It’s that time of summer when the optimism of spring is evaporating as quickly as the turgidity of the potted plants on my front porch. It’s the heat that kills them. In the spring, it seemed like a good idea to plant dozens of delicate, thirsty flowers; but in the summer the ghosts of dead plants are reminding me that I should have planted cacti… or maybe just rocks.
New to me are the Prickly Pair Chairs by Valentina Gelz Wohlers. Introduced last year during Milan Design Week, the chairs cleverly bend a very French, oval-backed chair with the pads of a prickly pear cactus. There are even little spiny things in the tufts of the upholstery. The chair made me laugh the first time I saw it, and I’ve been thinking about how to downplay the absurdity of the chair in an interior ever since. I haven’t come up with anything.
But I still like the chair, and I need somethings other than dead plants on my front porch. Is there a waterproof version? Well, honestly, I’m not sure that water is a realistic threat… just ask the dead plants.
I thought you might like to know about this elegant collection of chairs, ottomans and tables from the office of Michael Wolk. The Stryde Collection is great because it has the quality of mid century furniture, yet is clearly contemporary. (In fact, I came across the collection on the Contemporist.) The attenuated legs make me nervous because they’re so skinny at the floor, but the fact that they are gorgeous walnut distracts me. It’s almost as distracting as sitting in sad, rolling office chair imagining what it would be like to recline in soft leather with a good book.
German designer Elisa Strozyk takes everyday objects and skilfully re-imagines their properties and functions. For her “wooden textiles” series she is concerned with “giving importance to surfaces that are desirable to touch [that] can reconnect us with the material world and enhance the emotional value of an object.” Strozyk’s interest in touch, sensation and feeling is at the heart of her design practice that challenges perception. Playing with the user’s understanding of the tactility of wood, this series experiments with the perceived inflexibility of the material and attempts to transform interwoven wooden tiles into a soft textile. I have no idea what her finished designs actually feel like, but the visual effect of these deconstructed wooden mosaics is amazing. Definitely take a peek at Strozyk’s site if you’re interested in designs that fuse progressive creativity, functionality and beauty.
FOUND THROUGH CONTEMPORIST.
I have yet to acquire my dream home, but one thing is for certain: when I finally do move into my charming modern cottage, it will not be complete unless I have a piece or two by furniture designer Greg Hatton. Using reclaimed materials and found objects, Hatton crafts wood in an organic style that looks as though his furniture has naturally been found in the woods. There is clearly an eco-conscious philosophy at the heart of his design practice that is beautifully melded with artisanal skill.
Hatton is also an accomplished landscape designer, so I may have to start saving my pennies for a bespoke tree house for the back garden of my cottage. After all, a girl can dream.
You can check out his work on his portfolio, flickr and blog.
I took about 14,000 photos of furniture and products from the ICFF (International Contemporary Furniture Fair) so I’ll be sharing fun things spread out across the week. First off though I wanted to share what was hands down my favorite pieces of furniture in the entire show, which come from the design-y brains of Blu Dot.
These pieces are called the Cant Desk and the Scoop Task Chair, which were paired up during the show and they look amazing together, though you definitely have to purchase them separately. For some reason I totally freaked out when I saw these beauties, something about all the clean edges and the mixing of materials really got me.
I love the Cant Desk because of the mixture of wood and metals. The way the legs descend into their wooden counterparts and the perforated steel shelf/ledge on the top make my heart swoon. Then there’s the Scoop Task Chair which is one of the comfiest chairs I’ve ever sat in. Yet again they do a wonderful job of mixing steel with wood and fabric to create a beauty of a chair.
The Cant Desk and the Scoop Task Chair are going to set you back $599 each and come out this fall, so if you’ve fallen in love like I have you’ll have to wait quite a while to get your hands on these. I’ve posted some official press images so you can getting a clearer look at these pieces.
