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Call it second nature. The design team behind the Funghi went into the woods for inspiration for their free-floating wood shelves. What emerged in the curved ash shapes was a stylized reimagining of the curious mushrooms that grow horizontally out of the trees. In 3 different sizes and 3 varied shades, the shelves are just as striking on their own or clustered.
"It's about creating aesthetically pleasing designs that evoke true feelings,” Menu founder Bjarne Hansen told the online magazine Lonny, “as well as improving processes in people's daily lives.” Ranging from tabletop objects to bath fixtures to lighting and furniture, the Danish brand’s pursuit of "soft minimalism" involves collaborations with designers from all over the world. The company’s guiding spirit is a quest for functional originality—with each product having either a new purpose, incorporating a new material or utilizing a new production method.
Menu is just as dedicated to responsible manufacturing as it is innovation. Working to locate new partners in developing countries around the world, the company searches out local factories or small private co-operations to turn out high quality goods and also provide a better economic foundation for the people involved in that production. "We’re passionate about design, new materials and clever details," say the folks at Menu, "and we dream about making a difference."
With the unique appellation Gridy—taken from combining their 2 names—these young Oslo-based designers are making their mark with elegantly streamlined designs, always delivered with a defining wink. Gridy, a.k.a. Lars Olav Dybdal and Wilhelm Grieg Teisner, first connected as undergrads at the Bergen Academy of Arts and Design. Lars Olav followed up with a master's degree from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen while Wilhelm gained his from the Oslo School of Architecture and Design.
Specializing in furniture, product and spatial design, the designers say they draw their working inspiration from everyday life, with the aim to create simple, functional solutions with a strong personality. In the process, they've been recognized at several international design shows. Lars Olav perhaps unwittingly summed up their philosophy when he was recently asked who was his childhood hero. The answer? "MacGyver! The way he solved problems by using his creativity and built stuff with what he had at hand."