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.
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.
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.
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.
Photographed in May 2019 at the ICFF at Javits Center, NYC.
My press comp to 2019’s Salon Art + Design included a much-appreciated perk of access to the Collectors Lounge, which featured a strikingly curated collection of unique art furniture from UK-based Sollands Gallery. Located in Mayfair, an affluent area in the West End of London, Sollands boasts elegant, contemporary pieces bearing the signature style of designer Grazyna (Gra) Solland. Gra, as she is called, is known for her strong sculptural statements, bold use of colors, and highly innovative and individual designs using high-end, luxurious materials. Working with both traditional and contemporary methods, together with a keen attention to detail and exacting quality, are hallmarks of Gra’s exquisite creations.
My favorite piece in the lounge was the vibrant, red lacquered Circ Coffee Table (2017). Having spent many years working on her STACK pieces, Gra decided she would like to further develop the theme, but in a much bolder manner. To create Circ, she regulated the wedge shapes and worked with circular shapes in a singular color.
Photographed in the Sollands Collectors Lounge at the 2019 Salon Art + Design in NYC.
Creating cool, modern furniture from upcycled car parts is not an entirely new idea, but in this case there is a unique motivation behind the design. This fun and funky Side Chair and Cocktail Table — which incorporate discarded car tires and refinished bike wheels — is by Xtreme Upcycle, a small business whose proprietors have a deep social conscience behind everything they produce.
Embracing the theme of Turning Trash Into Treasures, Xtreme Upcycle (established in 2012) lives its vision of reducing waste and combating climate change; finding alternative uses for discarded items and recycling them into up-cycled new products! Based in Ghana, West Africa, Xtreme Upcycle works on most of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by halting climate change in its own small, but significant, way. In partnership with it upcycled fashion accessory business MH Couture, they promote positive environmental sanitation processes, create employment for all (with an emphasis on women), and contribute to the education of underprivileged young women and girls in West African society. They also embark on regular tree planting exercises in rural communities. Fantastic!
German emigre Kem Weber (1889 – 1963) designed original and colorful furniture and interiors devoid of overt historical references and evocative of modern times.
Produced as part of a nine-piece dining-room suite manufactured by Grand Rapids Chair Company, this Serving Table and Arm Chair (circa 1928–29) feature finishes of painted wood, walnut, and silver leaf with original leather upholstery.
The zigzag pattern in both the walnut veneer of the table and the striking green surfaces of both table and chair attest to Weber’s knowledge of French Art Moderne, while their smooth contours anticipate the sleek look of American streamlined design that would become popular in the 1930s.
Born in Tokyo in 1934, Shiro Kuramata studied at the city’s polytechnic high school and Kuwsawa Design School. He revolutionized design in postwar Japan by considering the relationship between form and function, adhering to minimalist ideas but embracing surrealism as well. During the 1970s and 1980s, Kuramata began to use new technologies and industrial materials. He was inspired by Ettore Sottsass and joined the Memphis Group at its founding in 1981.
Kyoto Table, Detail
The Kyoto Table (1983) is an example Kuramata’s innovative use of concrete and glass to create minimalist form with surface interest. Kuramata’s furniture and interiors have been influential both is his native country and abroad.
Swiss designer Mattia Bonetti scores again with Lucky (2013), a stainless steel Di (get a second to make proper pair of dice) which measures 18.62″ H x 18.6″ W x 18.62″ D and can be used as a stool or side table. Available in an edition of 100.
Chamber home design boutique and gallery on West 23rd Street is currently hosting a selection of new creations from botanically-minded Japanese artist Azuma Makoto. We especially love this bean-shaped Sofa and Table set covered in vibrant green AstroTurf! Talk about successfully bringing nature indoors!
Botanical Side Table
Each piece has what looks to us like a single, sprouted Leek bulb accent. This makes more sense when you see some of the other objects designed by Makoto, such as an array of crystal glass boxes shaped like seeds, sprouted bulbs suspended in acrylic cubes, and a tabletop collection of fungi dipped in precious metals, all of which are available in the boutique through April 30th, 2016.
Chamber is Located at 515 West 23rd Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
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 Pathmakersexhibit, 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.
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.
If you have timed tickets to the Bjork Songlines exhibit and need to kill a couple of hours at MOMA while you wait, be sure to visit the third floor Architecture and Design Galleries, many of which have just recently been restaged!
That’s where you’ll find Geoffrey Mann’s Attracted to Light hanging lamp (2005). According to the designer “Attracted to Light narrates the erratic behavior of a moth upon the stimulus of light.” The insect’s path through the air is captured using cinematic technology and materialized through rapid prototyping (also called 3D printing), a process by which computer-controlled lasers solidify liquid or powdered resin layer by layer to create a three-dimensional rendering of a digital design – in this case forming a delicate hanging lamp.
Attracted to Light (Detail)
The design is part oh Mann’s Long Exposure series, which also features lamps based on the trajectories of a bird in flight, taking off, and landing.
Just under the lamp you’ll find the Cinderella Table (2004) by Dutch designer Jeroen Verhoeven for his firm Demakersvan(“The Makers of”). With this table, Demakersvanmerged traditional and advanced manufacturing techniques. Using computer software, they translated sketches of the profiles of two tables into digital drawings and then made a rendering representing the two morphing into each other.
Next, using computer-driven woodcutting machines normally employed for mass production, they fabricated the drawing as a three-dimensional object, in thin vertical sections out of sheets of birch. Each slice was glued by hand to the next, forming a unique piece of furniture.