March 6, 2012
Our lives don’t stop outside the walls of our buildings, and our furniture shouldn’t either. A fact addressed by Charles and Ray Eames with the Aluminum Group. Originally referred to as the “Indoor-Outdoor Group,” the Eameses intended their design to blur the distinction between patio and living room in the modern home.
To make the Aluminum Group chairs appropriate for outdoors, the Eameses found saran—a cloth-like fabric made of woven plastic fibers. Porous and fast drying, they felt it was the ideal material for life outside. Perhaps ahead of its time, saran proved to have durability issues forcing the Eameses to abandon it just a year or two after production. Consequently the entire collection migrated indoors.
Today, the Eames Aluminum Group is once again ready for life on your patio. Building on the yarn and weave technology pioneered in Pellicle, we have developed with designer Susan Lyons a new outdoor upholstery option called Outdoor Weave. Porous, fast drying, and durable, it meets all of the characteristics Charles and Ray demanded of saran.
March 5, 2012
Every day people endure rush hour traffic, mediocre coffee, and the interruptions that come with office life. Equipped with a laptops and cell phones, many workers could work from elsewhere. So, why to do they go to the office?
“All work is social,” says Larry Prusak, author and director of IBM’s research lab. While mobile technology untethers workers from their desks, nothing trumps face time when it comes to developing and deepening relationships with others.
René Shimada Siegel writing in Inc magazine recently observed, “We’re all in the people business. We’ll only be successful if we really get to know our customers and colleagues.” To do this, Siegel advocates meeting in person, offering 5 reasons to forgo Skype, emails, and texts.
People chose the office for a reason. For those of us who design and furnish offices, the challenge is to make them places where people want to be.
March 1, 2012
Reimagining an iconic design is no small matter. For designer Stephan Copeland, it held the extra pressure of taking on a design from his childhood: the classic L-1 architect lamp by Luxo—also known as Pixar’s mischievous mascot. The result, the Ovelo light, was Copeland’s modern interpretation of the iconic design for the era of efficient LED lighting technology.
What did you think when Luxo approached you to design Ovelo as an update to their L-1 lamp?
I was excited, but it was certainly stressful. The L-1 sat on my desk as a kid. It’s one of the most refined and efficient designs you’ll experience. Professionally, I’ve competed against it for 20 years. Now I was given the opportunity to imagine it for the LED era.
How was LED technology an influence on the design?
It was. The small size of LEDs and lack of heat, offered so many design options. The most obvious was reducing the size of the lamp’s head. But more importantly, LEDs allowed the center of the lamp’s head to be left open, turning the entire head into a handle, a comfortable point for somone to grasp and adjust the lamp.
Aesthetically, Ovelo is quite different than L-1. Why not follow the design cues of the classic more closely?
I wanted Ovelo to be peaceful, and to encourage interaction and natural adjustment, so I spent a lot of time developing new imagery for the lamp. Designing the head to be a handle was one aspect of this. Another was enclosing all of the components—electrical, the arm mechanism of L-1, and all of the fasteners—in a smooth case. If you run your hand over the body of Ovelo, there is nothing to catch it.
I hope that people find Ovelo approachable and easy to adjust, because in the end, that is the purpose of a desk lamp—to put the right amount of light right where you need it.