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68 posts categorized "Newsletter"



November 21, 2012

Exploring (and slightly disagreeing with) the Finn Juhl exhibition.

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Across the museum courtyard, a beautiful red and gold building foreshadows the Finn Juhl exhibition we were about to see: Furniture for the Senses at Designmuseum Danmark.

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Finn Juhl's gold and purple sofa designed in 1957, shown with a coffee table he designed for professor Alf Ross in 1948. Ross was a Danish lawyer, legal philosopher and the author of Guilt, Responsibility and Punishment in which he wrote about "morality's capacity to guide human behavior." Which brings me to the question of the built-in vase in this coffee table. Are we to see the flowers as imprisoned in the tabletop and, if so, what pray tell was their crime?

Continue reading "Exploring (and slightly disagreeing with) the Finn Juhl exhibition." »

October 05, 2012

New York Times + DWR = Design and Architecture Crossword.

DWR is proud to bring you a very special crossword puzzle, written for everyone who is passionate about design. Click on the puzzle for a larger image or click here for a printable PDF. This puzzle will also appear in the October 7 issue of T Design (see page 60) in The New York Times.

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Keep reading for hints and answers. 

Continue reading "New York Times + DWR = Design and Architecture Crossword." »

August 28, 2012

Rockwell and Cherner. (Or how a commercial illustrator created a mid-century icon.)

 

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It’s not often that a visual artist transforms the career of a furniture designer – and that’s only part of what makes Norman Cherner’s story remarkable.

In 1952, George Nelson (yes, that George Nelson, of Herman Miller® design director fame) designed the Pretzel Chair, which was, briefly, manufactured by Massachusetts-based Plycraft. It soon became clear that the Pretzel was too difficult to reliably produce on a mass scale and the company abandoned the project. But in 1957 they asked Norman Cherner – then known mostly for his pre-fab housing – to create something similar, using the same bentwood technology as the Pretzel. The result was the Cherner Armchair, with its thin waist and wide arms. And then things go sketchy: After delivering the design to the Paul Goldman, the head of Plycraft, Goldman told him the project was cancelled and production wouldn’t happen. But it did. Goldman continued to produce Cherner’s design, attributing the design to a certain “Bernardo,” undeniably a fabrication.

Understandably, Cherner was rather shocked to discover his design sitting in a showroom in New York. He sued Goldman in 1961, winning the case and receiving royalties. That same year, illustrator to the masses, Norman Rockwell, pictured the Cherner Armchair in his September 1961 cover of the Saturday Evening Post, in an illustration called “The Artist at Work” (above). This was all it took to catapult Cherner into the design spotlight, as demand for the Cherner Armchair soared. It’s an interesting example of how accessible modernism used to be – at the time, the Cherner Chair sold for $50 to $60. The work of someone like Norman Rockwell, whose art expressed pure, unadulterated mass appeal, was entirely of a piece with many of the tenets of modernism. Functional, commercial, accessible, mass produced – these things defined both modern design at that time and Rockwell’s illustrations.

Despite the success of the chair it went out of production in 1972. In 1999, Cherner’s sons, Benjamin and Thomas, launched the Cherner Chair Company to bring their father’s iconic work back into production. To learn more about Norman Cherner’s life and see the Cherner Collection (which is on sale during the Dining Sale), click here.

Posted by Emily Fasten.

June 14, 2012

Should animals appear in DWR catalogs?

We're having a Creative Department debate: Should animals appear in DWR catalogs? If so, here are some of the talented dogs and cats available to us (translation: the pets of various Creative Dept. staff members). Who would you like to see gracing the pages of DWR?

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Miles the wonder dog.

Continue reading "Should animals appear in DWR catalogs?" »

April 23, 2012

Milan Highlights: Refuge Tonneau by Charlotte Perriand.

Charlotte Perriand is best known for her elegant modernist tubular steel furniture of the 1920s and 1930s, but it was her architecture that stole the show at this year’s Salone del Mobile in Milan.

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An exhibition of her Refuge Tonneau showcased the kind of prefabricated aluminum buildings and interiors Perriand designed in the 1930s. Inspired by a children’s fairground ride in Croatia, Perriand had the idea for a mobile mountain refuge in 1936. Two years later, working with Pierre Jeanneret, she developed this dodecahedron structure, consisting of a metal frame, central pole and umbrella-like top with 12 spokes. It was initially envisioned for the steep terrain of the Alps, but one can easily see this “space shuttle–mountain shelter” taking off in the aeronautic world.

