily designed for the hallway, possesses a small footprint and medium weight, enabling users to move and place this particular item, with little to no burden, in varying places to suit their spatial needs. The Oubre is a playful take on the classic coat stand. The complimentary warm tones of American (US) walnut and brass help to enrich the space Oubre sits in, providing a place for items such as keys, coats, umbrellas and hats, which all need their own home. Finally, the Oubre is an exercise in asymmetry, comprised of three sections and a base, enhanced by varying functional components and complementary materials. The slender pill-shaped form of the coat stand informs other parts, such as the hand-formed, cantilevered brass holster for a crook handle or wrist strapped umbrella. The coat stand also consists of two wood-turned hangers juxtaposed on each face, and a brass key-drop bowl, achieved via metal spinning.
IMAGE > Bolaji Teniola, Oubre Coat Stand, 2021, American black walnut, 190 x 60 x 30 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.
Not for sale
In a way, I've been lucky to be physically going in for work, so this has undoubtedly helped me maintain some level of sanity. However, my treks to work have been somewhat sombre as the streets at times seem eerily quiet.
But, in this quietness, I've been able to refocus on my surroundings and take in details I usually wouldn't, which have the potential of re-emerging as inspiration for future projects. Like everyone else, I haven't been able to attend exhibitions, galleries, and other events. Still, this period of stasis has been a gentle reminder that design is a global endeavour, allowing me the chance to tune into talks and online shows in other parts of the globe at a higher rate than I would have in the past.
The lack of access to a workshop put me in a state of inactivity. At first, it was something I was worried about, but I've since made my peace with it as it has given me a chance to slow things down. However, there are moments when I feel the need to work on an idea or tinker away to figure something out. Even though I can spend time thinking, sketching and making scale models, I've developed a deeper appreciation of the realisation a 1:1 model or prototype offers during the design process. There's more than a few concepts I'd like to get out of my head, so I'm looking forward to the day I can get into a workshop again.
I've noticed some quirky architecture during my walkabouts around town. Not sure if I can call them 'design gems', but they're definitely interesting, and I guess, unique in their own way. What draws me towards these structural forms is the use of curves, lines, colour and angles, which I haven't encountered with other exterior architecture. It's always refreshing to see new ways of utilising design principles and elements.
My favourite room would have to be a space in my house, which isn't quite a study or living room. Instead, I like to think of it as a kind of mini showroom for the re-upholstered furniture my housemate has completed. From time to time, each piece of furniture is swapped out for another, changing the composition of the room. For me, it's a space I like to use as a study, but it also serves as another source of inspiration because I like how furniture has the power to change the look and feel of a room. Of course, it also doesn't hurt that it's used as extra storage when needed.
My glass plant mister, for now, is one of my favourite items of design in my house. The form of this vessel looks so interesting to me. If I'm honest, many types of intricate blown glass fascinate me, and it's something I'd like to learn. Additionally, the functionality and componentry of the mister are equally impressive, but maybe that's the Industrial designer part of me kicking in. Most importantly, it provides my plants with humidity and helps me not over-water them.
I think some of my lockdown meals have been a little too experimental to share, but, like most, I did play around with some cocktail recipes, and they've turned out alright. One that I'm particularly proud of has been the amaretto sour I whip up occasionally.
It's a straightforward cocktail that's equal parts sweet and sour, consisting of lemon juice, sugar syrup, egg white or aquafaba (the liquid leftover from cooked chickpeas), ice, and, you guessed it, amaretto.
I shake it all up, strain, splash on some bitters and garnish with a lemon wedge using a lemon from my lemon tree.