All you’ll want for Christmas: Design collectibles perfect for stocking fillers

Swiss brand Vitra has relaunched the ceramic clocks designed by American George Nelson, staying true to his original plans and prototypes. PHOTO: DANISH DESIGN

SINGAPORE – Go for Christmas collectibles as stocking fillers this year. From the abstract imagery by French-Moroccan artist Mehdi Qotbi on Bacha Coffee’s festive boxes to Spanish designer Jaime Hayon’s minimalist vase, gifts with design stories are also good conversation pieces.

Revisit the 1950s with Nelson’s clocks

The Ceramic Clocks were designed by American George Nelson in 1953, but had never been produced in a series before.

Swiss brand Vitra, a maker of designer furniture, has relaunched the clocks, staying true to Nelson’s original plans and prototypes.

Nelson, who was born in 1908 in Hartford, Connecticut, in the United States, studied architecture at Yale University and went on a fellowship to the American Academy in Rome from 1932 to 1934.

There, he met some of the biggest names in modernism such as Charles and Ray Eames, and Alexander Girard. Upon returning to the US, Nelson took on the position of design director at American furniture maker Herman Miller, creating furnishings for the home and office.

After his death in New York in 1986, his estate – which included more than 7,400 writings and sketches – was held by the Vitra Design Museum.

Combining geometric and organic shapes in a playful yet sculptural approach, the Ceramic Clocks are made of glazed porcelain and come in three designs.

Price: $725 from the Vitra Store, 14-08 Tan Boon Liat Building, 315 Outram Road

‘Poet of patterns’ collectible from Bacha Coffee

Heritage Moroccan brand Bacha Coffee's limited-edition Coffee Journey Gift Box is designed by French-Moroccan artist Mehdi Qotbi. PHOTO: BACHA COFFEE

Heritage Moroccan brand Bacha Coffee adds spice to its Christmas line-up of gifts with a new range that includes hampers, collectibles and coffee gift sets.

Coffee gourmands with an appreciation for art and a keen eye for patterns may be drawn to the limited-edition Coffee Journey Gift Box, which holds 30 individually wrapped, single-serve drip coffee bags in a box designed by French-Moroccan artist Mehdi Qotbi.

A professor of visual arts, Qotbi studied at the School of Fine Arts in Rabat, capital city of Morocco, in his teens, and later at the prestigious Saint-Joseph high school in Auxerre, France. He created a design style that transforms Arabic calligraphy into abstract imagery and has been hailed as the “poetry of patterns”.

Price: $78. Go to the main store at Ion Orchard, which also offers gift-wrapping with personalised cards and ribbons, or

Beetle – the queen of designer chairs

Danish architect Stine Gam and Italian architect Enrico Fratesi introduced the Beetle Chair in collaboration with global design house Gubi. PHOTO: DANISH DESIGN

In 2013, Danish architect Stine Gam and Italian architect Enrico Fratesi introduced the Beetle Chair in collaboration with global design house Gubi.

The duo, better known as GamFratesi, were inspired by the form of a beetle with its spindly legs. The chair quickly became a classic of modern design, going on to win numerous design awards around the world.

It has been dubbed the “queen of designer chairs” because its elegant single-curved outer shell can flex in response to the body’s micro-movements in a way that ensures ergonomic performance while maintaining the chair’s regal structure.

Price: One design of the Beetle Lounge Chair (not pictured here) is on sale at $2,975 (usual price: $4,959). Other Beetle designs in dining, lounge and outdoor versions are available at various prices at Danish Design, 06-03 B&D Building, 100E Pasir Panjang Road. Go to

Scandinavian-inspired Christmas at Ikea

Ikea’s Vinterfint 2022 Advent calendar ranges from table linen and tree ornaments to gift bags and wrapping paper. PHOTO: IKEA

In creating the Vinterfint 2022 Christmas collection of home accessories for Swedish furniture giant Ikea, designer Eva Lundgreen found inspiration in her memories of growing up in Sweden and celebrating Christmas in her grandmother’s farm in the province of Jamtland.

