Latest Articles in Furniture Design

For the first time, the living room of the Case Study #8 house in Pacific Palisades has been disassembled and reassembled for the public to view. Contrary to how Eames furniture is so often employed today—in a stark, utilitarian manner—in the Eames living

"Living in a Modern Way" at LACMA

For their part in the citywide "Pacific Standard Time" exhibition, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has just opened “California Design 1930–1965: Living in a Modern Way,” which runs through March 25. One of five PST exhibitions hosted by LACMA, “Living in a Modern Way” takes its title from a quote by the Swedish-born designer Greta Magnusson Grossman, whose simple, functional and stylish pieces in the show help define the principles of the mid-century modern period. In 1951 Grossman declared that California design “is not a superimposed style, but an answer to present conditions…. It has developed out of our own preference for living in a modern way.” This sentiment is perhaps no better exemplified than within the exhibition’s unprecedented exact reassemblage of the furnishings in Charles and Ray Eames’ Case Study House #8 living room, which brings their philosophy of living—in a modern way—into a context as yet unseen outside their actual home.
October 6, 2011
nyer bar open

Bar, Desk, NewYorker

The NewYorker is a savvy bit of furniture by designer Jen Turner that is at once a desk and a bar. We featured it in the November 2011 issue's 101 story on renting and here we present the fine bit of decor in all its dual-function, space-saving glory. We're betting your studio apartment didn't come with one of these. All photos by David Engelhardt.
October 6, 2011
Vitra Campus part two

Touring Vitra Campus, Part 2

Vitra's Weil-am-Rhein, Germany, campus boasts not only the production facilities of the famous furniture manufacturer but also numerous iconic buildings by world-renowned architects. In Touring Vitra Campus, Part 1, we explored Jasper Morrison's bus shelters, Frank Gehry's Vitra Design Museum and factory building, Herzog & de Meuron's VitraHaus, Buckminster Fuller's dome, Jean Prouvé's petrol station, and SANAA's soon-to-be-completed factory. Here, we continue the tour with a look at Álvaro Siza's factory building and peeks inside Zaha Hadid's Fire Station (her first building in Europe) as well as Tadao Ando's Conference Pavilion.
October 4, 2011
Vitra Campus part one

Touring Vitra Campus, Part 1

The Vitra Campus in Weil-am-Rhein, Germany, is design-heaven on Earth. Since the 1950s, it has been home to Vitra's furniture production (the company headquarters are located across the border in Switzerland), and it's grown to include the renowned Vitra Design Museum and a handful of the world's best-known buildings by the world's the best-known architects and designers. I hopped the bus from Basel, Switzerland, to take a tour of the campus.
September 29, 2011
cisco store

Furniture Fresh from South Central L.A.

In our October 2011 issue we're spotlighting all of our favorite American-made design. To lend a hand, we've asked Michael and Ruth Storc of the great site Design Patriot to share their top Made in the USA finds with us. This week, they spotlight Cisco Home, a sustanable furniture company based in South Central Los Angeles.   When he was in his early twenties, Cisco Pinedo began making custom furniture for his neighbors out of his home garage in South Central Los Angeles. As his business grew, he started buying abandoned buildings on an industrial strip of Western Avenue in the downtrodden neighborhood where he started. Cisco Home still makes all their upholstered goods, case goods, and their welded and hand-blown glass lighting in Los Angeles (under the name Cisco Brothers), employing over 100 workers in their factories alone. Every item in the huge range of stylish pieces is made with an eye on sustainability and green practices.
September 28, 2011
west side story desk

West Side Story

A comprehensive look at mid-century California design reveals a modern coming of age for the Golden State.
September 28, 2011
london design festival aram gallery thumb

Geenen + Hoon at Aram Gallery

Curated by Héloise Park at the Aram Gallery, the Geenen & Hoon exhibition brings together two young furniture makers who approach design through structure—but from opposite ends of the nature-nurture spectrum. It is a good-looking show filled with the artifacts capable of depicting the design process succinctly: sketches, models, maquettes, prototypes and even machine-like molds. “I’m not just making up shapes. I’m letting the shapes be defined by natural forces,” explains Bram Geenen, a graduate of Utrecht’s HKU who is now based in Amsterdam. Geenen often works in collaboration with tech companies and begins by repurposing their cutting-edge production techniques or materials, but winds up with organic forms derived from physics and the properties of his materials and “better, stronger, lighter, more sustainable products,” he says. “Today any shape you can imagine, you can build. It forces me to be very careful and honest in choosing my forms.” London-based Il Hoon Roh, trained at the Architectural Association and as a product designer at the Royal College of Art, works from the point-of-view of nature and ends up with extraordinary machines that produce elastically oozing forms. His table on show has aesthetic qualities but its form actually illustrates how forces flow from the table top to the ground, he says. “The forms of nature are not accidental at all. The organic beauty is there for a reason.”
September 26, 2011
design week london

London's 100% Design

Albeit with more drizzle and more crowded aisles, 100% Design in Earls Court, London, resembles New York’s International Contemporary Furniture Fair in that it is small and easily digested. 100% Design has its share of big-booth brands and practical tools, materials and production processes for the foot soldiers of the interior design industry but this year, it also featured interesting international contingents from Chile, Norway, Korea and the UK, and a couple of strong examples of booth design, one by Dutchman Ben van Berkel’s UN Studio and the other by Paris-born, New York-based designer and musician Sebastien Agneessens for, of all things, a Turkish real estate developer-cum-design lab called Nef.
September 24, 2011
London Scin

London Design Festival: Day 3

My third day traipsing about London for the Design Festival had me venturing east again, starting my day in Clerkenwell (that's pronounced CLARK-en-well, I learned) and then, as ever, heading back over to Shoreditch for the press preview of the much-hyped Tramshed show. I'll tell you now, it was worth it. Here's what I saw.
September 23, 2011