- Article by Madeleine Swain
Winter might be setting upon us, but that’s no reason to bunker down inside, especially with these pieces from Australian furniture company Interstudio.
Outdoor entertaining may not have an actual physical roof to go through, but there is no doubt that its popularity is soaring right now. The reasons couldn’t be simpler.
To begin with there is the sheer delight felt at being able to entertain at all, after months of isolation and catch-ups with family and friends strictly limited to video calls and social media contacts.
At the same time, what we now know about the virus and its transmission shows us that, while no environment is completely safe, outdoor settings are widely accepted as safer than enclosed indoor spaces in terms of disease transmission.
In a paper published by UK scientists in September 2020, the review findings showed that, when all other factors, such as numbers of people involved and their density, mask wearing and other behaviours are taken into account, “transmission of COVID-19 outdoors is a lower risk than indoors”.
The paper references a review of case reports of 7324 cases in China (Qian et al, 2020) and, out of them, only one transmission incident (comprising two cases) took place in an outdoor environment, following a conversation between two individuals.
So, with all this in mind, and with health and safety precautions adhered to, it’s time to fire up the barbie, stack the wood in your firepit and start locating some perfect furniture to welcome your outdoor guests or customers.
Once those guests begin to trip tentatively across your threshold again, what’s the first thing you’ll want to do with them? If you answered ‘eat, drink and be merry’, you’ll see why this furniture range is so perfectly suited to any occasion.
Designed by Chris L from BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) in Denmark for Skagerak its centrepiece is the Lilium table. A light but strong stainless steel frame with a tabletop comprising teak planks, placed lengthwise to enhance its expansive look, the table seats up to six comfortably and is a pleasure to use.
The range also includes the lounge table, perfect for supporting food and drinks, with its X-shaped frame and similarly sturdy appeal.
To seat your guests, you can opt for the elegant and admirably rustic chair, slightly wider and sturdier than traditional dining chairs, making it a robust choice for varying weather conditions, or there’s the bench. Beautifully versatile, the bench doubles as another lounge table – so you’ll always be prepared for those unexpected additions to the guest list.
With its familiar steel structure and steel ribboned seat, the Alo from Ondarreta is a wonderful combination of elegance and lightness. Available as the new Alo Outdoor or the larger Alo XL, the chair is available in a range of epoxy colours, is fully stackable and has the option of a padded cushion.
While it’s always a pleasure to entertain, it’s even better when you can do so sustainably. Designed by Jasper Morrison, the Reclaimed chair is suited to indoors and out, and is a terrific addition to Emeco’s popluar 1 Inch family.
With a simple shape and the refined uniformity of a single material, it shows the importance of the material and engineering of a chair when it comes to sustainability and great design. Industrial waste makes up 90 percent of it, 75 percent of which is waste polypropylene and 15 percent waste wood fibre. A one-piece mono-block stackable chair, it comes in a wide range of colours including green and ochre red.
Plus Air lounge
Pedrali’s space age designs herald from its use of rotational moulding technology, seen to great effect in the Plus seating range. The Air sofa is a natural evolution of the Plus chair and comes in two versions, both of which are suitable for indoor and outdoor use. Making them especially weather friendly, there is a large water drain hole, plus a handle to facilitate easy moving.
Available in grey, red or white, the sofa also has cushions, which are available separately.
Reform table and bench
Reunions, reacquaintances, repasts… Reform. Designed by Skagerak, this bench and table are also beautifully versatile pieces of furniture. Suitable for indoor or outdoor use, the bench makes an equally clever plant stand, with its strategically placed long, thin grooves for water run-off when it rains.
The contrast between the wood and aluminium metal detail give a pleasingly light touch to the aesthetics, and both table and bench come in two sizes to accommodate. Bring on the guests!
Lead image: The Plus Air lounge set.
We recently caught up with Interstudio owner and ADR friend Michele Kearney to chat about how designers should approach public space design in 2021.