October 11, 2011
It’s all about design right now in Southern California. Pacific Standard Time is a Getty-backed initiative celebrating art and design from the 1930s through to the 1980s in Los Angeles. There are over 60 exhibitions from San Diego to Santa Barbara and that doesn’t include the multitude of private galleries also showing work.
Where to start? LACMA has outdone itself with curator Wendy Kaplan’s ambitious “California Design: Living in a Modern Way.” This is the show that includes the reconstructed Eames living room. The whole show houses around 350 objects—furniture, ceramics, fashion, textiles graphic design and includes Herman Miller pieces that are still in production like the Eames Elliptical table and the Eames Storage Unit. This exhibition, which is the first major show to look at mid century modern design attracted over 1500 people to the opening night reception.
Photos: Cerentha Harris and Stefanie Keenan
October 10, 2011
Ben Goss is based in Sydney, Australia but as a true global worker his illustrations appear in publications all over the world. You’ll find his work in The Guardian, Black and White magazine and our recently released Better World Report (pictured above). Goss takes us on a tour that covers his three work spaces from his day job at Yello and his home office where he does his illustrating to his painting studio which he shares with another artist.
1. Yello I am here with a whole bunch of talented and creative people where brand strategy and well-crafted graphic design get done. It’s a big warehouse space converted into commercial studios. Good natural light come in. We have musical wars on the shared iTunes and it’s under a flight path so on occasion a low flying 747 roars by in the afternoon and drowns out the music.
2. Home Studio Where the sketching and illustration business gets done. I like to have lots of source material arround me books, web, magazines. The table is an old drafting table that can tilt to 90 degrees. The room is small but there’s enough space to move around and make a mess.
3. Painting Studio I share this space with another artist. We are seldom there at the same time and work around each other when the other is busy preparing for an exhibition. It is a great place to paint. It has good light with big floor to ceiling windows. Many days and nights are spent here working on large scale pieces.
October 10, 2011
We’ve been focused on Magis in this series but today we look to Italian furniture company Mattiazzi. Back in June we announced this exciting partnership and now, with Nitzan Cohen’s He Said and She Said chairs (pictured above) available at the Herman Miller store, we finally can share the elegant designs with you.
“Mattiazzi has a history with design, craft, industrial processes, and sustainable practices that makes them a natural fit with Herman Miller,” said Jack Schreur, Vice President of Herman Miller Classics and Retail. “In the past, when you needed a wood supplier that could do the impossible, you called Mattiazzi. Today, they’ve taken their expertise in wood manufacturing to a new level, partnering with leading designers.” Those leading designers include Nitzan Cohen (pictured above), Sam Hecht, and Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec.
Here we look at Mattiazzi’s collaboration with Nitzan Cohen. Cohen, who graduated from the renowned Design Academy Eindhoven, Holland, worked as a designer and project leader in Konstantin Grcic‘s studio n in Munich. He finally opened his own studio in 2007 and his client list now includes BMW-Group, Diesel, Mattiazzi, and Bree.
“It’s a joyful project with wonderful people,” said Cohen of his collaboration with Mattiazzi. “It’s a great example that no matter what technology one has (and Mattiazzi has the latest in CAD wood working) it is still all about the basics, about carpentry work, an intuition for wood together with years of experience and most of all tons of love for it all.”
This year Cohen was tapped to design the Mattiazzi stand (above and below) at the Milan furniture fair. Dubbed “Mirror! Mirror!” Cohen writes “Our installation for Mattiazzi’s 2011 collection was made solely of raw chip-boards, large mirror panels and light bulbs, the installation is an abstract homage to old mirror rooms and analogue times when bare light bulbs were used as a highlight.” The result is theatrical, a stage that’s perfect for Cohen’s elegant chair designs.
October 7, 2011
As a lot of you know, the contents of the Eames House living room was moved to LACMA as part of the ‘California Design‘ exhibition. The Eames Foundation is taking this chance to do some repairs on the house and is holding a few events to help raise money for that work.
This event – dubbed ‘Time Machine‘ – lets you travel back in time and see the iconic house as it looked like right before the Ray and Charles Eames moved in. “You’ll get to enjoy a glass of wine in the Eames House living room just as it was before Charles and Ray first moved in – full of possibilities,” says Eames Demetrios, Ray and Charles’ grandson.
This fundraiser is open to the public and offers a rare opportunity to visit inside the house, which is usually only open to members once a year. The tickets are $250 ($200 for members) and 100 percent of the ticket sale will go to support essential work on the house structure.
Click here for tickets.
Details: Saturday, October 15; 4.00pm-6.00pm at the Eames House; 203 Chautauqua Blvd, Pacific Palisades. Info: 424 229 4038 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets must be ordered by Thursday October 13.
