495 posts categorized "Design"
September 11, 2013
August 23, 2013
Famed designer Charles Pollock, distinguished by a modern interpretation of the office chair, has passed. Pollock was perhaps best known for his eponymous Pollock Executive Chair, which surfaced at a time in the 1960s when many corporate offices were beginning to embrace a sleek, modern aesthetic. The chair was an instant sensation upon release and went on to become one of the most recognizable and successful office chairs ever. Featuring ingeniously simple construction, it’s marked by an aluminum rim that supports the seat and back both structurally and visually.
Charles Pollack was born in Philadelphia in 1930. After moving to Detroit with his family as a teen, he enrolled in Cass Technical High School, where he was exposed to art and design. He excelled at Cass and received a full scholarship to the School of Art and Design at Pratt Institute in New York. It was there that Pollock became skilled in the disciplines of sketching and model-making. While visiting Pratt one afternoon, designer George Nelson happened to come upon a sculpture of Pollock’s that he admired. Pollock later presented Nelson with that very same sculpture as a gift – a portent of exciting things to come.
Pollock soon took a job working for Nelson in New York, contributing to development of the Swag Leg Collection, introduced by Herman Miller in 1958. Building on the success of Swag, Pollock struck out on his own to open a studio in Brooklyn. Two years later, after taking note of his designs, Florence Knoll began paying Pollock a small monthly salary that he put toward rent and product development. The Pollock Executive Chair came to fruition in 1963 as a result of that relationship.
Pollock was the recipient of many awards, including the IBD Bronze Medal and Pratt Institute’s Excellence by Design Award, and his work is exhibited in museums throughout the world.
August 13, 2013
David Sokol of the Wall Street Journal recently featured desk toys in his design column, giving five stars (so to speak) to our Folding Stars. Designed by John Kostick, these "engaging toys can take you out of your prefrontal cortex and exercise different parts of your brain by offering a different type of challenge and a tactile, motor experience.," says Donna Flynn, director of workspace futures at Steelcase. "The experience offers a small reward that could trigger the release of dopamine — one of the key chemicals that balances with norepinephrine to stimulate brain function."
As Charles Eames would say, "We must take our pleasure seriously."
July 29, 2013
If you haven't seen the Helix Table, which launched at DWR in May, be sure to read about it in this month's Surface magazine. Designed by Chris Hardy, the Helix Table fulfills our need for a new table that looks at home next to furniture by design greats.
"It's very difficult to put a piece of furniture that you designed next to a Jacobsen egg chair, a Jeffrey Bernett sofa, and an Eames lounge and ottoman, and have it stand on its own," says DWR CEO John Edelman.
Be sure to read the full story on page 60 of the July/August issue of Surface magazine.
July 19, 2013
Brought to you by our friends at Herman Miller. What creative masterpiece will they come up with next?
July 03, 2013
James Turrell, rendering for Aten Reign, 2013. Daylight and LED light. Site-specific installation, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York © James Turrell. Rendering: Andreas Tjeldflaat, 2012 © Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation.
Here are just a few exhibitions happening around the country. From rethinking the ballpoint pen in Connecticut to Corbu in New York to Turrell in California (and Texas and New York), there is richness to enjoy everywhere.
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
Ballpoint Pen Drawing Since 1950
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Wallace Mitchell, Double Pennants, 1949, at Cranbrook Art Museum.
Cranbrook Art Museum
Michigan Modern: Design that Shaped America
June 27, 2013
In today's Times, Tim McKeough goes lamp shopping with Daniel Libeskind, who believes a task light must meet two criteria. “‘First of all, it has to be something beautiful,’ he said, ‘because it’s an object that sits on a table.’ But it also has to be functional, not only ‘in terms of the kind of light it throws,’ he said, but also ‘how you change the light and how you move the lamp.’”
One of his favorites was the Tripod Desk Lamp by Serge Mouille. “Even after all these years, he said, its sculptural appeal still felt forward-looking. In fact, he speculated, ‘the designer of the space shuttle may have seen this lamp.’”
June 24, 2013
At this year's Summer Party at the Philip Johnson Glass House, guests were treated to a picnic, lawn games, music and wine. The attire was "summer chic," and it appears that many of the men translated that to mean, "dress like Philip Johnson." People watching aside, the setting was, of course, picture perfect. Here are some of our favorite photos from the event.
As seen in the Architect's Newspaper, Bonnie Edelman has added Philip Johnson's pool at the Glass House to her SCAPES (Land, Sea, Sky) collection, "a series of photographs that capture natural settings in blurs of color."
