Predicting the Future with Oliver M. Furth and Sam Kaufman

Predicting the Future with Oliver M. Furth and Sam Kaufman

By Kelsey Keith
This Saturday at 4:30pm on the Sustainable Design stage at Dwell on Design, join us as we chat with Oliver M. Furth, interior designer and chair of the decorative arts council at LACMA, and gallerist and dealer Sam Kaufman. The pair of furniture experts will weigh in on what 20th century chairs, tables, lighting, and case goods are considered modern classics, as well as the contemporary pieces they predict will have a long, storied shelf life in the design canon. (For more on the topic, see our 2012 article on future classics.)

It's something every designer, design writer, and design collector wonders constantly:Will this piece of furniture I made/ hailed in print/ bought still be in vogue in ten (or fifty) years' time? Now cut through the fuss with the help of two of LA's top furniture experts. Oliver M. Furth is a fourth-generation Californian whose architecture and art history background helped in his role with the Christie's 20th Century Decorative Arts department. He opened his eponymous interior design firm in 2005 and is known for his versatile mix of modern feeling (California design from the last 60 years in particular) with traditional design pieces(18th century English furniture, for one). He's well known in the Los Angeles design community and serves as the chairman of the Decorative Arts and Design Council at LACMA; he also co-produces the annual Los Angeles Antiques Art + Design Show. Though Furth works in a broad range of eras and styles, editing and advising on his client's already-stellar collections, he says of California modernism from 1930-1965: "I'm into that period right now, and I find it undervalued considering its place in the big history of design. Because it's so free out here, there's a lot of experimentation and great ideas."

A bedroom by Los Angeles interior designer Oliver M. Furth, who will join us onstage at Dwell on Design to predict future iconic furnishings.

Our other distinguished panelist, Sam Kaufman, is no stranger to the Dwell reader, having weighed in on his mid-century modern furniture finds and vast knowledge of Marcel Breuer chairs. The walking design encyclopedia known as Mr. Kaufman was born in New York, studio at Brown, worked in Asia, then returned to the United States via Los Angeles, where he opened his design gallery in 1999. As a dealer, Sam sells "idiosyncratic twentieth-century objects that you might see in a museum but want for your living room" and everything he selects undergoes rigorous judgment on its beauty, craftsmanship, historical interest, playfulness, and originality.

Make sure to join us this Saturday, June 22, at Dwell on Design as Oliver and Sam debate the merits of established vintage modern design classics and posit their nominations for furniture of the future.

This article was originally published on June 17, 2013 on our sister site, Dwell on Design.


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