Tag Archive | Eye on Design

Eye On Design: Indian Chief Roadmaster Motorcycle

Indian Chief Motorcycle
All Photos By Gail

The Indian Chief Roadmaster was designed as a handsome, comfortable rival to Harley-Davidson’s heavyweight touring bikes as Americans took to the road in the years following World War II. Indian’s top model, the Chief Roadmaster (1948) exuded power and style. Note the Indian Head on the front fender as well as the custom-fringed leatherwork. Now, imagine how it would look flying in the wind as the bike speeds toward the horizon!

Indian Chief Motorcycle
Photographed in the Autry Museum pf the American West in Los Angeles, California.

Advertisements

Eye On Design: Glass Armchair by Shiro Kuramata

Glass Armchair
Photographed By Gail in the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum

In the mid-to-late 20th century, an atmosphere of innovation and a desire to question the tenets of modernism led some designers to explore a variety of ways in which to shape space. American Architect and Designer Alexander Hayden Girard utilized color and pattern in textiles, particularly in this colorful abstract, or folk art-inspired work for Herman Miller.

Glass Armchair at Albertz Benda
Photographed at Albertz Benda Gallery

By 1970, Japanese Architect and Interior Designer  Shiro Kuramata (1934 – 1991) was introducing alternative materials such as acrylic and industrial plate glass into his furniture. Utilizing a newly developed adhesive, Kuramata achieved material and visual minimalism with this Glass Armchair (1976). Flat planes of glass are bonded together along their edges, without mounts or screws, to create a functional chair that seems simultaneously visible and invisible. The transparent form invites users to question notions of materiality, utility and comfort.

Eye On Design: Stylaire Kitchen Stepladder

Stylaire Kitchen Stepladder
All Photos By Gail

Utility meets design is this Stylaire Kitchen Stepladder (circa 1950) designed and manufactured by Cosco Home and Office Products. I photographed this piece in the visible storage rooms at the Brooklyn Museum because t reminded me of one just like this that we had in our house when I was growing up (60s – 70s). Nostalgia! Part chair, part step stool, this design was inspired midcentury by the traditional library step-chair, and is still manufactured by Cosco today.

Stylaire Kitchen Stepladder

Eye on Design: Area Lamp (Model 1112) By Neal Small

Area Lamp By Neal Small
Photos By Gail

Dubbed the Prince of Plastic by the New York Times, Neal Small (b. 1937) lead a craze in the late 1960s for sculptural lighting and furniture made from plastic and acrylic. “I like to think of it as all part of the new permissiveness,” he commented. ‘I Know that I am being more permissive with myself and the designs I allow myself to make — making fuller, more sensuous things. People are permitting themselves in every area, whether it’s music, with the Beatles and the Stones, architecture or clothes. They are allowing themselves things that please them personally. You don’t have to invest in things forever anymore. Lighting is getting to be an art form”

 Area Lamp (model 1112), 1966 -67 was Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Area Lamp By Neal Small

Eye On Design: Benjamin J. Bowden’s Spacelander Bicycle

Spacelander Bicycle 2
All Photos By Gail

Designed by Benjamin Bowden (1907 – 1998) the aluminum prototype for this futuristic Spacelander bicycle was handmade by the MG Auto Company in England in 1946.  The original design incorporated an ingenious dynamo that stored the downhill energy  and released it on uphill runs.

Spacelander Bicycle

Manufacturing the bike to-spec for consumer use turned out be prohibitively expensive, but in 1960, Bowden contracted with Bomard Industries in Michigan to produce this more mechanically conventional, one-speed version of the dynamic, organic design fiberglass, a new design material.

Spacelander Bicycle Rear View

Ultimately the endeavor was too costly for Bomard Industies, as well, and the firm went out of business after manufacturing only 522 examples.

Photographed in the Brooklyn Museum’s Visible Storage Archive.

Spacelander Bicycle 3

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Eye On Design: Mattia Bonetti’s Liquid Gold Cabinet

Liquid Gold CabinetLiquid Gold Cabinet
All Photos By Gail

The Swiss-born designer Matia Bonetti is known for his irreverent, eye-grabbing, and (often) dazzlingly shiny functional objects. Bonetti enjoys playing with both organic and geometric forms rather than adhering to a consistent style. Created from Gold-plated bronze, cast aluminum, and rock crystal, the Liquid Gold Cabinet combines the two aesthetics, the designer offers, “because it’s quite straight in line, but you have all these ripplings that are more informal. They could be called Baroque, with their guiding and the richness.”

Photographed in the Paul Kasmin Gallery, NYC as part of the Indoor Outdoor Exhibit in 2013.

Liquid Gold Cabinet
Liquid Gold Cabinet Shown Here with the Arctic Raft Side Table to the Left

Eye on Design: Mattia Bonetti’s Archetype Table Lamp

Archtype Table Lamp
All Photos By Gail

Isn’t this piece fabulous? Swiss designer Mattia Bonetti  created his Archetype Lamp (2013) to mimic a Head and Shoulders silhouette, and what a head turner it is.  Fabricated in bronze and Murano glass in a limited edition of 8, plus 2 artist proofs.

Photographed in the Paul Kasmin Gallery in NYC.

Poppy Side Chair Scuba Console Table
Archetype Lamp Shown Here atop the Scuba Console Table, with the Poppy Side Chair

Save