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Exposition: Pierre Paulin’s Chairs at Centre Pompidou

Between 1959 and 1975, Pierre Paulin created several iconic designs for Artifort, including the famous Ribbon chair, the Mushroom and the Tongue. These timeless designs, which were created in the Artifort workshops, are for the most part still in production today. They are distributed around the world and continue to be a source of fascination because they are so modern.

Centre Pompidou in Paris is paying tribute to Pierre Paulin’s work with a comprehensive retrospective devoted to the designer’s work. The museum has decided to add a Pierre Paulin lounge to the exhibition galleries giving visitors the opportunity to sit down in some of Artifort’s most comfortable sofas and chairs.

Pierre Paulin at Centre Pompidou

Guide to Computing by Docubyte and Ink

This colourful series of ten historic computers, created in close collaboration between INK and Docubyte, documents the beginning of our computing history. Featuring such famous machines as the IBM 1401 and Alan Turing’s Pilot ACE, Guide to Computing showcases a minimalist approach to design that precedes even Apple’s contemporary motifs.

What’s more, the combination of photography and retouching techniques has resulted in something wholly unique: the ageing historical objects as photographed by Docubyte have been ‘digitally restored’ and returned to their original form. As a number of these computers predate modern colour photography, Guide to Computing therefore showcases them in a never before seen context.

Guide to Computing, by Docubyte

Shulman Home and Studio by LOHA

LOHA’s restoration and modernization applies contemporary measures of performance and design to a historic building, enhancing its continued life as an exceptional family residence.

The Julius Shulman Home and Studio was originally commissioned by photographer Julius Shulman, designed by Raphael Soriano, and completed in 1950. It is one of twelve remaining built Soriano projects, the only with an unaltered steel frame, and a City of Los Angeles Historic–Cultural Monument. LOHA was engaged to not simply restore the significant home, but to update the space so that it could meet the specific needs of a young family.

For this project, LOHA undertook extensive research into the materiality and design intentions of the original structure, as well as other buildings from the period. As a notable landmark, the Shulman Home was restored under strict preservation guidelines supervised by the Los Angeles Office of Historical Resources. Due to the home’s status as a residence and not a museum, LOHA was granted more flexibility in upgrading the residence with essential contemporary features and important amenities. LOHA’s sensitive and light approach brought out the timeless nature of the Soriano’s elegant design.

Shulman Home and Studio, by LOHA, via Plastolux, Photography by Iwan Baan
Buy the book: Julius Shulman Photographer of Modernism

Eero Aarnio Retrospective at Design Museum Helsinki

The most extensive overview thus far of the work and thought of designer Eero Aarnio has open at Design Museum. Aged 83, Professor and interior architect Eero Aarnio has had an exceptionally long career and is one of the internationally most widely known names in the history of modern design in Finland.

The Eero Aarnio retrospective will be a comprehensive exhibition of the designer’s work in furniture, lamps, small objects and unique one-off pieces from the 1950s to the present. Along with objects it will also feature more rarely seen original drawings and sketches demonstrating the designer’s work. Visitors to the exhibition will be shown the less-known aspects of Aarnio’s design process with materials collected from the designer’s own work table and the production lines of the factories. The exhibition is curated by Suvi Saloniemi, Chief Curator at Design Museum, and the exhibition architecture is by Ville Kokkonen and Florencia Colombo.

Eero Aarnio Retrospective, at Design Museum Helsinki

Henbest House by ras-a

Located in Rancho Palos Verdes, an affluent suburb of Los Angeles known for it’s expansive views of the pacific ocean, the Henbest House is a rejuvenation of a California classic. The existing structure was built in 1966 and originally designed by the iconic mid-century modern Architect Pierre Koenig, who is most notable for his case study houses.

The new design upgrades the building envelope, MEPs, updates finishes and gently renovates and expands the floor plan to accommodate the current owners program, while paying special attention to respect the homes architectural roots.

Originally one arrived at the interior of the house via an exterior walkway which circumnavigated a courtyard. The entry path was flanked on either side by a 10′ tall wall, physically separating it from the courtyard. The new design removes this separation and incorporates the courtyard into the entry sequence. A dilapidated perimeter wall is repaired and surfaced with ipe wood siding which meets the areas current fire code. A new board formed concrete wall is offset from the ipe wall, creating a layered opening into the courtyard. A new swimming pool which was inspired by Koenig’s original site plan, but never realized replaces a koi pond and pergola that were added later and not part of Pierre’s design. The swimming pool overflows into a shallow reflecting pool which serves as a moat for the entry path that leads to the interior.

Walls are removed to provide greater views throughout the house towards the Pacific Ocean. A compartmentalized kitchen and service core are gutted to create an open kitchen / dining / living space. The master suite is expanded, replacing a small enclosed patio for livable square footage. A new guest wing is added, connecting the once detached garage to the main house. All of the fenestration is upgraded to meet current standards including new, fully retractable multi-panel sliding glass walls. When completely open the house becomes a pavilion, truly blurring the indoor / outdoor boundary that exemplifies California modern.