After the Joey Roth event Michael and I popped over to the Born in Brazil exhibit which was put on by the folks over at Wallpaper* magazine. The exhibit featured a wonderful collection of Brazilian furniture, giving a spotlight to the talented designers of the country. There were a lot of amazing pieces, though I’d have to say the minimal table in the second photo above was absolute favorite. The way the drawers seamlessly fit into the table is wonderful, the color of the wood is beautiful and I love how the metal legs connect to the tabletop. Such a beautiful piece.
I also had a chat to meet-up with Nadine Johnson, the person who I have to thank for getting me my room at The Mercer. I first met her at the opening of the PRISM Gallery in Los Angeles but it was great to catch up with her again. Thanks Nadine!
There are more photos of the exhibit and fancy people sitting on the furniture under the cut.
Since I’m heading out to ICFF I thought it would be good to start mixing in a bit of furniture posts before the barrage of furniture that will come this and next week. First up is the beautiful Lockheed Chair concept which was designed by French designers Benjamin Riot and Valentin Sollier. This little beauty came out last year but I think it’s an amazing take on the DSW Chair by Ray and Charles Eames.
I love that it looks more like a piece of architecture then it does a chair. The facets on the bottom of the chair are really beautiful and I love the supports that connect the legs look like struts on a bridge. Yet because it’s mostly all white it looks exquisitely clean and modern and not clunky like architecture sometimes can.
Found through design milk
Although the latest exhibition at London’s V&A Museum of Childhood is undoubtedly designed to playfully educate small children on the wide variety of functions of chairs, it is the wall illustrations by Emma Houlston that will attract “bigger kids.”
The exhibition, entitled Sit Down: Seating for Kids, has taken Goldilocks and the Three Bears as its origins for exploring how seating is incorporated into the everyday lives of children as a part of, among other things, eating, learning and playing. In a rather cute twist, people attending the show are invited to vote for their favourite chair, thereby placing them in the role of fairy tale protagonist. In this section of the exhibition, Houlston’s work is seen on the wood panel wall in the form of graffiti messages such as “Porridge 4 Eva” and “Goldie Locks *hearts* This Chair.”
I think that part of the reason why this exhibition appeals to me is that it provides the viewer with the opportunity to unleash his or her inner child; however, knowing my luck, I’d probably end up in the “naughty chair” pictured above.
Sit Down: Seating for Kids is showing at the Museum of Childhood until 5 September 2010. More detailed views of the exhibition, as taken by Felicity Crawshaw, can be found on Houlston’s portfolio.
FOUND THROUGH ALL THE MOUNTAINS
If you’re in Los Angeles, Santa Monica to be specific, I highly suggest you check out this Eames Gallery Exhibition at the Eames Office which is being put on by the folks over at House Industries. You’ll be able to meet up with both the House Industries and Eames designers, see cool art and furniture and hell, spend time in the Eames office, which is cool enough all on it’s own.
These are the times when I wish I had a car. For more information click here.
Here’s the thing, I feel like I have very few… real world skills. By this I mean that I’m not really an expert at anything that matters if say, the internet was forever gone. I don’t know how to plant crops, I can’t change my own oil (even though I don’t have a car) and I don’t know how to build a table. And build a table is exactly what I want to do.
Currently I’m using an IKEA Vika Amon tabletop with crap Vika Amon table legs. Don’t get me wrong, it’s actually been a pretty great desk. I’ve had it now for about 5 years now and there are signs of wearing, but other then that it’s still stable and working. But it’s also not big enough, and well, it’s just particle board.
I really want a nice table, something that’s larger so I can spread my crap around, and made of real wood so that, you know, I can hand it down to my kids one day. My question for you is, do you know anyone who can teach me how to make a table? They’d need to here in Los Angeles and I’d be looking to work on the weekends to make it. I’m totally serious about this, I even think it would make for a great series of posts. So if you or anyone you know wants to help me out leave me a comment or shoot me an email.
Update: I appreciate that you all have faith in me that I could do this on my own, but the thing is that I live in a tiny apartment. I have nowhere to build so I was hoping to borrow someones studio space or workshop. If I had any room I would attempt it, but it ain’t gonna happen.