Fiona Flores Watson

Fiona Flores Watson covers Places & Spaces for EcoSalon and currently resides in Seville, Spain.

Articles by Fiona Flores Watson:

Elsewhere in Scandinavia, Caroline Olsson’s Artisan Inspired Lamps

Caroline Olsson’s Turn light, inspired by artisan craft in her native Norway.

We’ve often featured Scandinavian creativity on EcoSalon, but it’s usually Danish or Swedish. Now the Norwegians are claiming their portion of the design smörgåsbord.

At this year’s London Design Festival, a whole separate space was dedicated to designers from Norway. One of these was Caroline Olsson, whose pieces are beautiful, simple and functional; modern, but referencing tradition.

The Amazing Sprouting Swing Lends New Meaning to ‘Vertical’ Gardening

Grow with the flow in this greened swing by Dutch designer Marcel Wanders.

There’s a delicious feeling of freedom one gets from swinging backwards and forwards on the momentum of a swing and as far as garden swings go, this one is a floral, fragrant gem. Called Swing with the Plants, it was designed for Amsterdam-based design collective Droog.

An Eco House That Floats (Our Boat)

Sanitov Studio’s Inachus sustainable floating home sets the standard for the 21st-century houseboat.

Contemporary design, technology and eco-consciousness have never been closely associated with houseboats. Or luxury, indeed. More like canals with murky water and damp, cramped interiors – although admittedly, living on water has become trendier in recent years.

The Inachus arrives like a ship from another planet: a sleek, intelligent vessel which has every possible feature to minimize its impact on the environment. Created by London-based Sanitov Studio, it was launched at the UK capital’s Design Festival earlier this month. Over the summer, the boat formed part of the Danish Olympic pavilion on the Thames; Sanitov says it was influenced by Danish design. They see it as part of a future floating community – a fleet of super-smart ships.

Sit on This! Jean Nouvel’s Eco Emeco Chair

 Jean Nouvel’s So-So chair for Emeco is durable eco-design – made using the same process as chairs for the U.S. Navy.

At Paris Design Week recently, Jean Nouvel previewed his new collection: the So-So for Emeco. With a history of working alongside world-famous architects and designers, the U.S. chair company has previously collaborated with Frank Gehry, Sir Norman Foster and Philippe Starck.

The Sorapot: A Transparent Way to Brew Tea

The Sorapot is a transparently beautiful way to serve tea – as long as it’s not made with unsightly bags.

Over the past few years, tea has gone from a drink best known as beloved by the English in the afternoon, and the Japanese and Chinese at ceremonies, to a dizzying array of healthy, invigorating/relaxing/detoxifying infusions: green, yellow, rooibos, jasmine, chai, mint, camomile, ginseng.

And teapots have gone from simple ceramic structures to pieces of contemporary design in themselves. The Sorapot is an architectural shape made of stainless steel and pyrex, a simple form which allows you to watch the age-old brewing process. As the designer, Joey Roth, puts it: “It articulates the ritual of tea making in a thoroughly modern way.”

A Statement Bin That Blends Manmade & Natural Materials

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Is it plastic? Is it natural fiber? These mini-bins are both – and are handmade by indigenous tribes in the Philippines.

Nature vs. man-made can make for a strange visual juxtaposition, as evidenced by these mini-basket-bins, hybrid trash cans that fuse cutting-edge vision with traditional artisan craft. They’re made for Areaware whose pieces always offer a left-field take on everyday objects (realistic pig sculpture money banks, vases made of coiled rope, banana-bunch fruit bowls) .

Old School & Still Desirable Objects of Use

Objects of Use features beautifully-crafted vintage-style tools and furniture. Like grandma’s but more chic.

In this technicolor age where every conceivable item in your house and garden, from cleaning to tech gadgets to tools, comes in screamingly loud shades and busy patterns – and often (although, thankfully and increasingly less so) made of plastic – a bit of aesthetic simplicity and craftsmanship solidity come as a soothing tonic.

A Word to the iPad: Strap Your Leathers On

Upcycled leather is sexy and eco-conscious, especially when it matches your jacket/boots.

Many products are recycled. Like paper, plastic, concrete and wood; even the Olympic swimsuits worn by the ab-tastic U.S. swim team have been made into dresses. Industry produces leftovers. With fabrics, for example, think about all the scraps that end up in the trash after a pattern’s been cut out. The leather trade is no different.