The Aesthete: Adam Nathaniel Furman talks personal taste

The artist-designer is known for his product design and large-scale installations. His Gateways project at London’s King’s Cross recently won a Blueprint Award

Adam Nathaniel Furman at home in London
Adam Nathaniel Furman at home in London | Image: Rick Pushinsky

My personal style signifiers are fingerless gloves. Brora is my favourite brand for pattern and colour. I wear the long ones with a short-sleeved shirt. Scarves make me feel dynamic and glamorous. I’ll wear two and flick one in one direction and one in the other. From £59; brora.co.uk.

Light Phone 2, $400
Light Phone 2, $400

The innovation I’d most like to get my hands on is the Light Phone 2, because digital addiction is a real problem for many, myself included, who need to be online a lot of the time and find it difficult to disconnect. So a smart, elegant phone with basic functionality that allows for some designated periods with reduced connectivity is a welcome prospect. The last version sold out and this one is due in the spring. thelightphone.com.

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And the thing I’m eyeing next is more Fornasetti furniture – one of the round tables with a radial architectural design. Piero Fornasetti has been such a huge influence on me; he created his own world and constantly enriched it. Architettonico table, £1,500; amara.com.

Fornasetti porcelain Architettonico table, £1,500
Fornasetti porcelain Architettonico table, £1,500

A recent “find” is a place called Nakano Broadway, in an inner suburb of Tokyo. It’s a 1960s shopping centre that has been taken over by manga shops, toy shops, cosplay shops and weird kitsch antiques shops, as well as a café owned by the famous artist Takashi Murakami, who also has his offices and some gallery space there. 5 Chome-52 Nakano, Nakano-ku, 164-0001 (+813-3388 7004; nbw.jp).

A dessert at Ristorante Maffei in Verona
A dessert at Ristorante Maffei in Verona

The last meal that truly impressed me was at Ristorante Maffei in Verona. It’s in a 17th-century palazzo in the main square and serves perfect Italian dishes inventively – tweaking tradition rather than following it. Piazza Erbe 38, 37121 Verona (+3904-5801 0015; ristorantemaffei.it).

Thailand’s ancient capital, Ayutthaya
Thailand’s ancient capital, Ayutthaya | Image: Getty

The new discovery that I think will change the world is Blue Planet’s plan to capture carbon from the air and store it in building materials. It could mean that every building put up is heavily carbon negative and that by building we would be actively saving our atmosphere and ourselves. blueplanet-ltd.com.

Arhoj ceramic Ghost toys, from €18.50
Arhoj ceramic Ghost toys, from €18.50

The design breakthrough that excites me most is 3D-printed ceramics at an architectural scale. Ceramics as architectural ornament is a tradition that can be traced all the way back to the ancient Ishtar Gate of Babylon. Now, new technologies are coming to bear that could allow the economical reintroduction of highly articulated, bespoke ornament into buildings in our cities. The technology is in its early stages, but already the experiments I have been involved with have produced promising results.

Etro shirt, from £230
Etro shirt, from £230

An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is Ayutthaya, the ancient capital of Thailand – a whole city of evocative buildings and ruins. We went to a hotel where we had a room overlooking one of the canals, with an 800-year-old temple that was lit up at night on the other side. Sala Ayutthaya, 9/2 Moo 4, U-Thong Road, Pratu Chai, Phra Nakhon si Ayutthaya 13000 (+6635‑242 588; salahospitality.com).

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The best gift I’ve given recently was from Studio Arhoj, a Danish handmade ceramics company. It has these adorable Ghost toys with beautiful glazes and two little eyes. I got them for my nieces. From €18.50; arhoj.com.

And the best one I’ve received recently was a pair of handmade glasses from Savile Row Eyewear, the company that makes glasses using machines from 1932. We sourced some leather that was bleached and dyed bright yellow, and they wrapped and sewed the leather around the rims of the glasses. I wear them on special occasions. From £1,500 for bespoke eyewear; savileroweyewear.co.uk.

The last items of clothing I added to my wardrobe were Etro shirts. I buy only those that are bright, colourful and patterned. They’re often 100 per cent linen and are baggy and comfy. From £230; etro.com

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