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October 31, 2007

Just in Time for Holiday Visitors.


Save 30–65% on dining, lounge and sleep solutions at our DWR Warehouse and Sample Sales at three locations across the country. Check out the details here.

October 25, 2007

Glass Mecca.


On Tuesday, a group of about 20 DWR employees were taken on a private tour of Philip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan, CT. We were guests of the architect Alex Cooper of Cooper, Robertson & Partners. It was a perfect fall-foliage day and every one of us was mesmerized by the property, the history and the stories. Rumored to be the prototype, a Mies van der Rohe Barcelona Couch sat in front of a glass door leading out to dramatic landscapes. If only it could talk about those who sat upon it.

We saw paintings by Warhol and Frank Stella.  We stood where, just weeks prior, Florence Knoll Bassett commented on how the house was somewhat different from her previous trips, though it had remained basically unchanged.  She attributed the change to the one thing there that does change: Mother Nature. While strolling out of the house, Jens Risom walked right on up to us. He’d come to greet the DWR folks and tell even more stories of the property. We love Jens. And his license plate simply spells “JENS.” Adorable.

I know it is sold out for a year, but please make the journey.  It is a trip to Mecca for all Modernist souls. Pictures here.

October 24, 2007

Taking a Seat for the Cure

If you frequent DWR's website, you're likely aware of our initiative in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which will commence tomorrow at 9 DWR Studios across the country. At these events, a limited edition Florence Knoll Bench (see above) will be auctioned and the tenth is currently up for auction here. I have spent the majority of the past week checking and rechecking, all the while being awed by the generosity of the people who've placed 42 bids. The current highest bid is $8,100!

If you live in San Francisco, Princeton, Portland, Newport Beach, Bethesda, Dallas, Miami, New York or Chicago, please do stop by one of their events. They've all done a wonderful job soliciting donations from local businesses, really something for everyone at every price range. Every penny of the money raised will be donated to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, so you can't go wrong.

October 23, 2007

Design as art as design.


Thanks to the heads up on MoCo Loco, I made my way to San Francisco’s Hedge Gallery this past Saturday morning for Not Furniture XXI Design. The show underlines the blurring of art and design, and features a carefully edited selection of works by Ron Arad, Wendell Castle, Forrest Myers, Droog Design, Marcel Wanders, Maarten Baas, Mathias Bengtsson and Arik Levy. I was the only one in the place, which was cool because it gave me the freedom to slowly make my way up to and around each of the 19 featured designs. From Baas’ “Second Hand” – a teetering totem of discarded everyday objects – to Arad’s shiny-seamed, woven aluminum mesh “Blo-Void,” the show succinctly captures a wide range of materials and construction. I’d own any of them, as art, design or both. On view through November 10th.

Posted by Kristine Langevin

October 22, 2007

More windows.


I just posted about the windows of the Meatpacking District Studio, but this is too good to pass up.  DWR and Tom Dixon's Copper Shade Pendants made a cameo on Gossip Girl last week when the West 14 Street Studio provided a backdrop for the new teenage hit.  The funny thing is who caught it: DWR Studio employee Aaron Levy, who if you'll remember, also caught the Workscape table on So You Think You Can Dance.  No comments about his television show tastes please.

October 19, 2007

Eames in the can.


Last Thursday, a group of University of the Arts students in Philadelphia revealed the results of a three-day charette that focused on Remake and DIY culture. They transformed an Eames DCM into a high chair, and an Eames Molded Plastic Side Chair into a, gulp, toilet. The highchair, with holes cut in the seat and a food tray attached to added-on arms, was proudly displayed in our Philadelphia Studio front window (bet that caused some rubbernecking on Walnut Street). We wish we’d had an equally proper spot to show off the toilet. Read more here about the project and its exploration of breaking the status surrounding high-design objects.

Posted by Stefanie Gentile

October 18, 2007



Lima, Montana.  Design Mecca?  Probably not, but we’re excited to help bring Francesco and Marco Gillia to the masses. Hailing from Italy, the brothers, for a brief time, split (one went to So Cal and the other stayed in Italy), only to reunite in Montana of all places. There, Bottega Montana was born among the mountains and open spaces.

The company makes wood furniture using joint systems and white oak and black walnut. However, it is not their tables we’re carrying.  It’s their long board. Being DWR’s resident skateboard enthusiast I must give it a big thumb’s up.  They’re beautiful, functional and I’ve found a new way to get to work. Swindle just profiled the brothers and the boards launch October 29th.

Window shopping.


Next Thursday, DWR will auction off ten pink Spinneybeck Florence Knoll benches in Studios across the country. These auctions will benefit the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation. The New York-area Studios have taken that concept one step further, and each studio here has gathered an array of items for separate auctions throughout the evening.

At the Meatpacking District Studio we’ve compiled items and artwork from neighborhood artists and brands, creating an "instant art/design collection in a box." The box will be up for auction, along with the limited-edition bench.

Our windows have been dressed with work by artist John Findysz, once the window dresser at Jeffrey, who also contributed a decoupage Panton Chair and Fornasetti plate.

The "box" also includes signed art books from Steven Guarnaccia, Annie Leibovitz, Richard Schulman and Marco Pasanella, a coffee table book from House Industries and a book and a one-year magazine subscription from ReadyMade magazine. Artwork has been provided by James Victore, Rodger Stevens and Carol Peligian. Chilewich donated pink place settings for four and a bottle of rose was given by Pasanella and Son. Rounding out the package is dinner for two at two iconic restaurants: The Modern and Florent.

