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April 29, 2014

Cape Cod Modern must-read.

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“Walter Gropius was tired.” That is the fabulous first sentence to this engaging book by Peter McMahon and Christine Cipriani. A sweeping celebration of modernism anchored by a strong sense of place, Cape Cod Modern: Midcentury Architecture and Community on the Outer Cape from Metropolis Books is a must-read for anyone interested in architecture, maritime history, artistic communities, the Cape itself, Yankee do-it-yourself determination and Thoreauvian love of the land.

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Hatch House designed by Jack Hall in 1962. Photo by Jack Hall.

McMahon and Cipriani spent seven years archiving a verbal history that was fading fast, and without their efforts this mostly unknown chapter in the history of modern architecture would’ve been forever lost. “While outer Cape Cod’s contributions to twentieth-century art, theater and literature are well known, its profusion of midcentury architecture has gone mostly unnoticed,” they write. “Ironically, this was somewhat deliberate.”

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Hatch House by Jack Hall. Photo by Gwendolyn Horton.

These small informal houses were often hidden in the woods, situated so as not to disturb the land and constructed with inexpensive, off-the-shelf materials. Many were even made with salvaged materials, a practice perfected by colonial Cape Codders who were dependent upon shipwrecks to supply them with lumber to build on these shores. “This ad hoc, improvisational quality is what sets Cape Cod modernism apart from other regional adaptations of the modern movement,” write the authors.

Continue reading "Cape Cod Modern must-read." »

April 25, 2014

Be Original: Supporting authentic design.

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Panel at previous Be Original event at DWR Miami Studio. From left: Mark Simmons, VP of Marketing at DWR; Paolo Cravedi, Managing Director of Alessi; Caroline Baumann, Director of the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum; Giulio Cappellini, Art Director of Cappellini; Odile Hainaut, Co-Founder of WantedDesign.

DWR is proud to be a member of Be Original Americas, joining Alessi, Cassina, Emeco, Flos, Fritz Hansen, Herman Miller®, Vitra and other companies in the fight against counterfeit design. Being a member means that we’re a vetted retailer of authentic goods.

Upcoming Be Original Americas events:

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Help save the Pavilion.

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The Tent of Tomorrow was the centerpiece of the World's Fair. Photo by Gwendolyn Horton.

“There ought to be a university course in the pleasure of ruins,” wrote Philip Johnson in the foreword to Hilary Lewis’ fantastic book about his architecture. That pleasure, however, is mixed with pain when it comes to the current state of the New York State Pavilion that Johnson designed for the 1964 World’s Fair in Queens. Erected as an emblem of imagination and optimism for the future, the site is now in desperate need of preservation and reuse to save it from demolition by neglect.

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Book by Hilary Lewis, photo by Richard Payne.

“This thing has always been a bit of a mystery,” says Matthew Silva, co-founder of the preservation group People for the Pavilion. “It’s big and clearly important but nothing was ever happening with it.” That lack of activity drove Silva and fellow activist Salmaan Khan to learn more about the site and take action. In addition to doing work as preservationists, they have full-time careers – Silva is a schoolteacher, Khan the manager of facilities planning for the High Line – and Silva is also working on a documentary film about the project.

Continue reading "Help save the Pavilion." »

April 17, 2014

Celia Bertoia at DWR San Francisco.

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Photo by Eric Hildebrandt for DWR.

Harry Bertoia's youngest daughter, Celia, gave a fascinating talk about her father at our fabulous new space in San Francisco yesterday. The presentation and Q&A highlighted the designer's long and esteemed legacy as a sculptor and furniture designer for Knoll. To hear about upcoming Studio events in your area, join our mailing list.

 

April 15, 2014

On the market: A house fit for The King.

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Kudos to Dave Weinstein of the Eichler Network for letting us know about the Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway hitting the market in Palm Springs, Calif. Designed in 1960 by Bill Krisel, the house was rented for a year by Elvis Presley, who celebrated his honeymoon there with Priscilla in 1967. Now used as an informal museum to The King, the circular rooms are outfitted with cardboard cutouts and mannequins (whether or not they are included in the sale is unclear). Listed for $9.5 million, the 5,000-square-foot home consists of four perfect circles on three levels, and features a pool, tennis court, orchard and, naturally, a stage. It is listed with Josh Altman, who stars on the Bravo show Million Dollar Listing.

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April 14, 2014

As seen in The New York Times.

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Photo by Joss McKinley for The New York Times.

The Elevated Vase by Thomas Bentzen was featured in this week's "Trend Report | First Blush" in the print edition of T: The New York Times Style Magazine. "The edges of modern design are softening this season with delicate hues in the palest of pinks," writes market editor Monica Khemsurov. (If you're not partial to pink, the Elevated Vase also comes in pale grey.) 

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April 04, 2014

Remembering Lucia Eames.

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Image courtesy of Eames Office.

It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Lucia Eames on April 1, 2014. The founder of the Eames Foundation, Lucia was the beloved daughter and stepdaughter of Charles and Ray Eames. She was an artist, graphic designer, owner of the Eames Office and mother of five.

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Eames House, also known as Case Study House #8. Photo by Gwendolyn Horton.

It is because of Lucia's foresight and passion for the Eames legacy that the Eames House – one of the most important works of residential architecture from the 20th century – is a National Historic Landmark and will continue to be conserved, studied and enjoyed for years to come.

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Read Lucia Eames interview by Paul Makovsky for Metropolis.

Our thoughts are with the Eames family at this time. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to the Eames Foundation for the preservation of the Eames House.

April 03, 2014

Surface magazine features Norm Architects.

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Portrait by Will Adler for Surface magazine.

“Feeding the enduring fascination with the midcentury Scandinavian aesthetic, Copenhagen-based firm Norm Architects recently launched the Finn outdoor furniture collection for Design Within Reach,” writes Janelle Zara for Surface magazine. “The firm’s partners, Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen and Kasper Rønn, both 37, take great pride in their heritage. ‘The Scandinavian tradition is rooted in a sincere devotion to the crafts, with a strong focus on using good materials and creating designs that last,’ says Bjerre-Poulsen, who traces these qualities to a ‘socialist and humanist design spirit’.”

To read the whole article, pick up the April issue of Surface, the American magazine of global contemporary design. 

DWR PRESENTS: NORM ARCHITECTS from Design Within Reach on Vimeo.

Learn more about this Danish design duo in this DWR film.

April 01, 2014

Last Biennial for Marcel Breuer’s Whitney Museum.

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A swan song of sorts is playing at the Whitney Museum of American Art: the last Biennial exhibition before the museum moves downtown and leaves behind the landmark building designed by Marcel Breuer in the 1960s.

The momentousness of that move is not lost on the museum staff, who asked the three guest curators of the Biennial how the Breuer building figured in their thoughts as the show was coming together. Each curator was assigned a floor, second through fourth, and 103 artists or art groups are represented in all, double the number of the 2012 Biennial.

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