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223 posts categorized "Designers"

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.

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.

June 13, 2012

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.

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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 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

Almost toasted: how the Marshmallow Sofa was saved.

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In 1956, Irving Harper was working at George Nelson’s design firm when the two of them were approached by a Long Island company that had invented self-skinned injected plastic cushions. The inventors believed that the plastic discs could be produced inexpensively and saw the potential for creating something interesting with them. Harper and Nelson were intrigued and spent a weekend designing possible ways to use the discs. A model of a sofa was made (using checkers arranged on a small frame), which led to the design of the Marshmallow Sofa (above). Unfortunately, the plastic discs were not inexpensive to produce after all, and the Long Island company could not deliver the product they’d promised.

Continue reading "Almost toasted: how the Marshmallow Sofa was saved. " »

June 01, 2012

Modern materials.

Anyone who’s seen the movie The Graduate is familiar with the scene when Mr. McGuire says to Benjamin, “I just want to say one word to you. Just one word … Plastics.” And while this suggestion is dated today (it was even a bit dated when the movie was made in 1967), the truth is that plastics were big business – a “wonder material” that emerged after WWII. Charles and Ray Eames, who started working with it for chair production, immediately recognized the possibilities of plastics.

Continue reading "Modern materials." »

May 29, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mr. Nelson.


“We can tell the age of a city,” said George Nelson, “roughly by the patterns of buildings and open spaces seen from the air.” Could you tell by looking at him that he’d be 104 today? Since the mid-century master missed the chance to share his birthday with his colleagues Isamu Noguchi and Alexander Girard, he gets today’s blog post all to himself. And that’s as it ought to be – modern American design would look very different without the influence of Herman Miller’s groundbreaking design director (1946–1972). Learn more about this legendary designer’s legacy here.

Posted by Emily Fasten

May 24, 2012

May 24: The most modern birthday.

The Red Cube designed by Isamu Noguchi in 1968. Located at 140 Broadway in NYC.

Today is the birthday of Florence Knoll Bassett, Edith Heath, Alexander Girard 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 Noguchi Museum in Long Island City, Heath Ceramics in Sausalito, the Girard Wing at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, or the Knoll Museum in East Greenville, PA. Have you been to any of these places? If so, let us know what you think. 

May 21, 2012

Design Week NYC: 30 children's chairs.

The folks at Partners and Spade are thinking big with their exhibition of little chairs. Thirty of them, to be exact, all from the collection of Mondo Cane Gallery. The chairs are all for sale, but how to choose a favorite? A daunting task indeed.

Continue reading "Design Week NYC: 30 children's chairs." »

Design Week NYC: Noho Design District.

The Noho Design District is one of the hottest design destinations in New York City during Design Week. It is produced and curated annually by Sight Unseen in partnership with NoHo-Bowery Stakeholders to coincide with the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF). Here are a few highlights from this year's event, May 18-21.

The CP Lounge Chair by Charles Pollock. Concrete Wallpaper by Piet Boon. Both at The Future Perfect satellite show at 2 Cooper Square.

Sonos Soundalier by Kiel Mead and Lindsey Adelman. A combination of Adelman's iron chandeliers with Sonos Play speakers, the Soundalier introduces a new way to produce a 360 listening experience. 

Continue reading "Design Week NYC: Noho Design District." »

Design Week NYC: Roll & Hill.

(I'm a bit freaked out by the man on the left, perfectly aligned inside one of the bulbs, with "antenna" coming out of his ears. Photo gremlins...)

Run, don't walk, to the 3,500-square-foot temporary showroom opened by lighting company Roll & Hill. As you know, we have a number of R&H items in our assortment and we're huge fans of their work. The space also includes a satellite show for The Future Perfect. Here are a few of the items to see at 2 Cooper Square in in Noho. (Shown above: Rudi by Lukas Peet for Roll & Hill.)

Continue reading "Design Week NYC: Roll & Hill." »

May 20, 2012

Designing, producing and distributing design products in the United States.

Designer Todd Bracher, Laura Ann Young of Areaware, Susan S. Szenasy of Metropolis, John Edelman CEO of DWR

"If a designer loves something when designing it, you'll feel better when using it," said DWR CEO John Edelman. "That passion comes through." And so began the Design Week panel discussion moderated by Susan S. Szenasy of Metropolis magazine. Read more about this topic in Tough Love on the Metropolis blog.

Design Week NYC: WantedDesign.

I missed the 20-foot reclaimed wood seesaw on my first trip through WantedDesign, so dense was the space with interesting things (and people) to see. WantedDesign is a four-day event featuring the work of designers from around the world. Here are a few of the highlights.

New lighting by David Trubridge 

Continue reading "Design Week NYC: WantedDesign." »

May 16, 2012

Diving into iconic soup spoons.

Arne Jacobsen, courtesy of Fritz Hansen

Kudos to Alice Rawsthorn on her piece "Reflections on a Soup Spoon" in the New York Times. So concise is her description of this functional piece of cutlery designed by Arne Jacobsen in 1957, that I was convinced to purchase as set of my own. I am also a huge fan of Jacobsen's Series 7 Chair, so I figure this guy knew what he was doing in the dining room. But it's worth noting that the 5-piece cutlery set shown in her article does not include the coveted Soup Spoon. Instead, this spoon, called the Bouillon Spoon or Breakfast Spoon by manufacturer Georg Jensen, is sold separately in sets of two. Have you had the pleasure of slurping your soup with such a spoon? If so, please let me know what you think. And I'll be sure to report back after I receive mine.

May 08, 2012

Happy Birthday Jens Risom!

Jens Risom with his iconic lounge chair, designed in 1943.

We celebrate Jens Risom every day at DWR -- and especially today, his birthday. Risom designed the first chair for the company Knoll in 1941, and he's still designing today. "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!

Learn more about Jens Risom in this DWR Film


May 04, 2012

Telling stories in pictures.

Bonnie Edelman at Bordoneo Farm in Uruguay. Photo by Marcela Ganly.

DWR's Bonnie Edelman is featured in Wag Magazine this month. Journalist Mary Shustack reports on the photographer's special connection to Uruguay, horse breeder Althea Ganly, and a special training method called imprinting. "What happens is you get these very calm, docile horses, friendly horses,” says Edelman. "So while they look wild, they are quite easy to work with." Read the article at

May 01, 2012

The fabulous Fortuny.

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Celebrated by his contemporaries as "The Magician of Venice", Mariano Fortuny was perhaps the last Renaissance man in the truest meaning of the term. Though trained as a painter, Fortuny was an accomplished and innovative stage-set designer, architect, inventor, couturier, and lighting technician. Fortuny was born on this day 141 years ago. The Delphos gown he designed in 1907 continues to shape women's fashion, and the textiles company he founded is still going strong.

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The Fortuny Lamp, designed in 1907.

Continue reading "The fabulous Fortuny." »