Every year without fail, my favorite exhibitor at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) is PolArt Designs of Mexico. Each piece of their Victorian style furniture is custom-made to the end-user’s specs of finish color and fabric type, to make these pieces suitable for either indoor or outdoor use. At ICFF 2018, I was particularly smitten with this Modern Victorian Ottoman and Sofa created in a pale pink finish with complementray pink velvet fabric upholstery. Simply breathtaking.
Ergonomic seating has been a hot ticket item for decades now; but the ways in which designs continue to evolve keeps the field exciting and on trend! At ICFF 2017 we fell in love with the ergoErgo office seating, not only for its funky and functional modern design, but for its availability in a spectrum of vibrant colors to please a range of personal tastes!
The ergoErgo chair invites you to sit dynamically. Evolution designed us to walk and run, to chase prey across the plans, to stalk in the forest, to crouch around a campfire. But to sit rigidly in a chair for extended periods of time? Not so much. Our bodies were made to move! Traditional chairs make our muscles passive and weak by locking the body into a rigid position. Today’s worldwide epidemic of aching backs, sore shoulders, and stiff necks is caused in great part by poor by sitting. People slump and slouch on rigid chairs in offices and classrooms. Many think that they have to live with a ‘bad back,’ but often they just need to sit correctly.
When you in on an ergoErgo chair, you shift through a whole range of large and small movements. Your breathing deepens. Your blood circulates freely. Your spine twists gently, bringing fluid to the inter-vertebral discs. The abdominal muscles keep the body upright and supple.
Replacing even your considered-to-be ergonomic office chair with ergoErgo not only strengthen your core, but it will also awaken your mind. ErgoErgo is intelligent design that every body can benefit from.
Available in three sizes to fit both kids and adults, ergoErgo has won both the Edison Award and the Good Design award! And best of all, it retails for around $100! Find out more about ergoErgo at This Link!
When I first saw this minimal-yet-gorgeous modern Daybed, I thought I might choose it as a Pink Thing of the Day, but ultimately its functionality swayed me towards the week’s featured design post. Spotted as part of Chamber Boutique’s latest collection, Berlin-based design practice New Tendency has developed a daybed made from honed stainless steel and hand-selected, pure vegan tanned leather. I’m not sure if the cushion is available in other colors, but I think the pale pink looks just perfect against the silver-toned, brushed metal finish. You could build so many looks around this piece.
New Tendency applies modernist design principles onto the everyday contemporary objects. In Bauhaus tradition, they create products characterized by conceptual design, clean aesthetics and functional form, all handcrafted in Germany. The collection of furniture and accessories develops under the creative direction of Manuel Goller, and consists of original products developed with associate Sebastian Schonheit, as well as collaborations with selected designers and architects such as Clemens Tissi, and others.
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.
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.
What kitchen or dining area would fail to make a statement with something like this in the room? The Chariot Rullebord (2012) is a mobile table/trolley consisting of three simple elements joined together: wheels, trays and structure. The wheels, which in common carts are usually small, are brought to the extreme size, becoming the iconic element of the project. This fantastic piece, shown here in its eye-grabbing bright Red finish, is designed by Copenhagen-based firm Gamfratesi and manufactured from lacquered MDF board, metal and rubber by Casamania in Milan, Italy.
Photographed in the Designmuseum in Copenhagen, Denmark.
This week we are introducing a new, reoccurring feature, Eye on Design, with American Industrial Design Legend Raymond Loewy (1893 – 1986). Loewy was a French-born American industrial designer who achieved fame for the magnitude of his design efforts across a variety of industries.
Among Loewy’s designs were the Shell, turning Esso into Exxon, TWA and the former BP logos, the Greyhound Scenicruiser bus, Coca-Cola vending machines, the Lucky Strike package, Coldspot refrigerators, the Studebaker Avanti and Champion, and the Air Force One livery. He was involved with numerous railroad designs, including the Pennsylvania Railroad GG1 and S-1 locomotives, the color scheme and Eagle motif for the first streamliners of the Missouri Pacific Railroad and a number of lesser known color scheme and car interior designs for other railroads. Raymond Loewy’s career spanned seven decades.
