October 19, 2011
Designer Naoto Fukasawa believes that designers, “don’t think to design the ‘ordinary.’” Normal is too boring. His approach to design is to not overthink an idea, because when we do, “our actions become awkward.”
The Déjà-vu family designed for Magis proves Fukasawa’s contention that “normal” should be anything but boring. Composed of a chair, stool, and table, Déjà-vu feels familiar. A trait that helped earn the Déjá-vu chair an Interior Innovation Award in 2007, and a 2008 nomination for the Designpreis der Bundesrepublik in Germany.
Based in Japan, Fukasawa and his studio design for companies around the global, including Artemide, Boffi, MUJI, and his own electronics brand ±0. He also teaches or lectures at several prestigious Japanese universities.
October 5, 2011
Nitzan Cohen loves furniture, especially chairs. “They relate most to the body; there is a constant relationship to people, and there really are no boundaries when designing it,” he says. After years of designing with Konstantin Grcic Industrial Design, Cohen established his own multi-disciplinary studio, with clients including BMW-Group, Diesel, Mattiazzi, and Bree.
When Mattiazzi first approached him about designing a new chair, he began with lots of questions: “What will the character of this chair be, will it be ‘loud’ or more timid? You have to find its DNA.”
Perhaps the result surprised even him: two versions of the same chair: He Said/She Said. “I thought about the classic café scenario: girl meets boy, boy meets girl, sitting on two chairs at a small round table; he says something, she says something…and I named it with that in mind.”
September 28, 2011
According to architect and designer Stefano Giovannoni, the most important influence of his life was attending the University of Florence during the late 1970s. “That was where the concept of ‘radical architecture’ was born, which created a whole new language and way of expression in Italian design,” he says. It was a movement that threw out all the rules, resulting in a new vision.
This vision, combined with ingenuity, has helped Giovannoni design some of the most commercially successful products in the world, including the successful Girotondo and Mami lines of household products for Alessi.
Giovannoni’s work for Magis, such as the Bombo Stool, Paso Doble Family, and Chair First exemplify his innovative use of materials and original thinking. Chair First, for example, was the first three-dimensional plastic chair created through gas injected air molding. While the Bombo Stool was so futuristic it appeared in the TV series “Star Trek: Enterprise” and “Star Trek: Voyager.”
Giovannoni’s Bombo Stool was so futuristic set designers chose it for the TV series “Star Trek: Enterprise” and “Star Trek: Voyager.” Down on earth, his work can also be seen in major museums throughout the world.
Design, What's Up
September 21, 2011
One of today’s most influential industrial designers, Jasper Morrison is known for his minimalist approach. Throughout his prolific career, he has strived to create simple but functional beauty in everyday objects, from door handles to trays to wristwatches to chairs. He was a pioneer in using gas-injection technology for furniture; the Air Chair he designed for Magis was one of the very first times it had ever been used for that purpose.
“It represented a big shift in the quality of the one-piece plastic chair,” he says. “Previously, plastic chairs were only possible with single wall thicknesses and reinforcing ribs. The gas-injection technology allowed for continuously smooth surfaces.”
Morrison has been featured in many magazines, and he has published several books on the subject of design. His work has been shown in many international museums, and his retail shop in London carries hundreds of well-designed household items from around the world.
September 14, 2011
The work of Konstantin Grcic is known for its logical thought process, honesty of materials, and respect for production methods. His partnership with Magis led to one of the most interesting and inventive chairs ever created: Chair_One. “This was a wonderful project to work on,” says Grcic, admitting that his relative youth (and naïveté) led him down unexplored pathways with eyes wide open.
“This was possibly the first time ever that such a large die-cast was used for making a chair,” he explains. “It involved a lot of heavy tooling. I decided to break up surfaces into thin sections like branches and let the material flow through the mold to create the shape, which is kind of like a basket or a grid, and very three-dimensional.”
Chair_One now resides in the permanent collections of many prestigious museums including MoMA in New York and Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. It joins other Grcic pieces in museum permanent collection, including his Mayday Lamp, produced for Flos in 1999.
Design, What's Up
June 14, 2011
Whether you’re looking to do some work, recharge your electronics, or just to rest your weary feet—or, most likely, all three—you should stop by the Herman Miller Lounge on the first floor of the Merchandise Mart.
Featuring tables and chairs by Magis, our new Italian alliance partner, alongside powered Geiger Peer tables and Herman Miller Classics by Eames and Nelson, the lounge will take care of you—no matter what you need to get done.
Design, What's Up
June 10, 2011
Two companies, almost a world apart–Herman Miller based in North America and Magis in Italy–share a similar approach to design.
“Both companies have many and continuing collaborations with the greatest world designers,” explains Alberto Perazza, Co-Managing Director of Magis. Like Herman Miller, Magis believes in authored design, working with outside creative partners who provoke them toward something truly new.
It makes sense that the two companies should partner, placing such design icons as the Bombo Stool by Stefano Giovannoni and Konstantin Grcic’s Chair_One alongside Yves Behar’s SAYL chair and Setu by Studio 7.5. As of September 1, 2011, Herman Miller will be the exclusive distributor of Magis products in the U.S. and Canada.
February 11, 2011
Brian Kane came to design early and has pursued it obsessively for 40 years. Fresh out of college with a degree in industrial design, he worked for Silvio Coppolo in Milan, Italy. Still in his early 30s, he became partner, part-owner, and vice president of development and design of Metropolitan Furniture Corporation (Metro) in New York City. A dozen years later, in March 1989, he established Brian Kane Design Studio in San Francisco where he’s been ever since.
Kane’s seating resides unobtrusively in some of the most recognizable cityscapes in the world, from Manhattan to San Francisco. He also recently designed Swoop lounge furniture for Herman Miller.
Here are seven questions for Brian Kane:
1. What are you working on right now?
My current projects include the completion of the Swoop lounge area concept. Other elements are needed, such as café stools and tables, lighting, privacy screens, technology cabinets—all the things required to supply the needs of this ‘working lounge’ collaborative environment.
2. Which of your projects are you most proud of?
For sure, the Swoop collection for Herman Miller. Watching the way people act in public spaces and providing a whole-room solution for that environment was a great design problem—and I’m very happy with the final design.
I’m also proud to have my Landscape Forms’ bench solutions all over the streets of New York City and San Francisco.