January 12, 2012
Late last year the Herman Miller team attended Art Basel in Miami. We were the furniture sponsor for the event which meant all the restaurants and bar areas were awash in our designs. We also had a booth devoted entirely to Eames pieces that was graced with a drawing by Ray Eames.
The drawing was of the room that she and Charles designed for Alexander Girard’s “An Exhibition of Modern Living” (catalog below). The show was commissioned by the Detroit Institute of Arts in late 1949 and Ray’s drawing for their “room” depicts a wonderfully colorful space complete with totem-like sculpture, an Eames table and molded plywood chairs. It was also the first public glimpse of the Eames Storage Units which today find their way into many a home office.
Photo: Randall Ross / modernism101.com
Our booth for Art Basel was designed by Herman Miller Creative Directors Craig Bassam and Scott Fellows. “We wanted an artful graphic for our space and we loved the idea that Ray Eames created it as a collage to illustrate a display space,” says Bassam. “Our display booth was also done to show an important point of history for Herman Miller. It’s important to remember where these pieces we’ve used throughout Art Basel’s public spaces came from.”
Bassam also stressed the importance of showing art. “We were part of Art Basel so we also thought it important to show art which we feel is an important link to the artful background of Herman Miller. Showrooms and displays were well known for their use of art and combinations of objects. So, we just couldn’t have a dry corporate graphic!”
Above: Ray Eames at her Case Study home with models of the sculpture similar to the ones in her drawing for the “Modern Living” exhibition.
But there’s more to this image that initially meets the eye. “Note it was the first time the public would see the model of the Eames La Chaise, which Charles and Ray designed for MOMA’s Low Cost Furniture Competition,” says Daniel Ostroff, editor of EamesDesigns.com. ”If you look closely at the drawing the faintest outline of it is shown in the foreground, which is where it was actually placed in the exhibition room.” You can hear Ostroff talk about the La Chaise here.
Balance, Design, Products
January 10, 2012
Eric Nakamura wears many hats: publisher and co-founder of Giant Robot, longtime arbiter of art and culture, gallery/store/restaurant owner, and popular blogger reporting about the unique and unusual from Asia and America. Regularly on the forefront of art, design and pop culture, Eric’s Tech Top 10 may surprise you with its mix of new and old…and nary a mention of any robotic companions.
Canon T2i DSLR: It changed the way I do things. I always thought that the great point and shoots were good enough, but they really weren’t. The photography with this camera is solid and the video is sharp. This Canon opened a lot of doors and that’s what you hope technology will do for you. The lens is a Tamron 2.8 17-50. I used to think a lens like this would suck, but no, it’s solid and great. I used to worry about it’s non compactness, but you get used to it and it’s no big deal to have a camera on you these days. You never know when the alien ship will land and having a camera might be a good idea.
January 9, 2012
Vintage Ad Browser is the work of Philipp Lenssen – a German living in China. He has obsessively collected over 100,000 ads, mostly from America, that cover everything from furniture to typewriters.
The nice thing about this site is you can search by name or type (or even color). The not so great thing is the lack of info on each ad. The image above is tagged ”Alcoa Aluminum Unit Girard Design Charles Eames (1957)”. It reminds me of the Eames living room and also the Miller House in Columbus, Indiana. And it’s just one of an amazing array of vintage images to inspire you.
Balance, Design, Products, Technology
January 7, 2012
Where we’ve been this week…
1. Architizer for their amazing roundup of inspirational architecture from around the globe.
2. Dwell for their home stories – check out this one on a small house that doubles its size but still kept the yard.
3. From the Desk Of...great roundup of creative’s desks.
4. Habitus is an Australian interiors magazine that is also available online here.
5. Design Observer for their lovely piece on architect Andrew Geller who died last month.
6. Architectural Digest talks to designers about setting up a home office.
7. DWR’s blog, Design Notes, for their piece on the late Eva Zeisel.
8. Smashing Magazine for their roundup of stylish free desktop wallpapers.
9. Real Simple for home office organization tips.
10. Cool Hunter for the architecture section – great eye candy here!
January 4, 2012
If you missed the PBS screening last month of Eames: The Architect and the Painter you can now watch the film online here. And Eames Demetrios, grandson of Ray and Charles, sent me a handy link to a series of posts the Eames family has written about the film. You’ll get a personal insight into the documentary from the family.
Balance, Design, Products
January 3, 2012
It’s that classic Goldliock’s moment anyone with a home workspace has suffered through. Trying to find just the right office chair. It has to be ergonomic. That is a given. For me it had to have good back support, a seat that doesn’t cut off circulation in your legs and arm rests to keep RSI at bay.
December 30, 2011
We’ve been running our Ideal Live/Work Space for almost a year and it’s been fascinating to see what sort of spaces people wished they worked in. Now it’s your turn. Tell us about your ideal space. Is it in a cabin in the woods? A room in your home dedicated just to work? Or are you inspired by Tadao Ando’s library, pictured above, like Nikita Pashenkov and Elise Co?
Philosopher Alain de Botton‘s desk at Heathrow.
Writer and illustrator Dallas Clayton‘s home office can fly to space and tackle the ocean.
While Unplggd editor Gregory Han wished for a spot among the trees. He chose Peter Daniel Frazier’s The Cube (above).
December 29, 2011
Here’s one way to deal with all those pesky cables that riddle our home offices. From London artist Maisie Maude Broadhead. You can see more here.
December 28, 2011
Charlie Lazor has been designing some of the loveliest modern prefab houses in the country since the beginning of the start of the prefab meme. But there is something really special about his latest, the Week’nder, on Madeline Island in Lake Superior. I have been staring at it for hours. First of all, it is not really a flatpack like Charlie Lazor is known for, but it appears to be made of two prefabricated modules with a site built roof installed between them.
I have always thought that this was perhaps the most efficient way to build modular; one is not shipping a lot of air in empty boxes. Instead, one is putting the complicated stuff in the boxes and just adding a roof over. Michelle Kaufmann did this in the Breezehouse and it was done in the early sixties as well.
December 27, 2011
Aristotle said “No great genius was without a mixture of insanity.” Marcel Proust wrote “Everything great in the world is created by neurotics. They have composed our masterpieces, but we don’t consider what they have cost their creators in sleepless nights, and worst of all, fear of death.”
Perhaps that’s why Jakub Szczęsny designed this hermitage, this “studio for invited guests – young creators and intellectualists from all over the world.”- it will drive them completely crazy.