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The interior is made from pinewood, giving the minimal structure a welcoming feel. The heater is inside the central steel pillar and warms the entire interior while occupying as little space as possible. 

Continue reading "Milan Highlights: Refuge Tonneau by Charlotte Perriand." »

April 17, 2012

Milan: Day One – Courreges at Corso Como.

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Fashion icon Andre Courrèges introduced the world to the miniskirt in 1961, but short skirts weren’t the only things on this designer’s mind. He also had a passion for futuristic cars. After more than 40 years, the battery-powered prototype that Courrèges made in 1968, might hit the streets as an electric vehicle in 2012. Andre’s wife Coqueline created the new design of Bulle EV (“bubble” in French), often working on it in the garage of her Paris home.

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DWR’s Michael Sainato stumbled upon the Bulle yesterday at 10 Corso Como, which was founded by Carla Sozzani in 1990 as a virtual narrative of a magazine layout.

What do you think, is there an electric Bubble in your driving future? 

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Click the "continue reading" link to see more photos.

Continue reading "Milan: Day One – Courreges at Corso Como." »

April 07, 2012

A DWR Film: Jens Risom.


DWR Presents: Jens Risom from Design Within Reach on Vimeo.

Running into legendary designer Jens Risom in the halls at Design Within Reach is just one of the many great things about working here. Our latest DWR Film lets you experience the wit and wisdom of the modern master, as he speaks with us about history, parachute straps, Hans Knoll and, of course, chairs.

March 10, 2012

Calatrava does Dallas.

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Santiago Calatrava has designed more than 40 bridges around the world, and his latest was completed just days ago in Dallas. The cable-stayed bridge features a 400-foot-high arch of steel wrapped in a concrete skin, and a web of steel diagonal stays that give the bridge its unmistakable Calatrava look.

 
In what looks like the demise of the bridge, check out the fireworks show (above) that Dallas put on for the Bridge’s opening celebration (the drama begins after the first 45 seconds).

Continue reading "Calatrava does Dallas." »

March 06, 2012

DWR is now on Pinterest.

We are happy to announce that we are now on Pinterest! Our pinboards are brimming with visual inspiration for you to love and share. If you don't know about this new social media site, we'd love to get you up to speed.

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February 17, 2012

New DWR Video: One bed, many ways.

With our new DWR Bedding Collection of sheets, duvet covers, blankets and pillows, there are many new ways to make the modern bed.

February 07, 2012

A Sommelier shares his home bar tips.

Greg Dickinson works as a sommelier and manager at Boston's L'Espalier restaurant, complementing the Back Bay gem's daily tasting menus with perfect bottles of wine. We were thrilled to get his expert advice for getting any Line Bar, Barboy, or Ollie ready for some spectacular entertaining.

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What wines should every home bar have for entertaining?

Personally, I always like to keep bubbly at home. It's an ideal cocktail wine and is always appropriate for any occasion when entertaining or ANY time of the day (morning, noon, or night). For everyday, I like Segura Viudas Cava brut NV. It retails for around $6 to $8 and mixes well with cordials. For special occasions, my go to is Pol Roger's Sir Winston Churchill Cuvee.

Continue reading "A Sommelier shares his home bar tips." »

January 13, 2012

Living in a Small Space.

Note: This article was originally titled "Leben Auf Kleinem Raum" and ran in the German magazine CouchIt has been translated into English (and slightly edited) by Iris in 't Hout.

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From a family home to a doll size apartment. How do designer Michael Sainato (V.P. Marketing + Creative at Design Within Reach) and stylist Iris in 't Hout solve this? With lots of style - and storage room.

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The table barely measures 70 cm x 80 cm, so the built-in seat benches can have storage drawers underneath. Dog Miles always finds a spot by Iris and Michael.

Continue reading "Living in a Small Space." »

November 30, 2011

Filmmaker Q&A: Eames: The Architect and the Painter.

 

Now in theatres, this is the first film about Charles and Ray Eames to be made since their deaths. Filmmakers Jason Cohn and Bill Jersey take you inside the crazy, exciting, and sometimes sad worlds of Charles and Ray. You’ll hear from people who worked with them in their Venice Beach studio, as well as from Charles’ daughter, Lucia and grandson, Eames Demetrios. The name of the film came from the fact that Bill was “interested in the relationship between Charles [the Architect] and Ray [the Painter] and felt really strongly about getting into the lives of these two.” As for Jason’s goals with the film, “I wanted people to see design differently,” he says. Indeed, neither disappoints with this in-depth, intriguing film. It’s a must-see for anyone who loves design.

