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223 posts categorized "Designers"



August 07, 2014

Designing for a need... their own.

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Illustration by Kathyrn Rathke, courtesy of Connecticut Cottages & Gardens.

"We never planned to be New Englanders. We were New Yorkers through and through," writes Scott Fellows in Connecticut Cottages & Gardens. Fortunately for modernists everywhere, he and his partner Craig Bassam made the move to New Canaan, Conn. Upon arrival, the design duo completely restored the Willis Mills House – saving it from destruction by neglect – and started designing their own furniture.

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Architect Willis Mills designed this New Canaan house for his family in 1956.

They needed "pieces that would hold their own against the powerful nature outside and the double-height glass walls," explains Fellows. Thus, the furniture powerhouse called BassamFellows was born.

Continue reading "Designing for a need... their own. " »

July 15, 2014

A light way to savor summer.

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The designers at Rich Brilliant Willing are saying "Hello, summer!" with a sunny twist on their logo. Stephanie Murg at Unbeige praises the design as a refreshing way to celebrate a season that "is typically welcomed with little more than picnic-themed grocery store displays before it is ushered offstage in a blaze of back-to-school-themed commercials."

We're guessing this playful spirit is what enables RBW to come up with brilliant (and rich and willing) ideas like using audio jacks as connectors in their lamps. What will this summer inspire them to do?

May 27, 2014

Remembering Massimo Vignelli.

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It was with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Massimo Vignelli. The Italian architect and designer died on May 27 at 83. In recent weeks, word of his illness motivated the design community to generate a campaign of letters, to let Massimo know how much he changed the world in which we live. At DWR, we sent him a letter, which read:

We wanted to let you know how much we appreciate the contributions you’ve made – not only to the world of modern design but also to the world in general. We’re firm believers in the notion that work such as yours improves the lives of people everywhere.

Also, we thought you might like to hear what a few of our own people had to say about you.

Continue reading "Remembering Massimo Vignelli." »

May 23, 2014

May 24: The Most Modern Birthday.

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Alexander Girard: An Uncommon Vision closes May 28. Photo by Herman Miller.

Today is the birthday of Alexander Girard, Edith Heath, Florence Knoll and Isamu Noguchi. If it's also your birthday, you're keeping company with some of the most creative minds of the 20th century. To celebrate this day, we suggest visiting the Alexander Girard pop-up exhibition at 446 W. 14th Street in New York (closes May 28), Heath Ceramics in Sausalito, the Knoll Museum in East Greenville, or the Noguchi Museum in Long Island City.

Have you been to any of these places? If so, let us know what you think.

May 22, 2014

Happy birthday, Marcel Breuer!

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Marcel Breuer, circa 1926.

"It's a world of possible impossibilities," said Marcel Breuer. Born on this day (or yesterday, depending on your source) in 1902, the Hungarian architect and furniture designer began his career as one of the youngest students at the Bauhaus. Passionate and curious, Breuer thrived on finding unique solutions to everyday problems. From cantilevered chairs to facades of glass to Brutalist buildings to his concept of the binuclear house (bedrooms in one wing, living/dining areas in the other, separated by an entry hall), Breuer shaped the world in which we live and continues to inspire designers today.

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Whitney Museum of Art. Photo by Ezra Stoller.

"Architecture should be anchored in usefulness," said Breuer, "its attitude should be more direct, more directly responsible, more directly social."

To celebrate Breuer's birthday, check out the building he designed for the Whitney Museum of American Art. The museum will leave this landmark building later this year to move to a new structure designed by Renzo Piano.

May 08, 2014

Happy Birthday, Jens Risom!

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Jens Risom with his iconic lounge chair designed in 1943.

We celebrate Jens Risom every day at DWR -- and especially today, his 98th birthday. Risom designed the first chair for the company Knoll in 1941, and he's still designing today. In fact, we'll be launching his latest collection in early 2015.

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"Basically, my whole life has been in the design of pieces that make the living environment more enjoyable," says Risom. "Many designers lose sight of this. They want their work to be looked at like art. I prefer design that is neutral and not the center stage, furniture that is for people."

To the man who has brought us so much enjoyment in our living environments, we wish you a very happy birthday!

DWR PRESENTS: JENS RISOM from Design Within Reach on Vimeo.

Learn more about Jens Risom in this DWR Film.

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.

January 08, 2014

Silvermine exhibition: The Answer is Risom.

