Latest Articles in Furniture & Products

Dunbar Astrkhan 1

Just Redo It

What do you get when you give a couple of designers unlimited creative license on a very limited budget? For Andrew Dunbar and Zoee Astrakhan, the possibilities were limitless.
January 24, 2011
maison objet

Maison & Objet 2011: Part One

Hello from Paris! Right after my flight landed, I made a beeline from Charles de Gaulle Airport to Nord Villepinte, where the famed design fair Maison & Objet is held twice a year. I had no idea the fair was so huge—nor that it tended, in such extremes, toward the chintzy, glamorous, and/or cutesy. But once I made my way through the gauntlet of candle displays and damask curtains and discovered Hall #8 (entitled "Now! Design á Vivre") I knew I was in the right place. Scores of booths from many of today's most exciting design talent proffered both their latest wares and their best-sellers, in a colorful jumble of creativity that made my head spin.
January 23, 2011
process 111 navy chair

Emeco's 111 Navy Chair

The tale of the Emeco's 111 Navy chair is that of a phoenix rising. In 1944, the Hanover, Pennsylvania-based company began producing the original 1006 Navy chair. But despite supplying these chairs—the first to be made from 80 percent recycled aluminum—for use in virtually every U.S. Navy application that required sitting, the company was on the brink of collapse by the late 1990's. While on his way to shutter Emeco, owner Gregg Buchbinder had a startling revelation upon reviewing records: Architects Frank Gehry and Norman Foster had long been ordering chairs directly from the factory. Inspired, Buchbinder revived Emeco with a series of striking new designs, including those from Gerhy and Foster.
January 23, 2011
Riedel Pinot Crop

Wine Tasting with Georg Riedel

Not so long ago I was at a dinner with a handful of food writers--I was there merely as a food taster--and the fancy stemware from the Austrian firm Riedel came up. One woman extolled the famed Riedel wine tasting experience, a kind of demonstration where one tastes wine out of a variety of Riedel glasses (chardonnay from a special chardonnay glass, cabernet sauvignon from a cab cup, and so on), it tastes and smells much better than usual, and you're forced to realize that you've been drinking your fine pinots out of the wrong glasses for your whole life. I was skeptical, but she told me it was enlightening. Last night at SFMOMA, Riedel honcho, and 11th generation family glass man Georg Riedel hosted just this kind of tasting, and I wasn't going to miss it.
January 21, 2011
Beer A Genuine Collection of Cans book

Beer: The Designs of Drinking

Wine labels have recently received acclaim for their more astute designs so its high time beer branders were awarded the same salute. A new coffee table-topper from Chronicle Books, Beer: A Genuine Collection of Cans, peers into the 1,400-plus collection of beer can-enthusiast John Russo and presents nearly 500 of the most interesting finds that represent craft breweries now out of business and iconic brands that have continually altered their image throughout the last half decade. Compiled by Dan Becker (Russo's stepson) and Lance Wilson, the book is a glimpse of drinking days of yore and an ode to the long lost cone top and crowntainer cans. Bottoms up!
January 20, 2011
Blee Patio Portraits

Renovating An Aging Mill in France

In 1981, Londoners Anthony and Gillian Blee purchased the ultimate fixer-upper. The property in southwestern France was idyllic, but its old mill, built in 1822, and three flanking outbuildings had fallen into terrible disrepair.
January 19, 2011
lajos kozma

Lajos Kozma, Hungarian Modernist

Hungarian architect and designer Lajos Kozma (1884–1948) made an indelible mark on early-20th-century European design with his drawings, buildings and furniture that drew upon traditional Hungarian motifs yet showed an unprecedented bent toward modernism. Born in the small village of Kiskorpad, Kozma traveled to Budapest around the turn of the 20th century to study architecture at Budapest Imperial Joseph College. After graduating, he joined the “Young Ones,” a group of designers who studied Hungarian folk art and architecture and created furniture. “But they couldn’t get commissions,” notes Judith Hoffman, a Kozma collector and owner of Szalon in Los Angeles. “Kozma was young, he was Jewish, and he had these new ideas in very conservative times.” Following the model set by the Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna Workshop), formed in 1903 to promote Austrian art and craftsmanship, in 1913 Kozma formed the Budapest Muhely, or Budapest Workshop. Click through the slideshow below to see Kozma’s designs, as well as a selection of his drawings and buildings.
January 19, 2011
Janna Stark House - Charred Studs

Wood-Paneled Interior in a San Francisco Victorian

The recent history of Janna Stark's San Francisco flat, located in an 1890's Victorian house, is literally burned into the wall.
January 18, 2011
margarita milev R2

Rubber Bands, Man

When the architecture industry suffered a massive blow due to the economy, architect Margarita Mileva turned to upcycling office supplies. Her designs have garnered international attention and she is soon to exhibit at the Wear Is Art fashion show in Berlin. I chatted with Margarita about her design inspiration, why she chose office supplies, and how many rubber bands it took to create a single garment (it's in the thousands). Here's what she had to say.
January 16, 2011