The window will be up through next Thursday and then auctioned off at our charity auction event at the Flatiron Studio on Thursday, October 25. More information on the Chelsea items here, and more information on the Flatiron event here and companywide events here.

October 10, 2007

Surf’s up.


While we’re on the subject of skateboards we might as well show you some surfboards we’re also loving. James Victore is a Brooklyn-based graphic artist, who just happens to be friends with our Big Kahuna Ray. Victore’s famous for his “dirty dishes,” plates he takes from restaurants and paints with risky and thoughtful images and words.  James is now taking on an even bigger canvas: the surfboard. He has a role in the actual design of the board and then hand paints them.  James says that they’re ideal for catching waves. We think they’d look smashing hanging (ten) above a sofa.

October 09, 2007

Going through a phase.


The same evening that the Boulder Studio was hosting Daughters in Design, Berkeley  welcomed the New Zealand-based designer, David Trubridge. As the slideshow projected images of Stonehenge, Brancusi, Antarctica and the family sailing on “Hornpipe” (the boat that was home for many years),  Trubridge recalled life experiences that have informed his work. He spoke of phases – Earth: the connection to the structure of nature; Water: structures move, twist, have changing points of stress and need to be flexible; Earth/Water: balance of the two in form, scale, color and proportion; Air: structure light in weight, just a skin – like his New Zealand Pendants. Check out his pendants here and learn more about David Trubridge here.

Posted by Kristine Langevin.

October 04, 2007

Skateboard headboard.


I just had to share this picture of a DIY project my partner and I took on, to make a headboard out of designer skateboards. I started with a Min bed, bought at a DWR warehouse sale, and collected decks to go with the colorful theme of the room.  Featured are three limited edition Jeff Koons boards for Supreme, a Ryan McGinness board, a Donny Miller board and a purple deck my mother got me at Colette in Paris.  Yes, that’s Prince and Michael Jackson.  The result is a perfect pop of fun for any young boy’s room, or in this case a room for a man longing for his youth.  If you have any DIY headboards we’d love to see them.  Send the blog team an email.

October 03, 2007

Daughters of design.

Last Thursday, September 27, the Boulder Studio was honored to host "Daughters of Design" with guest speakers Susan Saarinen, Carla Hartman and Celia Bertoia. Over 75 people enjoyed an educational history filled with stories, family photos and memorabilia.

Susan Saarinen, daughter of Eero Saarinen, kicked off the event with a detailed history of the family dating back to the early 1800S. She shared photos of the Saarinen house she grew up in as a child. Everyone was fascinated by the weavings her grandmother Louise (Loja) had created which covered the sofas in the house. Susan followed in her father's footsteps and is now a landscape architect in Golden, Colorado.

Carla Hartman, granddaughter of Charles Eames, followed with wonderful stories of her time spent in the Eames house; how the interplay of light, color, season and weather continually changed to highlight different features of the space throughout the year. Carla is now Director of Education for the Eames Office and resides in Denver, Colorado.

Celia Bertoia, daughter of Harry Bertoia, concluded the presentations with family photos as she talked about "the man" Harry Bertoia. She shared heartwarming stories of growing up with him, a man full of energy that lived his life to the fullest by embracing his passion for art and design. Once a Boulder local, Celia now resides in Bozeman, Montana where she runs her company Perfect Timing.

October 02, 2007

Re-imagining the chair.


Design Within Reach is very excited about working with Parsons, the New School for Design.  We, along with the good folks over at Heller, have armed Kenna Kay's entire Illustration class with a copy of George Nelson’s How to See and a Bellini Chair.  Their challenge: to re-imagine the chair using whatever materials they see fit. Bellini’s chair is a perfect canvas for surface design and we’re eager to see what the students produce.  I am critiquing several of the classes and expect to share the student progressions and final designs here on the blog.  All the student’s work will be displayed in our Meatpacking District Studio the month of January. More to come.

October 01, 2007

Identifying the white bike.


In a recent Design Notes newsletter, Ray Brunner discussed various forms of alternative, environmentally sound transportation. We’ve been asked: “So, where is that white bicycle in the picture from?” In response, I was asked to provide a little background about it.

Several years ago I asked one of my bicycle geek friends to build me a bike. What resulted was my pride and joy – an all black hybrid of old-school track bike and new-school fixed gear. Since then I have been very content with it. Given my love for my bicycle and all things cycling related, about a year ago a friend asked if it was possible for me to build her a bicycle. I had already been tinkering with the idea of taking up bicycle building as a hobby to get myself out from behind the computer, and I had experience in restoring vintage motorcycles so I thought, “How difficult could it be?”

I began pulling the pieces together, both new and vintage, and got the build under way. Having worked as a graphic designer for the last 10 years, I know the value of designing for my client – not for myself – so my goal was to design the prototypical bike for her, both in function and form. The finished product turned out exactly as I imagined it from the start (see the above Design Notes pic) and when I handed it over to her I saw her face light up (this must be why parents give their children bicycles for Christmas). Once everything was tightened down, we took a ride through the park together and her excitement grew the further she rode. She was hooked on riding her new, Jeremy-designed bike and I was hooked on building them.

Since then I’ve had more requests for work and it has actually grown into a fun little side project. While most designers love to see their work preserved for all to see, I much prefer seeing mine locked up to a post and worn from use – that means the owner is out enjoying themselves.