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
Design, Products, Technology
March 7, 2013
Charles and Ray Eames saw design as an ongoing journey — a process that delights in exploration and insight, and embraces updates and improvements. In the 1940s, this philosophy led the duo to the evolve their techniques for molding plywood into a design that solved problems through plastic: their now-classic Eames Molded Plastic Chair.
Charles and architect Eero Saarinen, and then Charles and Ray together, had experimented with a single-shell form for several years before Charles and Ray submitted a design in stamped metal in the Museum of Modern Art’s 1948 “International Competition for Low-Cost Furniture Design.” Their entry received second place. Its heavy, neoprene-coated form proved costly to produce, however, so Charles and Ray turned their attention to something new: plastic. They soon found that the exciting material could mold into organic shapes and comfortably conform to the body, allowing their design to do more with less. Read more
Design, Products, Trends
March 4, 2013
With brighter, sunnier days on the horizon, catch the light and shine of design with a look at these Six Ways to Reflection.
February 26, 2013
Sizeable and sculptural, Konstantin Grcic’s Medici Chair is a love song to wood — the raw material, the woodworking process, and the craftsmen who transform the material into something both beautiful and useful. Grcic, who first trained as a cabinet-maker, found inspiration for the piece on the factory floor of manufacturer Mattiazzi, where traditional woodworking techniques meet the newest digital production technologies. His approach from the start: use only three-quarter-inch planks throughout — a reminder of the beginning of the production process, when a tree trunk is cut into slices. The result is a visible, easy-to-read structure that uniquely expresses the distinct characteristics of wood.
A contemporary interpretation of the classic Adirondack chair, the outdoor version of this semi-reclined design uses thermo-oiled ash, a finish that employs a new process of heat-treating and hand-oiling to seal the wood and keep it moisture-resistant. Get it just in time for the new spring season at the Herman Miller store.
February 25, 2013
As the waning weeks of the season whistle by, equip your Eames Wire Base Low night table or Nelson Basic Cabinet Series Bookcase with a little design reading with these six great books of art and design.
February 21, 2013
Palm Springs is more than halfway through its annual Modernism Week, and timeless design from Herman Miller is along for the ride. This weekend, take our Spun Chair for a roll, check out beloved classics, and get a sneak peek at a few upcoming offerings at the Modern Living Expo. Just one of the many events celebrating mid-century modern design, architecture, and culture, the Expo showcases the latest in home furnishings and accessories, smart home technology, green living, and the designers who bring them all to life. Find out about its how-to seminars, live music, food trucks, and Pre-Fab Housing Exhibit and Vintage Trailer Show now at modernlivingexpo.com and modernismweek.com.
Photos: Christine Kim/Secret Agent PR
Design, Products, Technology
February 18, 2013
With the recent Groundhog Day prediction of an early spring, yard and patio weather may not be too far off. So with sun and fun in mind, here’s six ways to explore the outdoors.
February 12, 2013
Our evolving, increasingly more-digital lives allow for a home office that’s a bit less reliant on paper — but that doesn’t mean that there’s not still stuff to organize and store in your workspace. For the everyday items you rely on to get work done, consider a timeless solution that George Nelson introduced back in 1946: the Nelson Basic Cabinet Series.
Created to fill the basic need for storage and display with beautiful, simple details, these cabinets and cases are a refinement of Nelson’s ongoing research into storage furniture that started with his pioneering “Storagewall” modular concept featured in 1945 in Life magazine. A practical, standardized system of casegoods that can combine and adapt to a variety of uses, the series’ versatile combination of drawers, shelves, and cabinets may stand alone or be securely stacked atop another landmark design: the Platform Bench. One of the most flexible and useful units in the series, the multipurpose piece may function as a high base for deep and shallow cases, as a low table, or as extra seating (always a plus).
To see various configurations of the Nelson Basic Cabinet Series in action, check out the photos below. And for more organizing and storage ideas, visit store.hermanmiller.com.
February 11, 2013
The hue of the heart, the pigment of passion, and of course a delightful dye for design, red is the perfect color for warming the heart, hearth, and home. Here are a few ways to red for your Valentine’s Day week.
February 5, 2013
Practical, hard-working, and artful, the Eames Storage Unit is emblematic of the grace and vision designers Charles and Ray Eames used in solving home furnishing problems. A result of work they exhibited in 1949 at the Detroit Institute of Arts, the unit reveals the “machine aesthetic” and Japanese influences important to the Eameses at the time. The wire cross-supports echo other familiar Eames designs, including Eames wire chairs and wire-base tables, as well as the design of the Eames House, Case Study House #8, in Pacific Palisades, CA.
With a defined grid of shelving, drawers, and cases in an array of sizes and configurations, the units are a candid response to the never-ending need for a place to organize and keep things. The uprights, cross-supports, and perforated panels ensure stability; a selection of decorative options, from painted color-block hardboard panels to molded plywood sliding doors, add a touch of playfulness. Here’s how a few homes and home offices use the classic — often called “working art” — to keep their space streamlined. Read more