Balance, Design, Products, Technology
October 7, 2011
Where we’ve been this week…
1. Unplggd for Gregory Han’s piece on the late Steve Jobs, the man behind Apple and so many of the tools that inform our work.
2. The Juggle - a Wall Street Journal blog on juggling work and the rest of our lives. Writer Rachel Emma Silverman reminds us of a quote from Jobs’ Stanford commencement speech. “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”
3. Design*Sponge for drawing our attention to these elegant desktop organizers by designers Farrah Sit and Dana D’Amico (below).
4. Plastolux for the post on an Eames Aluminum Group shoot (below).
5. Core77 for drawing my attention to this awesome Papernomad electronics case.
October 6, 2011
Mark Jensen is the principal of San Francisco-based architecture firm whose work includes projects like the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s award-winning rooftop sculpture garden (above) to lovingly detailed hillside homes. Here we take a tour of his homes and learn more about a shift in the way we work that informs his residential designs.
Above: Mark Jensesn at work. Photo: Jensen Architects
You are the principal architect of an 18-person firm that was established in 1990. Can you tell us about what drew you to architecture? Two things: first, my German grandfather hand-crafted a collection of solid maple building blocks for his grandson (thankfully, he didn’t have the tools in his garage-shop to make “blobs”). Second, my high school geometry teacher (a “recovering” architect himself) took one look at my hyper-organized class binder and said to me: “Mark, you are going to be an architect.”
Above: The Kokoris residence. Photos: Cesar Rubio.
Balance, Design, Products, Technology
October 5, 2011
The official launch of JF Chen’s “Collecting Eames” exhibition attracted a crowd at the Los Angeles showroom on Sunday. As you can see from the shots there’s an absolute treasure trove of pieces here. Chen has collected over 450 pieces of Eames design – the largest gathering of their pieces ever shown. “It was an almost overwhelming historical display,” said Richard Munsey, Herman Miller’s West Coast A+D Sales Director. ”I actually had goose bumps walking through the exhibit and was amazed to see pieces that I never knew still existed. And it was thoughtfully and artfully displayed.”
I was given a sneak preview the week before with curator Daniel Ostroff. Ostroff is also the editor of the recently launched EamesDesigns.com – an encyclopedic look at the great wide design world of Ray and Charles from their toys and chairs to their films and TV appearances. “We really want to encourage people to contribute to the site,” says Ostroff. “And one way they can do that is if they buy any of the pieces in this ‘Collecting Eames’ show and it’s documented on the site we will attribute the piece to their personal collection or ‘private collection’.” Ostroff is hoping that by doing this museum’s exhibitions in the future will have an easier time tracking down significant pieces.
If you can’t make it to the show there is a book on the exhibition Collecting Eames, The JF Chen Collection, that will be out this month. Contact Fiona for details on purchasing the book – Fiona@jfchen.com
Photos: Stefanie Keenan
October 5, 2011
Artist/illustrator Jonathan Woodward works in traditional cut-paper collage using recycled magazines to create images of wildlife—and his passion for nature led him to launch thentherewerenone.com to help raise money to protect endangered species. Listen up to the music he plays from his UK-based workspace (his hardworking kitchen table) in this week’s Playlist.
What do you listen to while you work? It really depends on what I’m working on and at what stage an illustration is at. At the beginning, I will generally work in silence because I need full focus and concentration. As a piece progresses and I get to grips with it, I get into a flow and usually like some music for company. I like something that’s good to sing along to and is usually fairly upbeat. I also like to listen to illustration podcasts such as Sidebar.
October 5, 2011
Over at Blue Ant Studio’s blog Joel Pirela has just started a new series offering up shots of creative people’s desks. I was invited to contribute (my desk is above) and was thrilled to see some of my favorite bloggers were already there. Check out the images below and head over to Blue Ant Studio for more.
Above: Joel Pirela’s workspace.
Above: Design Milk’s Jaime Derringer’s home office
Above: Marcus Fairs at the Dezeen office in Stoke Newington, north London
Design, Products, Technology
October 5, 2011
The next time someone says your iPhone case looks like you found it in the trash, you can take it as a compliment. But that’s only if you’ve got a ReCase from Miniwiz, made from 100% recycled agricultural waste and post-consumer plastic. Miniwiz also make HYmini Biscuit – a handheld green universal charger, Solarbulb – which turns plastic bottles into out door garden lights and ReeCharge which is a bike-integrated, weather proof, green universal adaptor.
The Miniwiz iPhone cases are also made to carry credit cards and an RFID card, so you have the option of tracking your phone should you lose it. The material comes from by-products of rice farming- the rice husks are combined with the plastic to form POLLIBER™.
By Alex Davies.
This story appears in partnership with treehugger, a one-stop shop for green news, solutions, and product information