The Best in Design, From Armani Casa and Louis Vuitton to Miele and Kohler
Sustainability is the thing in design and architecture these days, but it’s not enough simply to tout environmental consideration while creating—we want to know how.
BY Christina Ko  |  December 28, 2023
9 Minute Read

Illustration by Shout


Sustainability is the thing in design and architecture these days—duh. But nowadays, it’s not enough to tout that one has considered our environment and resources while creating buildings and interiors—we want to know how.

Urban planning for energy efficiency has become the standard rather than the exception, but no longer is it simply the purview of the building architect to uphold a sustainability benchmark.

On the inside, a circular approach to furnishings extends the responsibility to interior architects and designers—and the consumer, too. It’s an approach that local firm Editecture now espouses in all of its projects, large and small, but it makes sense in particular in short-term pop-up projects that are de rigueur in the likes of shopping centres and public plazas.

“Circular design is a design system that generates and minimises wastage,” says Editecture co-founder Jacqueline Chak. When applied, it “creates reusable, durable, or recyclable products or design that generate zero wastage to help fulfil and support a circular economy.

“In a fast-paced city like Hong Kong, all clients and brands want something fast, new, and unique, which could, in a way, create and generate so much wastage in the design and construction industry. Our mission and responsibility as an architect and designer is to help provide design solutions that can make a positive impact in these situations. With all the projects that we do nowadays, we will begin with the angle of circularity to provide clients with that option, so they can understand that what they would like to create or build can potentially make a positive impact—instead of vice versa.”

As an example, Chak cites the set-up created for an annual floral-themed fair at Tai Kwun, “In Bloom 2023”—designed and created within a six-week timeline. 18 retail and F&B booths were erected under a canopied outdoor marketplace, with the retail booths and planter partitions, made from upcycled plastic and FSC-certified timber, designed to be repurposed and donated to the community, including NGOs, schools, and subdivided homes. Glowing floral installations were also created from upcycled plastic, and Chak notes that “95 per cent of what was built [was] reused or donated, effectively bridging those who are more privileged with Hong Kong’s underserved communities.” In fact, doing so creates a further type of circular economy. Furthermore, through a sister brand, Edit Academy, the firm has also designed workshops for children to push this concept to the next generation.

In June 2023, the Netherlands, the partner country for this year’s Knowledge of Design Week, joined a conference programme of panels, talks, and workshops under the title “The Power of Design: Innovating for a Circular World,” which heavily espoused circular design and explored its application in buildings, everyday products, and fashion. A key event in the design calendar, it allowed for global idea and trend exchanges, with design powerhouses—Dutch, Chinese, and from all nations—agreeing that besides being planet-friendly, a circular-design economy reduces costs, anticipates needs for resources, standardises products, and extends customer loyalty, leading towards the obvious and inevitable conclusion: More than a trend, circular design is and should be here to stay.



Babylone Collection by Aurélie Bidermann

French jewellery designer Aurélie Bidermann collaborated with Christofle for a collection of home d.cor and jewellery wares inspired by Rue de Babylone in Paris, the happening street that has since the 17th century been home to artists and other persons of repute, living in beautiful classical homes with walls that could tell stories of revelry and joie de vivre. It is a place where bon vivants come together to enjoy life—and that is the point of view of this new Christofle collection, which exhibits a sophisticated yet unserious tastefulness, manifested in brioche-style braids that decorate each piece and tie the family together.

Our favourites include the cool silver tumblers with their braided bases, perfect porcelain plates edged in the same pattern, ornate napkin rings, and bracelet cuffs and chunky rings that show it’s totally okay—awesome, even—to match your dinnerware.


Louis Vuitton

Objets Nomades Mirror Bomboca

Wildly inappropriate, totally fantastical, and probably quite uncomfortable—yet the Mirror Bomboca sofa by Campana Brothers for Louis Vuitton’s Objets Nomades series is undoubtedly a showstopper. A new rendition of the original, this reflective version celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Objets Nomades collection, and as Humberto Campana states, “It feels celebratory, like a party.”

A party, indeed—the idea is more sculpture than function, though it’s a comfortable sculpture, the designer insists. This two-seater with removable cushions (also available for four, or in the previous colourways) is designed like a puzzle with interlocking pieces, and could be placed alongside the Cocoon, a swinging egg-shaped chair with a disco-ball finish that is, if possible, even more “extra” than this candy-inspired creation (the bomboca is a sweet served at weddings and kids’ parties in Brazil)—and boy, are we here for it. If silver on silver is too much for your living room, don’t worry—the Cocoon comes in sheep’s fur, too, for a warmer touch.