“I love the playfulness of elves in Scandinavian fairy tales,” says Ms Lundgreen in a release unveiling the collection. “I also loved taking traditional Scandinavian figures like the julbock (holiday goat) and moose, and adding pastel colours and folk art-inspired patterns for a modern twist.”

The festive line, which draws on Scandinavian folklore and handicrafts, ranges from table linen and tree ornaments to gift bags and wrapping paper.

Price: From $2.99 for gift-wrapping paper with Santa Claus motifs to $179 for an artificial Christmas tree. Go to

Dyson’s cutting-edge vacuum tech

Dyson's V12 Detect Slim is said to be the lightest cordless vacuum with illumination and dust-detection technology. PHOTO: DYSON

In 1983, after four years of prototyping 5,126 failures, British inventor James Dyson solved the puzzle of how to make the world’s first cyclonic vacuum, which requires no clogging bags to capture the sucked-up debris.

Today, global technology company Dyson has gone beyond bagless vacuums to sell bladeless air purifiers, hair dryers without extreme heat and other innovations in 84 markets.

One of its marvels is the Dyson V12 Detect Slim, the lightest cordless vacuum with illumination and dust-detection technology.

This vacuum cleaner, developed by a team of 370 engineers, emits a laser which can pick up the tiniest dust particles even after you have mopped and dried your floors. The Dyson Hyperdymium motor generates up to 150 air watts of powerful suction and, according to the maker, the hermetically sealed system traps dust and seals in 99.99 per cent of pathogens.

Price: $999. Available in Prussian Blue and Bright Copper. Buy at during the Singles’ Day weekend and get a free Dyson grab-and-go floor stand and mattress tool worth $247, as well as savings of $100 for DBS card-holders.

Bytedance-owned Pico unveils lightweight VR wearable

Pico, a Chinese maker of virtual-reality headgear, has released a lightweight headset called the Pico 4 that is said to enable hyper-realistic imagery. PHOTO: PICO

The worlds of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality and mixed reality are all the rage as 5G technology looks set to take off next year with more well-developed networks globally and the growth of the metaverse.

Pico, a Chinese maker of VR headgear, announced on Oct 31 that it has released a lightweight headset called the Pico 4, which is said to offer hyper-realistic imagery. Pico was acquired in August last year by Chinese company ByteDance, which owns online platform TikTok.

Pico has also partnered Singtel to combine the headset’s immersive tech with Singapore’s 5G and fibre broadband network to provide a smoother, more enjoyable user experience.

Price: From $499. For details and online promotions, go to

Jaime Hayon’s flower power

Spanish artist-designer Jaime Hayon's Ikebana Vase is a sleek way to prop up blooms. PHOTO: W. ATELIER

Spanish artist-designer Jaime Hayon collaborates with acclaimed Danish furniture company Fritz Hansen on a variety of furniture and home accessories. The prolific creative believes that good design not only lasts, but also has something more.

“For me, design is not just about function,” he says in an interview on the Fritz Hansen website. “It is also about feelings, and I like if it provokes a little and can challenge our way of life.”

Check out Hayon’s Ikebana Vase at W. Atelier in Singapore for its purity of lines and the ways it can prop up a bunch of blooms.

Price: From $220 from W. Atelier at 01-01, 201 Henderson Road. Check out promotions and other outlets at

Japanese-style one-pot wonder

Sharp’s new Donabe Inverter Microwave Rice Cooker is a microwave oven paired with a donabe with multiple power settings to easily defrost, reheat and cook food. PHOTO: SHARP

Cook rice and a variety of one-pot dishes such as stews, soups and pasta in Sharp’s new Donabe Inverter Microwave Rice Cooker.

The Japanese electronics and home appliances multinational has designed a microwave oven which is sold with a donabe pot with multiple power settings to defrost, reheat and cook food with ease.

The claypot – the word is a portmanteau of “do” (clay) and “nabe” (cooking pot) – is one of Japan’s oldest cooking utensils.

Price: $359. For a list of retail outlets, go to

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