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June 22, 2012

Breaking news: Live/Work Design Contest winner announced.


Congratulations to Amanda Ip, whose Innermix Desk is the winner of our Live/Work Design Contest with Dwell magazine!

In February, we challenged up-and-coming designers to create a new home-office solution that DWR could potentially manufacture and sell. We received 587 entries, and today at Dwell on Design in Los Angeles, Amanda Ip was announced as the winner of the contest.

The Innermix Desk was created with Ip’s own preferences for live/work solutions. She favors clean, organized spaces that are still fun and modern. Marrying these ideas together, the Innermix features a large workspace and simple storage solutions.

Congratulations Amanda! And a round of applause for all the designers who entered our Live/Work contest.

June 20, 2012

Introducing the Broom Chair by Philippe Starck.

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"More than ten years in the making, the designer's new chair pushes Emeco—a manufacturer long famous for its iconic aluminum furniture—in a whole new direction." That's how Marc Kristal begins his piece about the Broom Chair in Metropolis magazine.

Made of a new eco-friendly material, the Broom Chair is available for preorder at Design Within Reach and these chairs will ship in late July. Keep reading Kristal's article to hear the whole story, or place your order on The Broom Chair can be seen at Dwell on Design this week in Los Angeles, and you can take it for a test-drive at our Beverly Boulevard, Pasadena and Santa Monica Studios.

Meet the Live/Work Contest Finalists: Dario Antonioni.


Los Angeles-based designer Dario Antonioni has never wanted to place himself into a specific category of design; his main goal is to create pieces that are minimal, functional and attractive. He cites the Wright brothers as his mentors because they never stuck to one, rigid path – they forged their own.



Antonioni’s Float Wall Desk is based on what he calls the “art of reduction”– the design is limited to only the most basic, necessary elements. This piece does not include the legs or side wall features of typical desks, the surface appears to simply blend into the wall. 

June 19, 2012

Meet the Live/Work Contest Finalists: Amanda Ip.


Amanda Ip has been an avid traveler for a much of her life, traipsing all over the globe but calling Chicago home. She attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, earning her Bachelor’s degree in industrial design and gaining experience through internships with several design companies. During her senior year of college in 2007, Ip discovered her love of furniture design and joined the Slate Design.


INNERMIX DESK closed view

The Innermix Desk was created with Ip’s own preferences for live/work solutions. She favors clean, organized spaces that are still fun and modern. Marrying these ideas together, Innermix features a large workspace and simple storage solutions.  


June 18, 2012

Meet the Live/Work Contest Finalists: Colleen Whiteley.


Colleen and Eric’s design days started with a silly sketch on a dorm door, and through the years came more ideas, and more sketching. In 2010, Colleen and Eric finally launched their design studio where they create “expressive minimalism” and scrutinize details of every project while still allowing the concept to take the lead.

The design for Hold on Tight is a shelf combined with an adjustable book end to keep your books standing. Colleen and Eric were passionate about their idea from the beginning and say the process was a challenging but exciting one. They fabricated their own custom hardware like the cube and the wall bracket, as well as the form for the wingnut, which was hand carved by Eric. While experimenting with the idea of Hold on Tight, Colleen and Eric found that they always ended with the simplest idea, which has defined their design ideology.

June 17, 2012

Happy birthday Charles Eames!


In honor of Charles Eames' birthday (June 17, 1907) we're sharing this 2007 TED talk by his grandson, Eames Demetrios. (Click image above to play video.) "We must take our pleasure seriously," said Charles Eames, who clearly embraced his own advice. For that, and everything that Eames did, we are forever grateful. On this day, we celebrate the masterful Charles Eames.

Meet the Live/Work Contest Finalists: Ian Godfrey.


Vancouver-based designer Ian Godfrey has an admiration for all things wood and prefers minimal, handmade designs with playful shapes that require user interaction and engage the senses.


Inspired by a traditional elementary school desk, Godfrey says of the sophisticated Pippa Desk “that it will make people of all ages want to sit down and get to work but never, ever stick their gum underneath.”


June 15, 2012

Meet the Live/Work Contest Finalists: Tyler Russell.


Tyler Russell is a young designer from Texas who earned his Bachelor’s in Fine Arts at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. Shortly after graduating, he returned to Texas and began designing the Travois Collection. 


His solid wood Travois Desk is simply designed to lean against the wall, making it both a mobile- and space-saving workspace solution. Russell drew inspiration from a device used by Native Americans to move belongings from place to place. 

Announcing the Top 5 Finalists in the Live/Work Contest.


In February, we announced that we were teaming up with Dwell magazine for the Live/Work Design Contest, challenging up-and-coming designers to create a new home-office solution that DWR could potentially manufacture and sell. The response from designers was overwhelming – we received 587 entries! Together with Dwell, we narrowed them down to 10 finalists and then opened up voting to the public. We exhibited the top 10 finalists at our booth at WantedDesign, a satellite exhibit that coincides with ICFF, and using iPads, attendees cast their vote for their favorite design. Now, with a little more than a week until the grand-prize announcement, we have chosen the top 5 entries.

In no particular order, they are ...

Continue reading "Announcing the Top 5 Finalists in the Live/Work Contest." »

June 14, 2012

Should animals appear in DWR catalogs?

