Tag Archives: architect

Eye On Design: Washington Skeleton Side Chair By David Adjaye

washington skeleton side chair photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

The Metropolitan Museum of Art does not often invite visitors to sit directly on the art, but they have made an exception for these Washington Skeleton Side Chairs (2013), designed by Ghanaian-British architect David Adjaye, which can be found in the gallery where the 2020 Holiday Tree is on display.

washington skeleton side chair photo by gail worley

These delicately balanced, precisely engineered chairs emerged from the design process for the façade of the National Museum of African-American History and Culture, which opened in Washington DC in 2016.  David Adjaye developed an intricate lattice form that was an investigation of the geometry, materiality, light and shadow.

washington skeleton side chair detail photo by gail worley

Both functional in its shading role, and poetic in its abstract visual qualities, this screen borrowed from African design patterns but also paid homage to the history of enslaved blacksmiths and their ironwork for ornamental gates in southern cities such as New Orleans and Charleston.

washington skeleton side chair photo by gail worley

Utilizing the smaller scale of furniture as an agile testing ground for these architectural ideas, Adjaye produced what he describes as a “narrative about skin, form and structure.“ Here, he shapes the skeletal, ribbed surfaces to mimic the form of a seated person, resulting in a cantilevered, ergonomic silhouette that almost disappears when in use. Made of die-cast aluminum, then powder coated and copper plated, the chairs are manufactured by Knoll International.

washington skeleton side chair photo by gail worley

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

washington skeleton side chair photo by gail worley

Eye On Design: Opalescent Glass Vase By Philip Webb

venetian glass vase by philip webb photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

Rediscovered Venetian glass techniques inspired James Powell and Sons to experiment with making light and lithe shapes at its Whitefriars Gassworks factory.

venetian glass vase by philip webb photo by gail worley

Among the new forms invented were these ethereal vases with rippling rims and opalescent colors. The firm also made simpler shapes, such as the footed goblet.

venetian glass vase by philip webb photo by gail worley

The featured ‘Straw Opal’ glass vase (circa 1890) was originally designed by Architect Philip Webb for Red House, the home his design partner, William Morris.

Photographed in the British Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Eye On Design: Set of French Doors from Arthur Heun’s Sedgwick S. Brinsmaid House

brinsmaid house french doors photo by gail worley
Photos By Gail

This set of French Doors was originally installed in the Sedgwick S. Brinsmaid House, one of the earliest examples of Prairie-school architecture in Iowa. The horizontally oriented building, with its stucco-and-wood surface, pierced details, and abundance of geometric leaded glass, relates closely to works by Frank Lloyd Wright. A contemporary of Wright, Arthur Heun began his architectural career in Chicago and was an important member of the Chicago Architectural Club, where he exhibited a design for this house in 1902.

sedgwick s brinsmaid house photo by gail worley

Sash windows, chandeliers, and lanterns were designed en suite with the doors; the distinctive element is the chevron pattern, its angles echoing the broadly projecting gables of the house.

brinsmaid house french doors photo by gail worley

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House Hosts Public Exhibition of Jun Kaneko Sculptures

Space Between FLW Sculpture 2

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House
Provides Perfect Backdrop to Jun Kaneko
Sculptures in Public Art Exhibition

Are you a fan of the late Architect Frank Lloyd Wright? I sure am. When I visited Chicago on my 2019 summer vacation, Geoffrey and I took a day trip Oak Park to tour the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio and we had all kinds of crazy fun. If you are also a lover of art and architecture, and you also have the means to travel to Buffalo, New York, here’s an excursion that is worth the effort to get to. The Albright-Knox’s Public Art Initiative has partnered with Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House to present an exciting installation featuring artist Jun Kaneko’s monumental ceramic sculptures, which will be on view through early October 2021. Titled The Space Between: Frank Lloyd Wright | Jun Kaneko, the installation comprises seven of the artist’s enormous, freestanding ceramic works for outdoor display on the newly restored grounds of the Martin House estate.