To learn more about Jason Cohn and this film, DWR’s Suzanne Shrekgast interviewed the filmmaker. He shares insights to his process, as well as hints of what you’ll find on the soon-to-be-released DVD.

DWR: What inspired you to make this film about Charles and Ray Eames?

Continue reading "Filmmaker Q&A: Eames: The Architect and the Painter." »

November 18, 2011

A DWR Film: The Genius of John Kostick

A combination of mathematics and art, the Foldable Star Sculptures by John Kostick are as mesmerizing as the designer himself. We recently spent an afternoon with Kostick, and it was like attending a lecture at MIT. As he explained (very patiently) the principles of tensegrity and non-Cartesian axes, he continued to spin, fold and unfold his bronze Stars, which he refers to as “mathematical truths that you can hold in your hand.” Step into the fascinating world of John Kostick, designer of the Foldable Star Sculptures.

P.S. That flame that he works with is over 3000° Fahrenheit. His only protection from it: a pair of Ray-Bans.

 


See the Foldable Star Sculptures

Music: "Every Night For A Year" by Patrick Ellis. "I Am Running Down the Long Hallway of Viewmont Elementary" by Chris Zabriskie. Licensed under Creative Commons.

October 27, 2011

From our CEO: My favorite new products.

Dear Readers,

My favorite thing about launching new product is sharing our excitement with you. The passion that our team has put into this assortment is evident on every page. When I first saw how the Hex Copper Bowl reflects the light, I thought it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. When my team showed me the leather Tablet Portfolio, I declared it the attaché of 2012. The Foldable Star Sculptures from John Kostick are the most addictive objects I’ve ever held in my hands, and when I brought the Mohair Blanket home to my family, my son declared it “the coziest blanket ever.” And just wait until you see the modern Menorah by Brad Ascalon, and Lucy the Crocodile by David Weeks. At Design Within Reach, we continue to make authentic modern design accessible, whether it’s accessories, gifts, or what we’re best known for, furniture. Please read the stories and enjoy the beautiful pictures. I guarantee they will make your holiday, as well as your life, aesthetically happier. Call us, chat with us at dwr.com, and please visit us at a Studio near you.

John Edelman
President and CEO 

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May 18, 2011

ICFF NYC Party: Photo Booth Pictures.

  
Here's what happens when you put DWR customers and employees (plus one very pink Swan Sofa) in front of a camera. These photos were taken during the ICFF party at our W. 14th Street Studio in NYC.

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March 15, 2011

Family secret.

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Imagine designing the quintessential café chair that’s been in production since 1934, but without one crucial skill: the ability to draw. “Dad didn’t draw,” recalls Henriette, the daughter of Xavier Pauchard. Instead, the designer “drafted” his prototypes by working with the material with which he was most comfortable: steel. Learn more about the Marais Chair designed by Xavier Pauchard and produced by Tolix in France.

March 14, 2011

Behind the scenes at our March catalog photo shoot.

 

See the DWR catalog team in action. This video was filmed on location in Miami during our photo shoot for our March catalog. The "models" included five new collections for outdoor living. After five days and a few mini-dramas (every chair wants to be the star) the shoot was complete.

August 26, 2010

How does that sofa make you feel? Therapist wins Mad Men contest.

When our Mad Men contest winner told us that he thinks DWR catalogs are kind of like mid-century pornography – pages of glossy, artful photographs of modern objects of desire – we knew we'd enjoy meeting him. We invited our winner, Dr. Mark Adams, to our Austin Studio where he posed for us (clothes on) on the loveseat version of the Raleigh Sofa, one of the many items that he won.

The winner of our Get the Look of Mad Men Sweepstakes, Dr. Mark Adams, in our Austin Studio. Photo by Eric Bricker, director of Visual Acoustics.


Adams is a fan of the mid-century modern look of the Mad Men set designs, and first became interested in the show in 2007. "I was drawn in by the comparison to The Sopranos, which ended that same year, leaving a void in the pop culture terrain." His interest in modern furniture and design began in the 1990s, and the first DWR Studio he visited was in Boston.

His favorite piece of mid-century modern furniture, however, isn't in our assortment (thanks, Mark), but we agree, a Heywood Wakefield coffee table that spins like a Lazy Susan is a pretty sweet piece to own. (He made this score on eBay after he completed his doctoral dissertation.) Fortunately, this table will look quite smart with Adams' new Mad Men-inspired living room, which was the grand prize of our contest and includes most of the items shown below.