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Opening today, "The Answer is Risom" celebrates the work of this unparalleled designer. I've often said that one of the best things about working at DWR is running into Jens Risom in the hallways, as we continue to collaborate with him on projects for our customers. Risom is a long-time supporter of Silvermine Arts Center, located in New Canaan, Connecticut. If you're in the area, stop by and see the show or join us at the Opening Reception on Sunday.

December 06, 2013

Atlas Table named Best of Year by Interior Design magazine.

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Atlas Table shown with Malena Armchair

Best of Year! We’re proud to announce that the Atlas Table received Interior Design magazine’s top honor for 2013 in the side table category. Designed by Brad Ascalon, the Table was inspired by Atlas, the Greek mythological character condemned for eternity to carry the heavens on his shoulders. Translating this into a physical object, Ascalon was intrigued by the challenge of making an elegant frame that could carry the weight of solid stone. The Altas Table, like Atlas himself, exemplifies strength and endurance. Congratulations to Brad Ascalon and the DWR Product Development Team!

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Brad Ascalon at last night's award ceremony.
 

November 15, 2013

The Gift of Know-How: Books.

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Steve Kroeter in his book-filled living room.

"One of the terrific things about living in New York is that there are many great bookstores," says Steve Kroeter, founder and editor in chief of Designers & Books.

Launched in 2011, Designers & Books is an advocate for books as an important source of inspiration for creativity, innovation, and invention. Steve and his team publish lists of books that members of the international design community identify as important and formative. We recently turned the tables on Steve and asked him for a list of his favorite books, which led to a discussion about favorite book sellers.

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Continue reading "The Gift of Know-How: Books." »

October 15, 2013

Now playing, Design is One: Lella and Massimo Vignelli.

 

Described by The Atlantic as "a love letter about modern design and the Vignelli's 50-year marriage," this must-see documentary is playing this week at IFC Center in New York. For additional screenings around the world, click here.

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Heller Dinnerware by Lella and Massimo Vignelli.

 

October 11, 2013

Chieftains Chair sells for $674,099 at auction.

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Image courtesy of Phillips.

The recent Nordic Design auction at Phillips featured several extraordinary pieces designed by Finn Juhl. His Chieftains Chair, designed in 1949, often brings above-estimate prices but a new record was set at this London sale: £422,500, or approx. $674,099 in U.S. dollars. And yes, we confirmed this price with the auction house. If you were outbid, you can still buy an authentic Chieftains Chair at DWR.

 

Rob Forbes on perfection ... and baseballs.

Check out Design Observer to learn more about DWR founder Rob Forbes and his company Public Bikes.

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DWR Catalog cover, August 2003.

September 27, 2013

Modern love, let me count the ways.

Eero Saarinen wrote this letter to his wife Aline, shortly after they were married in 1954. Their romance began a year earlier when Aline was sent to Detroit to write a piece about the architect for the New York Times Magazine.

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Source: Archives of American Art

The letter goes on to say, "Darling: I think it is absolutely terrific that you and I are really married and that for now on we are man and wife and that we can now make out of that as beautiful a design -- a real work of art -- to the extent of our abilities -- is it not absolutely terrific!"

Absolutely terrific, indeed. Not only do I love Saarinen's work but I also love how he loved. It's time for love letters to come back into vogue. They are the ultimate timeless classic.

August 23, 2013

Remembering Charles Pollock, 1930–2013.

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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 16, 2013

Now for sale: Grossman’s Hurley House.

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Greta Magnussen Grossman emigrated from Sweden in 1940 and went on to become one of the originators of the California modern aesthetic. She produced 14 residences over the course of her career – and, while there are only a handful left, her most ambitious and significant, the Hurley House, has just gone on the market for the first time since it was built in 1958.

Continue reading "Now for sale: Grossman’s Hurley House." »

August 05, 2013

Alejandro Sticotti visits DWR Potrero Studio.

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Alejandro Sticotti and Mercedes Hernaez at DWR.

Argentinean architect Alejandro Sticotti and graphic designer Mercedes Hernaez stopped by the DWR Potrero Studio while on holiday in San Francisco. As a designer, Sticotti's work -- including his V Bench and Shelving -- is all about wood and simple lines. Learn more about this creative couple and see photos of their Buenos Aires home in this interview by Freunde von Freunden.

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Sticotti Shelving

July 29, 2013

Surface magazine highlights Chris Hardy's Helix Table.

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Designer Chris Hardy and DWR CEO John Edelman.

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.

June 11, 2013

Remembering Niels Diffrient, 1928–2013.


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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?”

Continue reading "Remembering Niels Diffrient, 1928–2013. " »

June 10, 2013

Last day of the Herman Miller® Sale.

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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.