Loewy’s popular design for the Lawn Chef Portable Grill revolutionized outdoor cooking and greatly enhanced the leisure time of the American family of the 1950s.
Raymond Loewy’s Lawn Chef Portable Grill (1950) was photographed at MOMA in NYC, where it is on currently view on the 3rd Floor, in the Architecture and Design Lobby.
Vivian Beer’s Anchored Candy Chair may remind you of a stiletto-heeled shoe, or perhaps the sleek styling of a sports car. By fusing such gendered images, Beer highlights both the obvious differences and the more subtle overlap between masculine and feminine consumer forms.
The red Tuffet seat is the first in a new series inspired by the pieces of industrial scrap metal left over from laser cutting. Beer replicated the cut out look of these fragments on a computer, adapting a pattern from a screen by the Art Deco metalsmith Edgar Brandt (1880 – 1960).
Like many women in the historical section of the Pathmakers exhibit, Beer studied at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, which continues to be a center for creative innovation across all disciplines.
Since receiving her MFA in 2004, Beer has become well known for her use of industrial materials such as steel and concrete to create sensuously curved seating.
Vivian Beer’s Anchored Candy Chair is part of the Exhibit Pathmakers: Women in Art, Craft and Design, Midcentury and Today, at the Museum of Arts and Design, Located at 2 Columbus Circle, NYC, Through September 30th, 2015.
Skyscraper Step Table, 1927 (Photo By Gail)
The magazine Good Furniture commented in 1927 that Paul T. Frankl (1886 – 1958), “has developed one feature that is absolutely unique. This is the now somewhat celebrated skyscraper type of furniture, which is as American and as New Yorkish as Fifth Avenue itself.” Indeed, what could be more American and modern than furniture based on the uniquely American contribution to architecture – The skyscraper. Frankl was creating furniture of this type by 1925, thereby making him one of the first modern designers of American decorative arts.
Photographed in the Brooklyn Museum.
The Sansa Chair, an inventive deconstruction of the chair form, is among the original creations that have established Cheick Diallo (b 1960 in Mali, West Africa), as one of Africa’s leading contemporary designers.
Built from steel and nylon material by artisans from Bamakos at Diallo’s direction, the half-reclining Sansa chair seems to sit midway between a European notion of the chair as a leisure object and a West African idea of the chair as a support for displaying a person of status.
I think it is simply stunning!
Part of the Brooklyn Museum’s Arts of Africa Collection, this chair is on view in the Double Take: African Innovations Installation, East Gallery, 1st Floor (Through July 2016).
With her compelling use of bright, fluorescent colors and her mix of both hard (steel, plexiglass) and soft (fabric, felt, pleather, elastic) materials, artist Susan Stainman creates minimalist sculptures that maintain an original feel while hinting at other influences. In her new exhibit, Color All The Way Through at A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn, Stainman reveals her work’s roots in late 20th Century American Art, Craft and Architecture along with her fondness for childlike creative impulses. It’s a fun show.
Existing in the realm that merges contemporary art with design (any of Stainman’s works would look great placed among the furnishings in a modern decor-filled home), pieces like Three Triangles, with its bright, reflective, angular surfaces recall the neon and glass works of Keith Sonnier.
Stainman’s incorporation of sewn fabric may or may not be an homage to Louise Bourgeois, but it’s pleasing to imagine that reference, intentional or otherwise. Her desire to explore the texture and tactility of fabrics is certainly exciting.
This cluster of ruched fabric “bowls” fitted with bright plexiglass windows is a centerpiece of the A.I.R. show and reminded me very much of the sculptures of Charles Clary from his show at Nancy Margolis in January of this year.
Circular Plexiglass Group #2, Close Up
Susan Stainman has participated in nearly a dozen group shows but Color All The Way Through is her first solo exhibit. It is worth the trip to DUMBO to check it out. Visit Susan’s website at This Link.
Susan Stainman’s Color All The Way Through will be on Exhibit Through June 22nd, 2014 at A.I.R. Gallery, 111 Front Street #228, DUMBO, Brooklyn.