Data Modern Furnishings was founded by Ryan Richardson in the fall of 2010, after 18 months of prototyping and tweaking their products. Richardson collaborates with a team of nine woodworkers, craftsmen, and finishers to design and hand-build the company's pieces—mostly bookcases, so far—in Nashville, Tennessee.
"From a production perspective, we remain committed to the notion that properly designed pieces can be made by hand at a reasonable cost," he says.
Here, Richardson answers more questions about his young business, and their design approach.
What are the driving principles behind the company and its designs?
Data was created out of a minimalist-inspired desire to return to the core function of the objects that we surround ourselves with. Stripped of the superfluous, the underlying purpose of each piece is expressed in a straightforward manner, resulting in pieces whose form is defined by the function that each item performs.
What are your design inspirations?
Many of Data's designs draw upon the potential utility of unused spaces within our customer's homes and offices. For that reason, our designs are well suited for low-square-footage apartment living. The Tori bookcase, for example, was born out of a desire to make the most of underutilized corners within rooms. The result is a piece that, with a minimal footprint, can store a large volume of books and other objects.
Any other examples?
The Noveni was inspired by our desire to liberate magazines from the coffee table or the traditional sofa-side magazine rack. By suspending magazines with the spines readable, and at the ideal angle for easy selection, this rack can be hung on the wall, freeing up floor space in the process.
When will the pieces be available for purchase, and where can someone buy them?
All of our designs are available for purchase at this point through our online retail store at www.datafurniture.com. Going forward, we'd like to partner with retail stores and other venues that would allow customers to examine these pieces in person before making a purchase.
What would you most like to design next?
We were recently approached about a commission to design and produce some exclusive pieces for a coffee bar—that would be an exciting challenge. As far as publicly available products, we are currently exploring options in the dining room and will soon be releasing a fresh take on the traditional, upholstered lounge chair... and possibly something special for the 2011 ICFF show in May.