Wendell Castle (1932 – 2018) was one of America’s most important contemporary furniture makers, with several distinct stylistic phases in his career. At first he employed both exotic and native American woods to produce furniture characterized by biomorphic forms and attenuated surrealism.
This Jumpsuit Prototype (2017) is born from a confluence of designer Richard Malone’s personal experiences of the garment type, and his deep understanding of its mutations and iterations across history, particularly in the last century. Malone grew up in rural Ireland and identifies strongly with his working-class roots, which encompassed, among other things, functional clothing for construction sites. He looked into the 1920s to engage the bold color and egalitarian attitudes of the Russian Constructivists, who wanted to collapse art into life and eradicate class divides; the jumpsuit appeared in their theatrical experiments.
Malone was also inspired by jumpsuits shaped from a single piece of cloth, a frugal and considered method close to his own practice. He steamed, split, and sculpted a recycled stretch of acrylic he developed, creation dramatic optical effects. The top of the jumpsuit offers many openings, allowing for multi-wear options that are both practical and expressive. The result is a one-size-fits-all, unisex ensemble that manages to capture the glamour and the grit on the jumpsuit’s multifarious history.
Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Items: Is Fashion Modern, on View Through January 28th, 2018 at The Museum of Modern Art in NYC.
This Chaise Lounge (prototype 1948) by husband wife design team Charles and Ray Eames was inspired by Gaston Lachaise’s 1927 sculpture Reclining Nude, and nicknamed “Lachaise,” after the artist. It did not receive a prize in MOMA’s International Competition for Low-Cost Furniture Design because it was considered to specialized in us and too expensive to manufacture. However, it was highlighted by the judges, who admired its striking, good-looking and inventive molded construction.
La Chaise finally went into production in 1990, and is now one of the Eames‘ signature works.
Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.
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. Continue reading Eye On Design: Benjamin J. Bowden’s Spacelander Bicycle