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
February 6, 2013
Artist Thedor Erkamps has a lot of colorful expressions – namely his beguiling, mid-century and contemporary design-themed prints. Benefiting from his affinity for patterns and vibrant color, his works can be seen in restaurants, schools, and homes around the world, as well as on his Etsy store. In today’s Playlist, Thedor shares the eclectic patterns of his listening habits.
October 1, 2012
Week four of our Why Design series features industrial designer and artist Irving Harper. In addition to creating the logo for Herman Miller, Harper helped produce some of the masterpieces of the mid-century design pantheon, including the Nelson Marshmallow Sofa, designed while he was working for George Nelson & Associates, as well as iconic clock designs for Howard Miller. Take a look at a few pieces from his extensive portfolio in our latest roundup.
May 16, 2012
Affirming his affinity for modern and mid-century modern design, designer Tyler Goodro created Plastolux in 2007. With a razor-sharp focus on interiors, furniture, and architecture from the mid-20th century to the present, Tyler has compiled an impressive collection of arresting images and information on the blog. Currently the creative director at TiLite, an innovative wheelchair manufacturer, Tyler is also developing furniture designs and designing a series of lamps from cut and blasted wine bottles. We caught up with Tyler to see how music fits into his prolific work for this week’s Playlist. Read more
Balance, Design, Products
January 14, 2010
Artist Matte Stephens has worked with a variety of clients such as IBM, Disney, Boston Globe and American Express. His paintings have graced the spaces of Jonathan Adler, Rare Device and Velocity Art and Design.
Matte lives and works in a beautiful mid-century modern home in the southwest corner of Portland, Oregon. His studio is warm and cozy, and filled with objects that tempt and tease the eye. I spoke to Matte about his inspiring workspace and it’s effect on his painting.
How long have you been working from home? Around 15 years. My first real space was a basement with no furniture and canvases on the floor. I’m very happy with the way it is now.
What do you like most about your workspace? I like that it is small. I have had a large workroom and it was hard for me to keep up with everything I need. Now I have everything within arms reach. I have really enjoyed the Eames Storage Units. I keep all of my art supplies in the one right of my desk and it really helps keep my room tidy and looks great. Organizing my workroom has always been a challenge. I work in a traditional medium, so there is a lot of stuff that goes along with it.
Looking around your studio it’s obvious you have a love for mid century design. How and when did you first become interested in the furniture of this time period? I was introduced by a librarian in my home town in Alabama when I was around 20. I had found a copy of The Herman Miller Collection published by Schiffer Books and I have loved everything mid century modern ever since. After that one of my first art dealer’s father was a Herman Miller representative during the 50′s 60′s and 70′s in northern Alabama. He had all sorts of mid century things in his home and office. He gave me my first Eames shell chair.
What are some of your favorite objects in your studio? I really love a pair of wooden eggs that I have that are attributed to Alexander Girard, two 1960′s elves that I have had for years that bring me luck, a few vintage Herman Miller ads signed by Irving Harper who has been very kind to me over the last few years with his time, advice and friendship. [Harper designed Herman Miller's logo]
Do you feel that your working environment has any influence over your painting? To me it’s the most important thing when working at home to have an inspiring workroom. I spend a lot of time in the room so I have tried to make it as inspiring and comfortable as possible. As you can see I love mid century design and I feel its one of my main influences. Being able to live with and work with good design makes everything more efficient and it’s just great stuff.
Editors note: There is more about Matte on Dave Cuzner’s blog – Grain Edit.
December 21, 2009
Designer Todd Oldham has come up with the perfect child’s gift – a craft book (Ammo Books) that engages all of us. And best of all it is inspired by some of Herman Miller’s favorite designers. I asked Todd about Kid Made Modern…
In Kid Made Modern you’ve got over 50 craft projects for children inspired by designers like Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson and Noguchi – all of whom have a strong connection to Herman Miller. What draws you to these designers? When we started out conceptualizing the book we knew we wanted it to be equal parts of how-to projects, art technique essays and love letters to our favourite artists that contributed to the mid- century aesthetic.
I am not terribly interested in the idea of nostalgia or vintage notions but what I do find fascinating about this group of artists is the spectacular communication of their ideas and the desire to connect. They were real artists exploring new ideas that resonate still today.
We chose a cross section of artists from different mediums like Alvin Lustig, Luis Barragan, and Calder as well as better known heros like the Eames and George Nelson. One of the main points I wanted to share with the book was how to be a fan, be inspired, but do not copy – a serious problem in modern society.
So in the instance of the Eames we did a stop animation film inspired by their kaleidoscope films. With Noguchi we made origami paper cubes that slip over twinkle lights and a poster board sculpture that examines form and function.
We have just made a fun new website for the book – kidmademodern.com - that has film. We finished a sweet and a little bit creepy stop animation for Alexander Girard and a psychedelic tribute to Verner Panton.
Which is your favorite project? I like them all fortunately but I have a real soft spot for anything to do with duct tape. I have made most of them and I have seen someone make all of them so they are indeed tested with functioning directions. I did want to write the directions in a precise enough way to follow but with room for personal interpretation and I think it worked
What are you giving for Christmas this year? And what’s on your wish list? I am making my Christmas presents this year, as usual, and if I told you i might ruin a few. I am a very lucky guy and I don’t really have a wish list.
Photo credit: © 2009 Todd Oldham/Courtesy www.ammobooks.com