Henbest House, by ras-a, inc.
Photography by Chang Kyun Kim

The Bauhaus #itsalldesign by Vitra Design Museum

With the major exhibition »The Bauhaus #itsalldesign« (26.09.2015 – 28.02.2016), the Vitra Design Museum presents, a comprehensive overview of design at the Bauhaus for the first time. The exhibition encompasses a multiplicity of rare, in some cases never-before-seen exhibits from the fields of design, architecture, art, film and photography. At the same time, it confronts the design of the Bauhaus with current debates and tendencies in design and with the works of contemporary designers, artists and architects. In this way, “The Bauhaus #itsalldesign” reveals the surprising present-day relevance of a legendary cultural institution.

The Bauhaus #itsalldesign, by Vitra Design Museum

Midnight Modern by Tom Blachford

Australian photographer Tom Blachford presents the latest instalment of his series of modernist architecture photography Midnight Modern, a body of work that captures iconic Palm Springs mid-century residences in the chilling light of a full moon.

Midnight Modern, Palm Springs, USA, Photography by Tom Blachford

Exhibition: Hans J. Wegner – Just One Good Chair

Hans J. Wegner (1914-2007) was one of the most prolific designers the world has ever seen. His furniture paved the way for the international breakthrough of Danish Design in the years after World War II. In 1949 he created the Round Chair, which the Americans dubbed “The Chair”: the ultimate chair design. Over his long career he created some 500 chairs. Wegner’s work always stems from the manual craft, and he personally created many of the prototypes in his workshop. His life was a constant quest to explore the logic and potentials of wood. In 2014, Designmuseum Danmark celebrates the 100th anniversary of Hans J. Wegner’s birth with the exhibition “Hans J. Wegner – just one good chair”.

Hans J. Wegner – Just One Good Chair, April 3 – December 7, 2014, Designmuseum Danmark, København K, Danmark

Xavier Veilhan. Architectones Barcelona Pavilion

The Barcelona show is something of an intervention, with a diagonal walkway slashing across the famously rectangular floor plan to set up a dialogue with the solitary existing sculpture in the Pavilion, Georg Kolbe’s ‘Alba (Dawn)’, which stands on a small plinth in the smaller of the building’s two reflecting pools. Veilhan has reinterpreted Kolbe’s figure in four figures of descending scale, using different materials in a homage to Mies’ simple, rich palette of glass, steel and marble. The pools have been partly built over, offering visitors new perspectives on spaces made iconic through photography, reproduction and imitation.

‘My curatorial role was focused on researching together with Xavier Veilhan about the history of the pavilion, the characters and conditions that defined its design and how we could connect with that through our project,’ Gonzalo Herrero Delicado explains. ‘It was also important for the Barcelona installation to create a conversation with the rest of the exhibitions.’ The architect oversaw all aspects of the project, from liaising with the MvdR Foundation to secure permissions to finding the local architects, MAIO, to build the final design.

Xavier Veilhan. Architectones, at The Mies van der Rohe Pavilion, Barcelona Spain
Photography by Florian Kleinefenn

Exhibition: Alexander Girard: An Uncommon Vision

Trained as an architect, but proficient in all manner of activities, Alexander Girard was introduced to Herman Miller through Charles Eames and George Nelson, established the Herman Miller Textile Division in 1952, and served as its Director of Design until 1973. From his outpost in Santa Fe, New Mexico, he designed over 300 textiles in multitudes of colorways, multiple collections of wallpaper, decorative prints and wall hangings, an expansive group of furniture, and both decorative and useful objects. His passion for international folk art led him around the globe as he amassed a collection of roughly 106,000 pieces, and his many corporate and freelance assignments-including the La Fonda Del Sol restaurant and the total design program for Braniff International-engendered lavish praise for his diverse skills and unique vision.

With a resolute and reserved personality, Girard believed quality should speak for itself-and he did much to propagate the notion that life should be lived with a higher regard for the humanity of one’s surroundings. His uncommon way of seeing and admirably undogmatic approach to each new solution resulted in an unparalleled body of work that is not only staggering in sheer volume and creativity, but due to its fundamental qualities of beauty and usefulness, remains completely relevant today. In 1972, Girard developed 40 decorative silkscreen designs to add an element of “aesthetic functionalism” to corporate environments. Unlike his printed textiles, the panels consist of single, stand-alone images that range from abstract patterns to figurative pictograms. Herman Miller is pleased to make 12 of these designs available once again.

Walking through the 2,000-square-foot showcase, traces of world cultures soon become evident. Girard did not wish to break all ties with the past, but was able to pull together disparate elements-popular culture, non art, folk motifs-and re-synthesize them with harmony and humor. “In the ideology of his work, Girard was about taking the entirety of history but in execution, he was one of those designers who followed nobody’s rules. And because of his skill level, his eye, things looked amazing. Girard could combine 18 fonts on one poster and it looked incredible. He could hand draw entire alphabet in mixed case letters and somehow it all fit together,” says Grawe.

Alexander Girard: An Uncommon Vision, May 17 – May 28, 2014, New York, Sponsored by Herman Miller Collection, Maharam

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