Space Between FLW Sculpture 3

Born in Japan in 1942, Kaneko is an internationally renowned artist primarily known for his pioneering work in ceramic materials. His large pieces, called dangos, are the result of a complex traditional Japanese raku firing and glazing process that produces unique geometric shapes and vibrant color combinations. “In this era of social distancing, the safe, engaging, stimulating experience that public art provides is more important than ever before,” said Janne Sirén, Albright-Knox Peggy Pierce Elfvin Director. “We are proud to collaboratively present this exhibition with the Martin House as our organizations strive to fulfill our missions of enriching and transforming our community.” Wright and Kaneko were both pioneers in their fields, and Wright had an enduring interest in Japanese arts and culture and a reverence for nature, all of which are beautifully captured in Kaneko’s work.

Space Between FLW Sculpture 4

“This public art installation is a unique opportunity to experience the interaction between Kaneko’s sculptures, Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture, and the surrounding landscape,” said Mary Roberts, Martin House Executive Director. “The site is now reopened to public tours, and the artwork has provided another reason to visit the estate.” Many of Kaneko’s works represent years of production time due to their immense scale, which takes months to slowly build up to avoid the works being crushed under their own weight. The tallest works in the exhibition are more than 10 feet tall with walls in excess of three inches thick and weigh close to 3,000 pounds. Their fired slip-surfaces create a glass-like coating suitable for outdoor public display in the extreme weather conditions that will occur during the sixteen-month installation.

Space Between FLW Sculpture 1

In addition to the seven large works on the grounds, several smaller works will be on view inside the Eleanor and Wilson Greatbatch Pavilion, the Martin House public visitor center. The selection of works for the installation has been curated by Albright-Knox Public Art Curator Aaron Ott and organized by Martin House Curator Susana Tejada. Visit This Link for more information, and to plan your visit!

Eye On Design: Josef Frank’s Flora Cabinet

flora cabinet by josef franks photo by gail worley
All Photo By Gail

It was at the 2019 Salon Art + Design that we spotted this very rare and early first edition of the Flora / Model 852 Cabinet (1937) created by Austrian architect and designer Josef Frank (18851967). The cabinet was part of a prolific collaboration with Estrid Ericson, of the Swedish interiors brand Svenskt Tenn, which produced and retailed the piece. This piece was manufactured in 1950.

Continue reading Eye On Design: Josef Frank’s Flora Cabinet

Eye On Design: Cane Side Chair By Marcel Breuer

Breuer Chair Installation View
Installation View with Eames Shelving Unit (All Photo By Gail)

This side char was the product of a team research project led by Marcel Breuer (19021981), a celebrated architect and émigré known for his tubular metal furniture, and designer of the original Whitney Museum Building on Madison Avenue in NYC. Collaborating with the US Forest Products Laboratory, he applied knowledge accumulated over fifteen years of experimentation, as well as new developments in high-frequency gluing, to plywood construction.

Breuer Chair

The team’s report boasted of the chair’s ability to carry a load of five hundred pounds, and the jury of MoMA’s International Competition for Low-Cost Furniture described the design ad “ingeniously articulated.”

Breuer Cane Chair

Photographed as Part of The Exhibit The Value of Good Design, on Through June 15th, 2019 at The Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Breuer Cane Chair

Eye On Design: Scented 3D Printed Cotton Candy Dishes

3D Printed Cotton Candy Dishes
All Photos By Gail

Inside this glass dome are vessels printed from sugar. The dome has an indented opening, inviting museum visitors to take a whiff of the objects inside; and yes, they smelled like Cotton Candy.

3D Printed Cotton Candy Dishes

3D Printed Cotton Candy Dishes

These pieces were designed by architects Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello in Oakland, California. The team use 3D printing processes to invent forms with unique tactile qualities.

3D Printed Cotton Candy Dishes

The two pink candy dishes have rough, grainy surfaces. The first dish resembles a stack of bubbles. At the top, half of one bubble serves as a lid.

3D Printed Cotton Candy Dishes

The second is a footed, rimmed bowl with a cone-shaped lid, which sits displayed separate from its base.

Photographed as Part of the Emerging Objects Exhibit at The Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in NYC.

3D Printed Cotton Candy Dishes