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.
223 posts categorized "Designers"
June 08, 2013
June 07, 2013
May 30, 2013
Our friend David Weeks is the subject of a Human Kind Story for the Sundance Channel. Check it out for a behind-the-scenes look at his studio and to learn more about this innovative designer.
May 29, 2013
Apparently back in ye olde 1950s, before the interwebs turned everyone into “the press,” they used to hold press conferences for designers. In honor of George Nelson’s 105th birthday today, I was clicking around the New York Times archives and found this brilliant nugget of his, quoted from the 1950 “Trends in New Design” press conference: “The dangerous becomes safe as soon as three people have bought it.”
The press from those days notes how his use of technology created for other industries – such as bent steel for a car’s fender – was totally revolutionary…unsafe, if you will. And his clear response? Eh, you’ll get used to it. “Familiarity breeds acceptance,” he once said. His Swag Leg pieces (the Desk is pictured above) are perfect examples of this innovation. The swaging process, which uses pressure to taper and curve a metal tube, was invented for industrial uses, not exactly for the creation of sleek, functional interiors.
So, George, we salute you and your mind-boggling forethought. Probably not an example of forethought, but fortuitous nonetheless, his Swag Collection – as well the entire Herman Miller® collection – goes on sale on Friday.
May 16, 2013
May 15, 2013
Meet Jonah Takagi, one of the designers we'll be showcasing this week at WantedDesign.
Born in Tokyo and raised in New England, Jonah Takagi earned his bachelor’s degree from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2002. He’s spent the last decade designing furniture and playing bass guitar for indie rock bands. Regrettably, being on the road gave him little time to exhibit his furniture. To showcase his growing body of work, he founded Atelier Takagi in 2005. Takagi says of his design approach, “After you create something, you have little to no control over the emotional content that people will attribute to the object, so your best bet is to make it sturdy, make it last and, if you say it is going to do something, make sure it does it well.”
May 14, 2013
Meet Tamasyn Gambell, one of the designers we'll be showcasing this week at WantedDesign.
“I use the most eco-friendly materials and processes,” says textile designer Tamasyn Gambell, “as I believe that designers have a responsibility to the environment and that being green does not have to compromise style or quality.”
After graduating from the Royal College of Art and Design in London, designer Tamasyn Gambell headed to Paris, where she mastered her trade at couture houses such as Sonia Rykiel and Louis Vuitton. In 2007 she relocated to Stockholm to explore the opposite end of the spectrum, as a print designer for H&M, launching her own company a year later. A true contemporary modernist, Gambell believes that good design and green design go hand in hand.
April 02, 2013
Hans Wegner admiring a model of his smoking Wing Chair.
The late Hans Wegner was born on this day 99 years ago. A prolific designer, the Danish master created more than 500 chairs in his lifetime, including the iconic Wishbone Chair (1949). Known for crafting perfectly finished joints and exquisite forms, it’s no wonder that Wegner was widely regarded as “the chair-maker of chair-makers.” On this day we raise our glasses to Hans Wegner. Make a wish!
March 27, 2013
On this day 127 years ago, the modern master Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was born. "An interesting plainness is the most difficult and precious thing to achieve," said the architect and Bauhaus director who designed the Farnsworth House in Illinois and the Seagram Building in New York, to name just two of his architectural triumphs. Equally significant is his furniture – minimalist forms that exhibit an unerring sense of proportion. Mies van der Rohe may have designed the Barcelona® Chair for the king and queen of Spain, but in our book, he was the one who was truly royalty. A salute to Mies on this day.
February 20, 2013
February 13, 2013
I’ve always been a little obsessed with Verner Panton’s Living Tower (nicknamed “Pantower,” above), and today, what would have been his 86th birthday, seems like a great time to take a look at it. Panton’s work brings a bit of play to the midcentury modern milieu and this “living wall” epitomizes that. Hip and versatile, it evokes swinging ’60s parties where beautiful people lounge languidly, while stacked vertically, sipping classic cocktails. (Either that or a cat tree.) According to the Vitra Design Museum, Panton was envisioning a “new form of communal living.” Introduced in 1969, it was made by Herman Miller briefly before Fritz Hansen took over production in 1970. Difficult and unwieldy to create, though, only a handful were made and the Danish master’s Pantower was out of production by 1975. Learn more about Panton – and see more of his bright and brilliant work – here.