The Grand Prize: Raleigh Sofa, Raleigh Armchair, Skagen Nesting Tables, Skagen Coffee Table, Strata Rug and AJ Floor Lamp (not shown).

It's not every day that we speak to a therapist (well, perhaps that's not 100% true) so we took this opportunity to talk shop with the doc (aka Bert Cooper, since that's the character he thinks he's the most similar to). "Which Mad Men character is most in need of therapy?" we asked. To which he replied:

"Don Draper, especially in the current season, but he is not the sort of man who would engage in psychotherapy (unlike Tony Soprano). Betty Draper was actually in psychoanalysis in an earlier season, but reflecting the complicated gender issues in the show, the analyst reported to Don on the sessions. The characters who I think would make good psychotherapy cases would be Peggy Olson, Joan Harris, Salvatore Romano and Bert Cooper."

Thanks, doc. And be sure to let us know how that sofa makes you feel.

-Gwendolyn Horton

P.S. The contest also included four winners of Mad Men Seasons 1, 2 and 3 on DVD. Congratulations to Nicolas Bajwa, Anchorage, AK; Terry Graham, Andalusia, AL; Aimie Aronica, Emerald Hills, CA; and Samantha Humphreys, West Hollywood, CA.

Tune in to Mad Men, Sundays 10/9c. Only on AMC.

July 23, 2010

DWR Design Gallery Contest: And the winners are...

We were overwhelmed by the response to our DWR Design Gallery contest and we’re very excited to show you the winners. A panel of judges rated each entry on a scale from 1 to 10 in each of the following criteria: innovation, honesty, timelessness and approachability. The four with the highest scores were our winners. Congratulations and thank you to everyone who entered.

FIRST PLACE
Russell Hill Road Residence, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Designed by gh3 - Pat Hanson (Partner in Charge) and Anthony Provenzano (Project Architect)

Built in the Brutalist style of architecture of the 1970’s, the house had been changed over the years by previous owners who converted large open spaces into cellular rooms. Hanson and Provenzano reversed this by reopening the ground floor so that it became an open loft-like space from front to back (the house is about 70′ long). They also stripped back the interior to create a neutral shell punctuated by sculptural elements like a curved stair and stone fireplace wall.
 
Interior finishes were chosen for their neutrality. Most surfaces were painted white and other surfaces that would incur more wear – like bathtubs and counters – were finished with custom fabricated white Corian. All floor surfaces, including the stairs are wood, stained nearly black. The contrast with the walls also serves to extend and unify the space.


SECOND PLACE
Vinto Restaurant (vinto.com) 418 E. 200 South, Salt Lake City, UT
Designed by David Harries and Louis Ulrich, principal Lu’na Design Studio

David Harries immediately saw the potential in this old building to house a casual, modern Italian food concept. Working once again with Louis Ulrich, AIA, the first goal was to create a feeling of simplicity. The narrowing of the restaurant allowed for visual variety and booth design, but also pulled the eye to the back of the space; the choice to use the Random Light by Bertjan Pot, reinforced this visual goal while maintaining the airy view to the back.
 
Because of the exposed ceiling joists, they explored industrial finishes, with the end result being exposed metal, wood, marble, and cork. The industrial-chic, Icon Chair and Barstool by Philippe Starck, and the 20-06 Counter Stool by Foster & Partners provided added enhancement. This seating choice provided simplicity and comfort, while the open back maintained visual openness.


THIRD PLACE
McGuire Warman Residence, Ludlow, Kentucky
Designed by Carey McGuire Warman

Carey McGuire Warman’s philosophy is that if you design with things you love, they will always work. The trick is, you just have to be really picky about what you choose to love. With that in mind, the design challenge she had with her 120-year-old house was how to blend two long rooms split by pocket doors into one cohesive living room. And since she was her own client and her own design team, she had to figure it out herself. This is a designer who loves to blend modern design with vintage and antique pieces, and creating striking contrast between the two. So, seeing as the house already brought a lot of vintage character to the space, she looked to some modern pieces for inspiration.


FOURTH PLACE
Satzger Residence, Menlo Park, CA
Designed By Douglas Lorie Design

Husband and wife design team Doug and Lorie Satzger took a simple approach to designing their home. They selected pure designs for simple design for everyday indoor-outdoor living.

Congratulations to our winners and check out blog.dwr.com for honorable mentions. We'll be posting them for the next week or so.

-DWR