An exhibition of Edelman's work can be seen through August 24 at the Heather Gaudio Fine Art gallery in New Canaan, Connecticut.
June 18, 2013
The DWR Boulder Studio has been working with University of Colorado architecture professor Julee Herdt to inspire the next generation of eco-friendly designers. With her course Green Technology: Design from Salvage, she charged her students with designing “an architectural object of beauty and high functionality without spending much (or any) money; vying for selection and exhibition in DWR Boulder’s storefront.” Well, the winners are in and they are extraordinarily innovative. We are proud to introduce you to the work of Josh Arendt, Matt Nickel and Taylor Hawley.
June 13, 2013
In today's New York Times, Julie Earle-Levine is on location with Tamra Davis and Michael Diamond, aka Mike D of the Beastie Boys. The couple recently renovated their 3,200-square-foot Cobble Hill townhouse, and we were pleased to see the rubber Unfold Pendant in one of their bedrooms. “We used lighting, like this DWR pendant, that would not break if hit with a flying object in the boys’ bedroom,” Ms. Davis said. Check your head, indeed.
June 11, 2013
Renowned designer Niels Diffrient, who changed the landscape of ergonomic seating, has died. Diffrient was referred to by Forbes magazine as the “grandaddy of ergonomic revolution” for his previously unpracticed emphasis on the “human factor” in design. His famous three-volume treatise Human Scale, published in 1974, inspired future designers to take the shapes, patterns and preferences of the human body into consideration when designing a chair. All along, Diffrient’s commitment to the good of humanity remained intact. “Why would you design something,” he asked in the New York Times in 2003, “if it didn't improve the human condition?”
While it's not 100% accurate (e.g. Raymond's surname is spelled Loewy, without an e after the w) I think you'll enjoy this short video by Clive Hilton for Open University. Translation note: When the narrator says "alu-min-e-um," I believe he means aluminum. Just my guess.
Are you ready to get your goth on? Learn a bit about Gothic Revival in this short video by Clive Hilton for Open University.
This short video by Clive Hilton for Open University gives a quick lesson about the Bauhaus. While it is charming and informative, I do disagree with one point. The video states that Marcel Breuer's cantilevered Cesca Chair was inspired by a bicycle, but it was really his Wassily Chair, designed three years before the Cesca, that evolved from the graceful handlebars of the Alder bicycle.
What do you think, how bauhaus is your house?
It's unclear to me why the craftsman appears to be mostly naked, but this charming video by Clive Hilton for Open University is a fun introduction to Arts & Crafts. I'll be sharing five more videos today, all about the history of design. Stay tuned for Bauhaus, American Industrial Design and others.
June 10, 2013
Today is the last chance to save 15% and enjoy Free Standard Shipping on the entire Herman Miller collection, including Charles and Ray Eames’ connsummate and iconic lounge chair set, pictured above. Don’t just lie there! Go get something new to lie there in. Shop the sale, through tonight at midnight, here.
June 08, 2013
I’ve discussed on these very pages the nearly magical alchemical force that was Charles and Ray Eames’ creative energy. But even geniuses are sometimes constrained by the capacity of the times. So, back in 1950, when they conceived of the simple, accessible, organic form that became their Molded Plastic Chair, the vision was initially made with the warmth and material honesty of wood. Unfortunately those sexy curves were just too dramatic for the capacity of their “Kazam! machine.” Finally, Herman Miller®, in collaboration with the Eames heirs, have applied today’s 3-D veneer technology – whereby the wood is sliced into spaghetti-thin strips and then glued back together – to the creation of this new (old) design. The Eames® Molded Wood Chair is already a classic, it’s available exclusively at DWR and, conveniently enough, it’s also on sale.
June 07, 2013
June 04, 2013
Charles and Ray Eames moved into their Pacific Palisades home, also known as Case Study House #8, on Christmas Eve in 1949. For the rest of their lives, this was where they lived, worked and played, and today the interior remains very much as they left it. The Eames Foundation is taking serious efforts to conserve the property and stay ahead of the forces of nature weathering this iconic steel frame structure overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Rather than waiting for the house to be in crisis, they've launched the 250 Year Project to plan for future needs now, and you're invited to be part of this important mission.
To help, you can purchase a limited-edition print inspired by an Eames quote or an object from the house. Each tax-deductible print costs $75, and all proceeds go to the Eames House.