February 11, 2013
“The key thing is seeing everything grow, setting out with a small sketch and seeing the whole and details spring to life,” said Arne Jacobsen. “It is the act of creation itself, and it is equally exhilarating whether one is working on a teaspoon or a national bank.” The midcentury Danish master sprang to life himself 111 years ago today and we salute him. From the Ant Chair to the Swan, Egg and SAS Royal Copenhagen Hotel itself (as well as the hotel’s coordinating teaspoon, pictured above), Jacobsen’s contribution to the modernist milieu is unparalleled. Learn more about him here.
January 18, 2013
Happy birthday Philippe Starck!
Known as a designer who approaches design in a subversive, intelligent and always interesting way, his objects surprise and delight even as they transgress boundaries and subvert expectations.
In 2012, Starck brought us the Broom Chair, perhaps one of the most passionate design stories of modern time. "Imagine a guy who takes a humble broom and starts to clean the workshop, and with this dust he makes new magic," says Starck of his famed Broom Chair.
Today we celebrate this inspiring designer. Cheers, Philippe. We know you are doing something fabulous for your birthday!
December 20, 2012
Miles on the Milo Recliner.
If DWR had a mascot, it would most certainly be Miles, who has appeared in our catalogs as well as on our blog and facebook page. He is also a regular at our photoshoots. Here are a few of our favorite photos of DWR’s favorite dog.
On location in Armonk, New York. House in background was designed by Arthur Witthoefft in 1957. Read more about the house here. Keep reading to see MORE PHOTOS.
December 12, 2012
December 10, 2012
Today is your last chance to save 15% on the Eames® Lounge Chair, which will be handcrafted to pithy piano music by a man wearing all white, alongside a magically appearing ottoman, as this 1956 video shows. Okay, maybe not. But you will receive it within two weeks, like all DWR in-stock items. Shop the entire Herman Miller Sale until midnight tonight.
December 06, 2012
The above chair – recently introduced in a lightly padded, upholstered version – would likely not exist if it wasn’t for Charles and Ray Eames’ flagrant disregard for landlords. The famous LCW was an eventual evolution of experiments the couple did in their first apartment as newlyweds. Their first place (which happened to be designed to Richard Neutra) was on Strathmore Avenue in Westwood, a suburb of Los Angeles. They took the liberty of turning it into a workshop.
December 02, 2012
“When we launched BassamFellows in 2003, our whole thing was oiled teak and oxidized brass, but we were surrounded by bright plastics,” Craig Bassam told design writer Mandi Keighran last February. “We were this odd thing, this very natural thing. Craft wasn’t a word used much back then.”
November 29, 2012
Jens Risom's Block Island Retreat by Gary Nadeau for Dwell from gary nadeau on Vimeo.
Step inside Jens Risom's Block Island home in this beautiful video from Dwell. “There’s something peaceful about the island," says Risom. "It is a unique feeling that you’re there. Not that it’s yours but you’re using it.” Learn more about this iconic designer, his thoughts on prefab and the simple summers he and his family enjoyed (and still enjoy) on the island.
November 21, 2012
At last week's Yale symposium about George Nelson, one message was clear: You have to read George. In other words, George the writer trumps George the architect, George the designer and George the teacher, combined.
For two days, scholars, design nerds, editors and Murray Moss (there is no label to define him) talked about the legacy of this American icon. Known mainly for his furniture and design work for Herman Miller, Nelson also wrote and edited for Architectural Forum, Fortune, Pencil Points, Life and McCall's, and co-authored the bestselling Tomorrow's House with Henry Wright.