The Office for Lost Objects
A couple of months ago when I judged a furniture competition sponsored by Design Within Reach, I was lured by a chair design from a young studio out of Madison, Wisconsin, called The Office for Lost Objects.
Jarrod Beglinger, the founder of The Office for Lost Objects, trained as an engineer at MIT before heading to Munich where he interned at BMW's design center. Once on the design path, he enrolled in a graduate program at Design Academy Eindhoven, which he completed in 2004.
With world-class training and worldwide travel under his belt, Beglinger returned to the States and founded his studio on a lakeside in the Midwest. While his own business is just out of the gate, it's off to a running start. "The DWR competition this year was an opportunity for me to attempt a 'soft launch,'" says Beglinger.
Beglinger claims Jasper Morrison and Naoto Fukasawa as primary influences. While simpler than many of those designers' works, the 45º Chair, made from solid quartersawn white oak, has a representative balance of pared down minimalism and original detail. The use of precise angles adds functionality in addition to unusual form: When tilted on its side, the angles of the legs and back set it flat against the floor. Beglinger's 10º Stepstool, made from the same material, also takes its details seriously: A slot angled at 10º in the top of the stool puts it flush against a wall when hung from a standard nail.
It's not all minimalism and sharp angles for Beglinger. He has also branched into lighting and played with color and shape with his Lighting Appliance No. 9—a birch plywood framed piece with polyester sides, which is colorless when unlit, but when switched on glows with two bright orange tones.
For those of you who attend Design Week in NY, look for Jarrod Beglinger at ICFF 2010. In the meantime you can see what's turned up in The Office for Lost Objects at their website.