Tag Archive | eye on design

Eye On Design: Red Chiffon and Organza Gown By Brandon Maxwell

brandon maxwell red gown photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

New York’s Museum of Natural History always has one or two special exhibits that require purchase of an extra ticket above the standard price of admission, but that’s because they are worth it. One of the museum’s current special exhibits is called The Nature of Color, and it is just fantastic. The exhibit is immersive and contains many different galleries and rooms. For example, the Red Room highlights how the color red can mean status, power, and fertility while simultaneously representing sports teams, political parties, and religions.  The centerpiece of this room is a flowing Red Silk Chiffon and Organza Gown created especially for the The Nature of Color by fashion designer Brandon Maxwell.

red gown by brandon maxwell photo by gail worley

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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: Melting Thonet Chair By OrtaMiklos

melting thonet chair photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail Worley

The classic Thonet Chair design gets a super artsy, post-modern treatment with Melting Thonet, from European design firm OrtaMiklos (which includes partners Leo Orta and Victor Miklos Andersen).

melting thonet chair photo by gail worley

Generally informed by natural habitats and processes, the creative duo’s experimental approach activates their design works from the existing norms. Here, Michael Thonet’s innovative chair frame — created by bending wood with hot steam and forming it into curved, graceful shapes — is fabricated from a powder-coated steel, to create a frame that exaggerates the original’s bends and twists into an entirely different domain.

melting thonet chair photo by gail worley

Photographed at Friedman Benda Gallery in Chelsea (Contact for Pricing) as part of the Recent Exhibit, What Would Have Been.

melting thonet chair photo by gail worley

Eye On Design: Rabbit Waiter Brooch By Raymond Yard

rabbit brooch photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail

Raymond C. Yard (18851964) is considered to be one of the great Art Deco jewelers. After mastering the art of jewelry making at Marcus & Co., Yard opened his own shop at 607 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan in 1922. Between 1928 and 1933 he created a series of charming Rabbit Brooches, each of which differs slightly, featuring fine details of gold, diamonds, rubies and sapphires. That the Rabbit Waiter brooch (1930) serves alcoholic drinks during Prohibition adds a certain humor to the whimsy, which would have appealed to Yard’s high-society clientele.

Photographed in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Eye On Design: Chinese-Inspired Fretwork Candlestands

pair of fretted candle stands 2 photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

Chinese fretwork first appeared in Britain in the early eighteenth century on garden fences, but it was not until midcentury that the vogue for fretwork on furniture erupted.

top fret detail photo by gail worley

Here, the three-dimensional angular pattern seems to float in midair to support a small, six-sided tray. The exact design for these candelstands comes from the first edition (1754) of Thomas Chippendale’s Gentlemen and Cabinet-Maker’s Director.

center fret detail photo by gail worley

This Pair of Mahogany Candlestands (Circa 1755 – 60) Was Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

pair of fretted candle stands photo by gail worley

Eye On Design: Gilded Wooden Bench by Thomas Hope

gilded wooden bench by thomas hope photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

A member of a wealthy banking family and sophisticated patron of the arts, Thomas Hope (17391861) set out to influence and improve contemporary taste through the publication of his own collection in Household Furniture and Interior Decoration (1807).

gilded wooden bench by thomas hope installation view photo by gail worley
Installation Views

thomas hope red bench installation view photo by gail worley

Following interest in ancient Rome and Greece, attention turned to Egypt as a major source of inspiration for furniture and interior design. This ‘Egyptian” bench shows influence of Hope’s archeological taste and may have been part of the furnishings of his country house The Deepdene, Dorking, Surrey (outside London). It was possibly sold in the Christie’s sale of the Hope heirlooms held at Deepdene over six consecutive days in September of 1917. Lot 1044, sold on September 17th, consisted of: “a carved 4ft. 4in. gilt Egyptian pattern settee with scroll ends, on claw feet, and squab seat upholstered in gold satin damask.”