We're having a Creative Department debate: Should animals appear in DWR catalogs? If so, here are some of the talented dogs and cats available to us (translation: the pets of various Creative Dept. staff members). Who would you like to see gracing the pages of DWR?

Miles the wonder dog.

Continue reading "Should animals appear in DWR catalogs?" »

June 13, 2012

Video from Modern Atlanta: The Rise of Modern in A Traditional Southern Market.


As part of Modern Atlanta's MA12 “Design is Human,” a panel discussion at Buckhead's Design Within Reach shed light on how modern design is influencing homes (and homeowners) in a traditional market. Moderated by James Cramer of Design Intelligence & Greenway Group, the evening featured a lively discussion with five industry insiders, including DWR's Kari Woldum.

So You Want to Be a Product Designer?

"Designing furniture is not exactly the same thing as designing a product, even if that product happens to be furniture," writes Martin C. Pedersen in Metropolis Magazine. "No, this is not a riddle or an industrial-design koan," he continues, "but a distinction between the creation of glorious, messy, inspired one-offs (god bless them) and products intended for mass consumption (or at least batches larger than ten)."

So begins the introduction to "So You Want to Be a Product Designer?" -- a special feature in the May issue. Seven "talent scouts" are interviewed for the piece, including DWR's John Edelman and Kari Woldum. Read their advice for getting your designs out of the studio and onto the market. And check out their Q&A on the Metropolis blog.

So You Want to Be a Product Designer? appeared in the May issue of Metropolis.

June 12, 2012

Anni Albers: Born on this day in 1899.

Screen shot 2012-06-11 at 5.56.38 PM
3X10 Runner designed by Anni Albers in 1959.

With the belief that aesthetics should be a consideration in every aspect of daily life, Anni Albers joined the Bauhaus as a student in 1922. Though she wanted to be a painter, Albers and other female students, including Gunta Stölzl, were encouraged to join the Weaving Workshop, which included a class taught by Paul Klee. Albers took to this medium enthusiastically, experimenting with new materials for weaving and elevating textiles from merely a craft to an art form.

Looking at her Runner above, one can only imagine how she might frost a birthday cake. Cheers to Anni Albers on this day! 


June 11, 2012

Ends today: Herman Miller Sale at DWR!

On your to-do list for 57 years...

Screen shot 2012-06-11 at 11.25.36 AM
Designed in 1956, and still the most-coveted lounge chair today, the Eames Lounge and Ottoman is on sale (+ free standard shipping) through Monday, June 11. Shop the Herman Miller Sale at DWR.


June 09, 2012

Final Weekend: Herman Miller Sale at DWR.

Designed by Charles and Ray Eames, this collection is on sale through Monday, June 11.

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Charles and Ray Eames believed that “design is a method of action,” and continually updated their work as new materials became available. Their molded plastic chairs were originally designed in metal, and entered as a prototype in MoMA’s 1948 International Competition for Low-Cost Furniture Design. They then changed the material to fiberglass in 1950, and today the chairs are made of recyclable polypropylene.

“The chair that Charles and Ray were designing,” explains grandson Eames Demetrios, “is the chair that’s made tomorrow.” 

June 08, 2012

To be perfectly Frank: Happy Birthday.

"Youth is a quality, not a matter of circumstances," said Frank Lloyd Wright who was born on this day in 1867. An architect, interior designer, writer and educator, Wright designed more than 1000 structures, including Fallingwater, Taliesin, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and even a Doghouse. What's your favorite building by Wright?


June 07, 2012

STUA: Solo Tengo Un Amor (I have only one love).


Elena Gasca, CEO of Stua, talks about this family-run company founded by her father 25 years ago. In addition to hearing what makes something "very Stua" and why this company has always focused on reaching an international audience, you'll also be treated to beautiful photographs taken at the Guggenheim and other iconic settings in New York City. Design Within Reach is proud to be the exclusive retailer of Stua products in the U.S.

June 05, 2012

The battle over a war memorial.

War Memorial building designed by Eero Saarinen. Photo: Ezra Stoller, ca. 1957

On the shore of Lake Michigan, two buildings are at the heart of a custody battle. One of them, the War Memorial building designed by Eero Saarinen in the 1950s, is in need of repairs. The other, the Milwaukee Art Museum with its stunning pavilion designed by Santiago Calatrava in 2001, would like control of the project to better ensure that the outcome is in keeping with the Museum’s plans.

Continue reading "The battle over a war memorial." »

Tweeting from space?


I was over the moon when I first saw these “tweets from space” but now I’m even more intrigued by the mystery behind them. According to NASA, Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi is not currently on the International Space Station (ISS). And according to the brilliantly named website (my go-to site when needing big-picture perspective), there are only six people in space, and they’re all located on the ISS.

Continue reading "Tweeting from space?" »

Craving Culture? Exhibitions to see now.

"House & Home" Family barbecue, circa. 1950. Architect: Chris Choate with designer Cliff May. Photo by Maynard L. Parker; The Huntington Library, San Marino, Calif.


National Building Museum
House & Home


Ecstatic Alphabets / Heaps of Language

International Center of Photography
Gordon Parks: 100 Years 

Continue reading "Craving Culture? Exhibitions to see now." »