April 2, 2013
The pieces that comprise designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec’s Steelwood Chair began with Eugenio Perazza, the founder of Italian design firm (and Herman Miller partner) Magis. Perazza wanted an inexpensive wooden chair with simple joints of pressed metal. The Bouroullecs liked the idea, but wanted to take it a step further. The brothers aimed for a design that would be cost-competitive with plastic chairs, yet have a long life span and age well, developing a patina from use and wear.
The result is a straightforward design that thoughtfully combines two traditional materials: steel and wood. Skilled metalworkers use a series of complex mechanical procedures to gradually shear, coin, curve, and cut the metal pieces. The legs and round seat are milled out of solid beech. Together, the materials form a chair that is strong and durable with a natural warmth. Easy to assemble and offered in a selection of painted finishes, its subtle silhouette adapts to a number of environments. “We tried to make a chair that could fit a number of people, and it doesn’t look like a chair for rich or poor, woman or man—it’s universal,” explains Erwan. “Just made in metal and wood that will last and grow old quite nicely. The chair says, ‘Believe me that I’m a chair that will last.’”
Read more about the design’s manufacturing process at Magis here. To add the chair — or any of the Steelwood family, including its stool and table — to your dining or working space, visit the Herman Miller store.
Design, Products, Technology
April 1, 2013
When the weather is right, why confer only in the conference room? These days, a little inspiration from Mother Nature might be just the thing. Join your team for some out-of-the-box thinking out of doors with these six handsome solutions for meeting outside.
March 25, 2013
Alright, so it will be a little late (thanks, Mr. Groundhog). But with spring’s inevitable arrival comes the start of sidewalk café season. Welcome the warmth with these six great ways to drink and dine on outdoor design.
Design, Products, Trends
March 22, 2013
Take a look at what we’ve been reading this week.
1. “Cut and Paste: Paper Became a Passion for Designer Irving Harper” from Interior Design magazine.
2. Hipstamatic’s office, as reimagined by design firm Envelope A+D, at California Home + Design.
3. The Los Angeles Times’ coverage of Toyo Ito, winner of this year’s Pritzker Prize, the most prestigious award in architecture.
4. Japanese architect Shigeru Ban’s temporary pavilion made from cardboard tubes at the IE School of Architecture and Design in Madrid (via Dezeen).
5. 10 inspiring quotes from the Eames family at Dwell.
6. News from PSFK that Amsterdam’s DUS Public Architecture is set to develop and create a house using a giant 3D printer.
7. The New York Times‘ feature on the 14-year renovation of the home of Scott Omelianuk, editor of This Old House.
8. “Don’t Write off the Poster,” Eye Magazine‘s look at the collaboration between the UK’s V&A Museum and the Royal College of Art seeking to prove that the poster has not been killed off by digital media.
9. “Steve Jobs: Architect” at Design Observer.
10. The opening of artist Christo’s “Big Air Package” in Germany, reported to be the most expansive indoor sculpture ever created (via designboom).
Featured in photo: Eames Molded Plywood Chair, SAYL Chair, Nelson Platform Bench
March 18, 2013
Getting together, sitting down, breaking bread — dining is a central human exercise. Add comfort, style, and thoughtful design to your socializing with these six ideas.
March 14, 2013
You’ve recently witnessed graphic designer and filmmaker Doug Wilson’s chair competition with office mate Brandon Goodwin. Today, we’re giving you a closer look at workspace where they created their clever short film (among others). Take a spin around the office Doug’s Mirra chair shares with Brandon’s Aeron chair in this latest studio tour. Read more
March 12, 2013
There’s a quiet battle brewing in Springfield, Missouri, where designer and filmmaker Doug Wilson shares an office with Brandon Goodwin, also a filmmaker and Doug’s co-conspirator on “Linotype: The Film – In Search of the Eighth Wonder of the World.” When we asked Doug to report in from the scene, he not only sent over an explanation, but also gave us a first-hand look with the above short film.
Doug states: “I worked previously in an ad agency with Aeron chairs and learned that a good chair is worth the investment. When we moved into our office, Brandon and I went to our local Herman Miller dealer to test out chairs. I thought I would simply purchase an Aeron, but I found the Mirra chair to be more comfortable for me and I ended up choosing my own colors and features. Brandon purchased an Aeron.”
Since the purchases, their workspace has been enthralled in an unending contest. “Any time we have friends visit the office, we have a competition to see which chair they prefer,” Doug says. “It is a friendly rivalry, but obviously I think I made the better decision. Currently, Brandon’s Aeron is winning, but the Mirra is staging a comeback.”
Which chair do you prefer? Weigh in with your comments or tell us about it on Twitter.
Video courtesy Doug Wilson and Brandon Goodwin
Balance, Design, Products
March 11, 2013
In honor of Women’s History Month, this week’s round-up presents some of our favorite collaborations with female designers. Working together, these pairings, teams, and ensembles channel the creative energy generated when the genders mix it up.
Balance, Design, Products
March 8, 2013
Here’s what we’ve been viewing this week.
1. A quick tour inside the Ray Eames exhibit at the California Museum in Sacramento via Esoteric Survey.
2. Le Prado, a warm, welcoming home near the beaches of Marseilles, France, spotted by Design Milk.
3. More from Marseilles, this time from Contemporist: the simple and elegant Vieux Port Pavilion by Foster + Partners.
4. Co.Design’s peek inside a new book on Irving Harper, who designed Herman Miller’s logo and contributed to the design of George Nelson’s Marshmallow Sofa.
5. A surprising house design by Aires Mateus in Leiria, Portugal, found at I Need a Guide.
6. The Makoko Floating School project by NLÉ architects at designboom.
7. Remodelista’s roundup of “smart and skinny” houses in Japan.
8. Great shots by photographer Alan Wanzenberg at Plastolux. (We’re fans of the nicely lit image of a pair of Eames Walnut Stools.)
9. This chat with David Calvin Laufer, who presents interviews with George Nelson, Charles and Ray Eames, and Buckminster Fuller, among others, in his book Dialogues with Creative Legends and Aha Moments in a Designer’s Career (via Peachpit).
10. The renovated LeRoy Neiman Center at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Be sure to check out its interesting combo of Eames designs and colorful Caper chairs. (Via Retail Design Blog.)
Featured in photo: Eames Molded Plastic Chair; Eames Aluminum Group Management Chair; Nelson X-Leg Table