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« September 2006 | Main | November 2006 »

October 30, 2006

Art meets commerce.


In October, Lexus, the swanky luxury car manufacturer, launched not only their new LS Sedan, but a gallery installation surrounding the LS launch called “Light and Speed.” (LS, get it?) Blurring the lines between marketing, art and design, “Light and Speed,” will hit four U.S. cities as part of the 460 Gallery, spreading contemporary art – and the word about the new LS – across the country. What particularly piqued the interest of the DWR bloggers is Arne Quinze’s contribution. As we’ve mentioned previously, Arne Quinze, the art director of Quinze & Milan, reached a whole new audience in the Nevada desert this year with his Burning Man installation, Uchronia. Echoing the fluidity and structure of Uchronia, his Lexus/460  Gallery installation, TimeGate, is made entirely of 2x4s. Is there an inherent contradiction in an artist creating a similar piece for Burning Man (an annual celebration of art for art’s sake and unfettered self-expression), as for a company launching a luxury vehicle that starts at $61,000? Or is Lexus’ 460 Degrees Gallery just one more venue, one more outlet for artists to get their work seen? What do you think?

October 27, 2006

How does your garden grow?


Last holiday we carried an interesting item called the Streamgarden Hydroponics, which let you plant whatever you want inside. Taking care of a full-size garden is a ton of work and many homes lack a yard, so the idea of an indoor garden, and its smaller, more manageable scale, really intrigued me. I got a random email from a customer looking for the Streamgarden, which we no longer carry, but it sent me off to the vendors website,, and that’s when I saw this little idea on a bigger, cooler, grander scale. It’s called a Plantwall, it’s a garden wall that self waters. Gorgeous, right? The way Green Fortune presents the item seems more tailored to retail and public spaces, but what do you think about making it available on a slightly smaller scale as something Design Within Reach sold? Is it something you might be interested in buying? Send us your comments.

October 25, 2006

Marmol Radziner + Associates


DWR's Berkeleys Studio will present Leo Marmol of Marmol Radziner + Associates, an award-winning Los Angeles-based design/build firm that integrates architectural and landscape design with a full range of construction services. Join DWR in welcoming Leo Marmol, who will be on hand to discuss Marmol Radziner Prefab, their new line of prefab housing launched in 2005. His presentation will be followed by a Q&A session. Refreshments from Trumer Pils.

Thursday, October 26, 6:30–8:30pm, click here for directions.

October 23, 2006

Forever Young


For about the last two years I’ve desperately tried to recapture the joy of my childhood by purchasing small, colorful, material objects made expressly for play. Yes, I’m talking about toys. Doubting that I’ll ever actually grow up, I’ve begun to once again collect toys in my 30s. I was a toy fanatic growing up. Star Wars. Had them all. G.I. Joe. Ditto. Thundercats, Transformers, Go-Bots, Legos. Check, check, check, check. And now I am the same way with everything Kid Robot sells. I have the kubricks covered in Charles and Ray Eames’ iconic prints, I have a Marc Jacobs designed monster in a trench coat and I have a mini, plastic, Karl Lagerfeld. Yes, a Karl Lagerfeld toy.

While in Vitra’s NYC showroom a few months back I was told about the impending reissue of six wooden dolls designed by Alexander Girard in 1963. My heart skipped a beat. Girard, a Herman Miller designer and one of my favorite textile designers, had created kooky wooden dolls and Vitra, a company I adore, was reproducing them? Sign me up.

“Toys,” said Girard, “represent a microcosm of man’s world and dreams; they exhibit fantasy, imagination, humor and love.”  They also make an aging man feel like a little boy every once in while. And you don’t have to look far: DWR just launched the full line.

October 18, 2006

The Making of My Eames Lounge Chair


As the winner of a recent contest, I had the opportunity to travel to Zeeland, Michigan, to tour the Herman Miller facilities and watch the production of my own Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman.

The Herman Miller headquarters are beautiful; the GreenHouse, a manufacturing facility, is a truly a masterpiece of green design. However, the true highlight was choosing the specific veneer for my Lounge Chair. I chose a walnut veneer with ivory leather for its clean, simple look.


Lon, the craftsman who put my chair together, builds approximately 20 chairs each day, and he was very careful, making sure that the leather on each piece was smoothed and stretched out just right. The amount of detail-oriented, handmade work that goes in to each lounge chair and ottoman is amazing! It was apparent that he takes a lot of pride in doing what he does best, preserving the chair’s well deserved icon status.

Anthony Ramirez
DWR Proprietor based in San Francisco

October 16, 2006

Geometric Girard


Last week I went to the Alexander Girard: Vibrant Modern opening at the SFMOMA. Totally ahead of his time it seems to me, Girard had an eye for mixing modern and folk and creating something entirely unique. His restaurant design at La Fonda del Sol in New York may have been the first time anyone looked at dining as entertainment. One day soon I hope I can make it to see Girard’s vast collection of folk art at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe. The exhibit at the SFMOMA, while small, just whet my appetite to learn more. For now the cute little t-shirts I bought for my niece and nephew at the MOMA store will have to suffice. Btw, how about this pic I took with my cellphone, not bad.

You can read more about Girard in our designer bio section. And, we just launched a set of his dolls that you can pick up for yourself here.

October 11, 2006

Best of Brazil


The folks in our Adams Morgan Studio have partnered with CORE architecture + design and the Embassy of Brazil to host an incredibly special evening for design fans in the DC area. This is a rare opportunity to hear Paulo Mendes da Rocha, recipient of the 2006 Pritzker Prize, speak about his creative process and his vision of “honest design.” Martha Thorne, the executive director of the Pritzker Prize, will also be on hand to present a history and overview of the prize. Lastly, one lucky raffle-winning attendee will go home with a Paulistano Chair of their own.

DWR Adams Morgan Studio
Tuesday, October 26, 7pm.
Click here for more information.

October 04, 2006

Right at home for $100,000


People everywhere are eager to find out where they can find the perfect (and highly elusive) house for $100,000. Last week, bunches of these folks gathered in DWR’s Studio in Manhattan’s Flatiron District where Karrie Jacobs, author of The Perfect $100,000 House was on hand to sign copies of her book and share tales from her cross-country jaunt. On October 22nd, Seattleites will have this same opportunity. Click here for more information. 

Eames Film Festival Redux


Big thanks to everyone across the country who came out to see the films of Ray and Charles Eames on the “big screen.” It looks like you’ve been telling your aunts, roommates from college and the guy at your local market, because we’ve received several requests for a second round of events in new areas. By popular demand, we’ll be showing Powers of Ten, The Lounge Chair and other influential films created by the famous multidisciplinary design duo in the following cities on the following dates:

Westport, CT – November 16
Roslyn, Long Island – November 30
Upper East Side, Manhattan – December 7
Dallas, TX – December 7

More info can be found here and don't forget you can purchase the Eames Films Volume 1-5 set here, all proceeds going directly to the Eames Foundation.

October 03, 2006

Captain Kirk within reach


I just read in the New York Times that, starting October 5th, Christie’s will be auctioning off “40 Years of Star Trek.” So why did it catch my eye? Well, where else can you find Captain Picard’s commando uniform, romulan warbird emblan pins, vulcan mummies and…mid-century modern? Apparently the Star Trek crew were also into mid-century furniture, and now’s your chance to own a little slice of that futuristic TV show. The prices aren’t too bad, but if you’re really interested you better act fast before they’re transported to someone else’s living room.