Dezeen Magazine

Nendo and Luca Nichetto join Claesson Koivisto Rune's Smaller Objects brand

Stockholm 2016: a range of international names have created products for a label created by Swedish architecture and design studio Claesson Koivisto Rune, which offers designers an alternative to the traditional royalty model (+ slideshow).

The latest products added to the Smaller Objects range of "useful everyday objects" will earn their designers 75 percent of the wholesale price, which is significantly more than the standard royalty of five per cent or less.

Products include a set of white ceramic coffee cups called Little Big Ear by Italian designer Luca Nichetto.

Prolific Japanese studio Nendo has contributed a notebook with a design based on traditional Japanese bookbinding. Each page has L-shaped perforations along its sides that can be folded out to created indexes.

Smaller Objects by Claesson Koivisto Rune
Smaller Objects changes the way designers bring their products to market, giving them a larger percentage of the profit

A soup bowl originally created by Swedish designer Ingegerd Råman for the now-closed Stockholm Japanese restaurant One Happy Cloud in 1997 has been revived for the collection. The stoneware bowl is finished with a matt anthracite glaze and is produced by Swedish manufacturer Gustavsberg.

"The inside of the rim has an in-fold to serve as a support to help grip food-like noodles with your chopsticks," explained Råman.

Smaller Objects by Claesson Koivisto Rune
The Little Big Ear espresso cups by Luca Nichetto have a closed handle that fits the grip of the thumb and index finger

Smaller Objects aims to revolutionise the way designers bring their products to market, by allowing them to act more entrepreneurially.

Designers producing items for the Smaller Objects label will finance the manufacturing themselves, while the label will sell the products.

Smaller Objects by Claesson Koivisto Rune
Nendo has also added to the collection with a notebook based on traditional Japanese bookbinding

"It's a new era, demanding new business models and new methods of working," Claesson Koivisto Rune co-founder Ola Rune told Dezeen last week. "Smaller Objects see the designer as an entrepreneur, active not only in the designing but also in the development and business processes."

Other new objects in the Smaller Objects collection include the transparent Phantom containers by Japanese designer Jin Kuramoto, made for a hall or bedside table to hold keys, small change and other small items.

Smaller Objects by Claesson Koivisto Rune
One Happy Cloud revives the 1997 soup bowl by Swedish designer Ingegerd Råman

Kuramoto wanted to make something as light as possible, so investigated a type of heat-pressed polyester mesh originally used for producing oil filters of car engines and also used by the food industry for sifting flour.

"I really saw some design possibilities in this up-until-now solely industrial product," said Kuramoto.

Smaller Objects by Claesson Koivisto Rune
Jin Kuramoto's transparent containers, called Phantom, use heat-pressed polyester mesh to create a lightweight container

A range of pillows covered with textile patterns based on city maps, have been designed by Giulio Cappellini, art director of the Italian design brand Cappellini.

Claesson Koivisto Rune has also added four of its own new designs to the brand's range. A pair of iron trivets, with one that fits inside the other, are based on hotplates from 19th-century wood-burning iron stoves.

Smaller Objects by Claesson Koivisto Rune
Patterns on the Putino pillow by Giulio Cappellini reference city maps

A wine cooler is made from soapstone to complement the collection's existing soapstone coasters. The material is able to retain heat – or cold – meaning that the wine cooler can be left in the fridge or freezer overnight and then used without ice or cold water.

A hat stand made from ash wood and a leather luggage tag are also among the new additions.

The Smaller Objects brand was conceived of by Claesson Koivisto Rune to produce "the useful everyday objects that we want for ourselves".

Smaller Objects by Claesson Koivisto Rune
Claesson Koivisto Rune have added four of their own designs to the collection, including a pair of iron trivets

The first Smaller Objects collection was launched during 2015's Stockholm Design Week, with eight objects designed by Claesson Koivisto Rune including the soapstone coasters and a metal garden torch.

The trio unveiled the new business model for the brand last week.

Designers creating items for Smaller Objects have to develop their products themselves and don't get paid until the objects are sold.

Smaller Objects by Claesson Koivisto Rune
A soap stone wine cooler extends the studios's existing coaster collection, which are made from the same material

"Part of our terms is that the designers don't receive any advances," explained Rune.

"Rather the designer takes the initial investment costs and deals with the manufacturers throughout the process in order to arrive at an attractive product at the right price. Smaller Objects keeps in close contact with the designer, discussing the costs included, estimated price levels from wholesale to store price, etc."

Smaller Objects by Claesson Koivisto Rune
An ash wood hat stand is named after the Panama hat

All of the objects are available from the Smaller Objects website, and a growing network of specialist retailers, which include Austere in Los Angeles, Sempre in Tokyo, and Asplund in Stockholm.

Smaller Objects by Claesson Koivisto Rune
The Saddler's Tag is made from the same leather used for horse riding and can have details embossed on the circular label

Founded in Stockholm in 1995, Claesson Koivisto Rune started out as an architecture office but has since branched out into all aspects of design, including furniture, lighting, interiors and electronics. Recent projects include the Inde/Jacobs art gallery in Marfa, Texas and the Cover collection of chairs and tables for Teknion.