gilded wooden bench by thomas hope photo by gail worley

While several surviving pieces of furniture can be attached to the detailed line drawings, Hope never remarked on the fabrics to be used. The present wool covers are based on fiber fragments from this bench and on original textile remains from a settee also designed by Hope, which is now at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Eye On Design: Red Bakelite Bead Necklace

red bakelite bead necklace photo by gail worley
Photos By Gail

This Red Bead Necklace was crafted from Bakelite (beads and chain links) cellulose acetate, with a metal clasp, and attributed to an unknown American designer. In the twentieth century, plastic manufacturing transformed the American jewelry industry and allowed for the production of fashionable yet affordable pieces. This chain link and cube necklace represents a style that was especially popular during the Depression era and the early 1940s.

red bakelite bead necklace photo by gail worley

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Eye On Design: Wrought Iron Dragon Door Sculpture

dragon door photo by gail
All Photos By Gail

In NYC, you will come across amazing discoveries every few feet if you just keep your eyes open. I was walking to the train from a fun visit to the newly-reopened Metropolitan Museum of Art when this unique, wrought iron sculptural door caught my eye. And how could it not: It looks like a medieval Dragon is struggling to burst forth from behind a cage onto the sidewalk! Very Scary!

dragon head photo by gail

While I did not want to trespass onto private property, I did sneak a bit closer so that  I could get a good detail shot of the Dragon’s head. It is super cool! I have no clue who the artist is but what an awesome thing to have designed to make this building stand out. I wonder if Game of Thrones fans live there?

spider web window guard photo by gail

They’ve also kept the design cohesive by adding these spider-web-like guards to the first floor windows. This place is officially ready for Halloween all year long. Well done!

These Architectural Features are Part of a Five-Story, Three-Unit Building (According to Street Easy, Although I Suspect it’s a Private Home) Located at 52 East 81st Street between Madison and Park, on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

dragon door sculpture photo by gail worley

Eye On Design: Campana Brothers Bolotas Sheep’s Wool Sofa

campana bolotas sofa photo by gail worley
Photos By Gail

Would you like to relax and stretch out on a long, fluffy sofa the color of a giant egglant? Who wouldn’t? The Campana brothers are famed Brazilian furniture designers. Most celebrated for their design of the Vermelha chair — an iconic piece handmade from a huge length of rope, wrapped and woven to create the chair’s nest-like structure. As you can see by their Bolotas Sofa, in a vibrant shade of Aubergine, Umberto and Fernando Campana continue to create brightly colored, whimsical statement pieces for the home.

campana bolotas sofa photo by gail worley

The Bolotas collection (2015) was initially inspired by stone walls, but the name came from the first prototype that appeared to be soft and round like an acorn (‘bolotas’ means acorn in Portuguese). Each piece is covered with sustainable leather, prepared with an environmentally-friendly tanning process. The brothers decided to use natural skins to bring comfort to the design: pillows of sheepskin for the armchair and the sofa carefully arranged on a stainless steel structure with feet made from Brazilian Ipe wood, which is naturally fire, bug and water-resistant.  The Aubergine color was created in a series of eight pieces and sells for about $25,000 at auction.

campana bolotas sofa photo by gail worley

Photographed in the Friedman Benda Booth at the 2019 Salon Art + Design.

Eye On Design: Alex Brokamp’s Collate Table Collection

collate table by alex brokamp photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

LA-based designer Alex Brokamp is inspired by the Maya Angelou quote “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” When designing new pieces, his goal is to instill a meaningful connection between object and consumer that searches for a balance between physical and emotional attraction to an object.

collate table by alex brokamp installation view photo by gail worley
Installation View at ICFF 2019

Brokamp’s commitment to combining technology, spatial awareness, and innovation has been a common theme throughout his work. The Collate Table Collection is no exception. The coffee and side tables in this collection are made using cutting-edge fabrication techniques and are inspired by process art; so the pieces celebrate the manner in which something is made being equally important as the outcome.

collate table by alex brokamp above view photo by gail worley

The Collate Tables are crafted from aluminum plates that have patterns cut into them using CNC (computer numerical control) toolpaths. The cellular shape of the tabletop allows thetoolpaths to create a playful pattern on the surface. This millwork not only gives insights into the high-tech fabrication process, but also creates an interesting dialogue and engaging experience for anyone looking at and walking around them.

collate table by alex brokamp surface detail photo by gail worley

The table treats the aluminum plate as the canvas and the toolpaths act as the brushstrokes. The finish on these aluminum tables can be anodized in several different color options as well.

collate table by alex brokamp angled view photo by gail worley
Photographed in May 2019 at the ICFF at Javits Center, NYC.