19 Degree Aluminium in Dark Denim

Luggage is luggage is luggage—or is it? As you’re dragging your four-wheeled trunk across the airport to catch your connecting flight, you’ll know the difference. When the sea of suitcases hits the revolving carousel at the airport and your silver aluminium hard-shell is one of a hundred, you’ll know the difference. That’s when you’ll truly appreciate owning Tumi’s 19 Degree suitcases in 2023’s brand-new colourway: dark denim. Other new hues include a slate-blue texture, blush-navy liquid print, hunter green, deep plum, and red, but our heart is with this bright cerulean, which is sophisticated and carved from post-industrial recycled material with a PET lining, making it a responsible choice along with a practical one. Get the matching set with the International Expandable Four-Wheeled Carry-On and the Extended Trip Expandable Four-Wheeled Packing Case—we promise you, they’re the smoothest wheels in the industry.

Industrial Design

Kohler x SR_A

Formation 01 Faucet

If you believed faucets to be purely purpose-built, think again. With this abstract and minimalist collaboration with design firm SR_A, helmed by Samuel Ross, Kohler is flipping faucet design on its head, proposing it as an object that puts the “fun” in “functional.”

In and of itself, the colour—Haptic Orange, echoing Kohler’s groundbreaking 1967 hue called Tiger Lily—is a talking point, but the shape of the faucet also creates an entirely new design language for water provision, profoundly pushing the boundaries when it comes to material and form.

The Formation 01 faucet is created from a proprietary material called Neolast that is exclusive to Kohler, which allows for a dramatic shape as well as for the high colour saturation. A rocker-style handle confirms the modernity of the design, with custom water channels created to allow water to flow seamlessly despite the sharp, angular form.

Let’s put it this way: Kohler and SR_A’s deconstructed, future-forward tap marks the first time we’ve looked at a faucet and said… wow. Just wow.



Tale Tarot Cards

Despite the global dive into wellness and spirituality in the last few years, Armani/Casa may be the first luxury brand to tap into this trend by releasing its own tarot card deck, interestingly as part of the accessories in its first all-outdoor furniture collection, but then again, what’s a summertime garden party without a little bit of white magic?

The Tale tarot deck is luscious to the touch, with cards edged in gold that feature models posing as classic major and minor arcana tropes: a young woman in a bronzed ballgown and layers of jewellery represents L’Imperatrice (The Empress), while L’Imperatore—The Emperor—is a fine Italian stallion clad in a classic Armani liquid silver dinner jacket, with sceptre in hand and throne at his back. To keep the cards energetically cleansed, the Tara palo santo and burning dish are chic accompaniments.

Built-in Kitchen


We have a soft spot for the kind of kitchen that we imagine might be used by Batman in his Batcave, and this slick obsidian outfit checks all the boxes.

It’s part of Miele’s ArtLine series, characterised by full-surface glass fronts with integrated displays, plus an absence of handles, featuring Touch2Open technology that allows doors to spring open with a tap of the control panel—futuristic stuff that we’re sure the Caped Crusader would approve of. All of your favourite appliances are neatly and inconspicuously tucked away, including ovens or combi-steam ovens, microwave ovens, built-in coffee machines, hob units, warmers, a vacuum drawer, a cooker hood, and even a wine cooler.

It’s so discreet that nobody but you will know what’s hidden and where.



Talleyrand Collection by Philippe Starck

Baccarat is celebrating a 20-year partnership with iconic designer Philippe Starck, who has for the occasion laid his eyes and hands upon the crystal-maker’s Talleyrand collection, reimagining various transparent forms with an infusion of his signature wit and modern outlook, all while retaining its heritage and values.

Named for the French diplomat Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand who served under Napoleon and was known for his keen instinct for political survival, the collection retains its namesake’s intelligence and refinement, and would sit appropriately at any dinner table of the royal court, past or present, exuding quiet power, elegance, poetry, and levity in equal measure.

Capturing l’esprit of the Age of Enlightenment, with its new values and pursuit of happiness, the collection comprises coupes and caviar bowls, candlestick holders and coffee cups, as well as a standing chandelier and a bell aptly named “S’il Vous Plaît.”



New Generation 2023

Sub-Zero is already well-known as “the disappearing refrigerator,” thanks to trompe l’oeil doors that allow the entire appliance to be camouflaged behind chic French doors—in which case, aesthetically, there’s not much more room for improvement. But the superlative brand has gone full force on efforts to increase the functional benefits of its appliances, and its brand-new interiors—code-named New Generation 2023—make so much sense that it’s going to be hard not to want to upgrade your fridge.

Six groundbreaking new features include a Split Climate intelligent cooling system that keeps the temperature optimised so your food stays consistently fresh, while an air purification system endorsed by NASA removes ethylene and odours so that your leafy veggies and fruits stay in their perfectly ripe state in the crisper. ClearSight LED lighting illuminates areas of the fridge that can sometimes be obscured by shadow, while Night Mode means you’re not blinded when opening the door for that midnight snack.

Flip-up shelves that allow for taller items to be stored, and an easy-to-use touch panel complete the list of new functions you didn’t know you needed, but soon won’t be able to live without.