Design, What's Up
July 26, 2012
What if someone sculpted the objects in your office in nickel, turning everything into a mirror? What would the scene say about you, your work, and your world? Nicolas Baier’s “Vanitas,” inspired by the artist’s own office, poses these questions and more.
The installation is like a fun house hall of mirrors eerily devoid of human reflections. Baier houses the sculpture in one-way glass and covers the objects—a computer, a tangle of chords, an Eames Aluminum Group Chair—in mirrors. You can look at the installation and the objects within as you would an exhibit in a zoo, but you cannot see your own reflection.
The mirrors in Baier’s office may not reflect, but they do cast light on a compelling truth. Whether you are an artist, an architect, a designer, or an engineer, your office tells a story about who you are and the way you work.
June 8, 2011
In 1951, while on tour of the Eames office, well-known New Yorker artist Saul Steinberg picked up a brush and painted a reclining woman on an Eames fiberglass arm chair—turning chair into art and beginning a long history of artists using the designs of Charles and Ray as canvases for self-expression.
While for many of us—myself included—the thought of a smudge, much less a deliberate brush stroke, on one of our precious pieces of furniture makes us cringe. But not the Eameses, who treasured Saul’s chair, and displayed it proudly.
Surely they would be delighted to see that artists today continue to find inspiration in their work and use their designs as a canvas for expressing their own artistic visions.
Check out Operation Design for pictures from Eames Inspiration, a charity event Herman Miller co-sponsered last year.
Better World, What's Up
June 28, 2010
Photo via: Flickr/Ed Yourdon
I recently was asked, “Is there art in your life?”
It’s an interesting question. Although I try to manage a life-work balance that includes celebrating art, too often the balance shifts to the work side of the scale. I realize that this needs to change, and I’m not the only one who feels this way.
On June 17, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced to New Yorkers the opportunity to participate in “Play Me, I’m Yours,” a public art project hosted by non-profit Sing for Hope. From June 21 to July 5, 60 pianos will be placed in parks and public spaces around New York City and its surrounding boroughs. The event is described by the organization as “a festival of music open to all New Yorkers.”
No excuses for those who say they don’t have time for art. Anyone can sit down at a piano and play a tune or attend a free performance by a celebrity artist.
Even better, the pianos are decorated and cared for by “piano buddies” from local schools, hospitals, and community organizations. Afterwards, the pianos will be donated to their buddy organizations. It’s all part of Sing for Hope’s vision for uniting artists and communities by bringing live art to urban centers and renewing the civic spirit.
Photo via: David Gonzalez/The New York Times
I won’t be able to visit New York this week to tickle the ivories, but I just found out that “Play Me, I’m Yours” will be part of the second annual ArtPrize event near my home in Grand Rapids, Michigan. ArtPrize runs from September 22 to October 10, so stay tuned for a future blog post about my experience at the keyboard.
This story has inspired me to look for opportunities to celebrate art. How about you? Is there art in your life?
Design, Herman Miller Journal
September 16, 2009
Walk down the corridors of Herman Miller’s GreenHouse facility in Holland, Michigan and you might spot a snake along a wall, chickens roosting on a table, or an armadillo under the bamboo. Bamboo? Yes, bamboo. Along with the rest of the greenery, it’s the perfect setting for the brightly colored wood-carved creatures that complement the space and bring a sense of play to work.
July 3, 2009
Photo credit: Paul Gauguin (French, 1848-1903). Breton Girls Dancing, Pont-Aven, 1888. Oil on canvas; 73 x 92.7cm. National gallery of Art, Washington, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon 1983.1.19. Image courtesy of the Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington
The Midwest may be “Ground Zero” for the economic downturn, where recession is depression writ especially cruel. However, a silver lining remains in the region’s art institutions. These struggle valiantly to thrive despite gloom and doom. Granted some ongoing activity began in better times. However, this doesn’t lessen the inspirational uplift provided for a section of the country much in need of it.
June 3, 2009
Photo from: The Art Institute of Chicago
June is a beautiful time of year in the Windy City. With the Art Institute’s Modern Wing now open, it’s a perfect time to pay a visit. Designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Renzo Piano, the Modern Wing is the new home for the museum’s collection of 20th- and 21st-century art. It doesn’t just change the look of the Art Institute; the Modern Wing is also a model of design, technology, and green architecture, maximizing natural sources of energy and minimizing waste.