Over the course of seven seasons, the landmark series “Mad Men” has charted the rise of ad man Don Draper in the “Golden Age” of advertising in 1960s New York. The bench is located in front of the Time & Life Building, fictional home of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Designed by Pentagram’s Lorenzo Apicella, Michael Bierut and Emily Oberman, the monument takes the form of a sleek, elegant bench that features the iconic graphic of Draper from the show’s opening title sequence.
The idea behind the bench is strong and simple. The silhouette of Don with his arm draped over a couch has become a symbol of “Mad Men,” seen in the final moments of the opening titles designed by Imaginary Forces. The show’s story is told against the backdrop of massive cultural changes in the 1960s, and the graphic pictures Don sitting back, taking it all in. The bench invites visitors to do the same, to take a moment and observe the excitement of New York around them. Fans are welcome to “drape” themselves on the bench like Don, and take and post photos.
“Mad Men,” and Don in particular, are known for their cool, consummate sense of style, and the show has been credited with renewing interest in mid-century modern design. Rather than recreate the look of the period, Apicella’s design for the bench echoes it in clean, smooth lines that make the monument the chicest, most sophisticated piece of street furniture in the city. Comprised of only two pieces, the 12-foot-long bench combines a ½” thick-rolled steel plate seat and back, balanced on a 10-foot-long cast concrete base. Don’s silhouette is cut from the seat, which has a powder-coated black finish with white painted graphic elements. The concrete base color was selected to complement the existing plaza paving pattern.
Mad Men Monument, by Lorenzo Apicella with Michael Bierut and Emily Oberman
In a new campaign, IKEA honours the things at home that usually get very little recognition. In an epic homage, the toilet paper holder, clothes hanger and even the wall-mounted hook behind the door, are all portrayed as true heroes.
Without thinking, we rely on them daily and it’s not until they’re gone that we miss them dearly. Unlike furniture we proudly place in the centre of a room for people to gather around and admire, the life of an everyday hero is secluded and sometimes, quite dreadful. But still, day in and day out, they do their best to improve our lives at home.
IKEA – Everyday Heroes, Twitter: @everydayhero365
Created in the 1950′s by danish designers Nanna and Jørgen Ditzel, the woven chair, made from oak, is offered in its ‘original’ version and in an outdoor adaptation. The traditional Ditzel chair has hand-braided wicker, while the outdoor version is made from artificial fiber and teak to protect against the elements. The ‘basket chair’ is accompanied with custom cushion fabrics that are also designed by Nanna Ditzel, who has been coined the ‘queen of Danish design’.
Basket Chair, by Nanna and Jørgen Ditzel, Edited by Kettal
Jaime Hayon reveals a total design for Room 506 at the iconic SAS Royal Hotel (now Radisson Blu Royal Hotel Copenhagen). In 1958, Arne Jacobsen designed a room in this hotel – Room 606 – which is still preserved to this day. Both designers are known as rare multi-talented artists with the ability and the courage to create designs on any scale. Hayon’s total design of the room that includes furniture, works of art, bedspreads, lamps etc.has a playful expression, with passion for organic shapes, exclusive materials, extraordinary craftsmanship and a clear aesthetic expression.
“In our past six years’ collaboration, I think we have achieved a great evolution for the Fritz Hansen brand but also a great evolution in my own work, moving forward my design with the idea of making the most of minimum means. Coming from the Mediterranean, to be able to make an imprint on Danish design has been an incredibly special experience for me. The idea for this room is to create a luminous space that brings joy and genuine comfort through the Fritz Hansen designs along with some of my own designs and art. Together with Fritz Hansen, I have created bespoke designs just for this room, always in reflection of our shared principles of working with the best materials and aiming for simplicity and maximum comfort,” says Hayon.
Room 506, by Jaime Hayon, for Raddison Blu Royal Hotel
The Loftcube based on the new urban concept to establish rooftop living on high rised buildings around the world has now been installed on top of the Hotel Daniel in Graz. The interior of the 1950s hotel building has been designed by studio aisslinger in 2005 and won in 2006 the expo real “hotel of the year” award. Now finally the unique 44 square meters loftcube featuring all-round panoramic views like to the Graz clock tower or Schloss Eggenberg has found its way to the rooftop. A unique nomadic architecture on an iconic building will be a new Graz attraction. The special Hotel Daniel – loftcube also tops everything in terms of its furnishings and appointments, including a specially made bed measuring 2,20 x 2,20m, a jungle feeling in the huge raindance shower, a comfy sofa unit and a superb home cinema experience.
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
In the center of the vault-like room is a brass pendulum, which swings back and forth every second. This is meant to symbolize our fight against time, as the brass base would naturally oxidize over time yet the polishing brush at the bottom of the pendulum keeps that process from occurring. Nearby stands two connected saxophones, which emit a sound every 15 minutes like a classic horological sentinel. “This is our town church bell,” Trimarchi explains. A massive slate of round Carrera marble represents time as a circular motion. The handless clock is comprised of two concentric circles, and when the veins in the marble match up, one hour has passed by. An elegant fan clock in another part of the room expresses time as a repetitive pattern. Over the course of five minutes, the shade circumnavigating the brass center playfully unfolds and folds back up again as a reminder of our most common way of measuring time.
Formafantasma: From Then On, by Established & Sons
Photography by Established & Sons and Karen Day
“Flowers aren’t just beautiful to show on tables,” said Makoto Azuma, a 38-year-old artist based in Tokyo. His latest installation piece, if you could call it that, takes this statement to the extreme. Two botanical objects – “Shiki 1,” a Japanese white pine bonsai suspended from a metal frame, and an untitled arrangement of orchids, hydrangeas, lilies and irises, among other blossoms – were launched into the stratosphere on Tuesday in Black Rock Desert outside Gerlach, Nevada, a site made famous for its hosting of the annual Burning Man festival. ”I wanted to see the movement and beauty of plants and flowers suspended in space,” Azuma explained that morning.
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
Richard Pare’s fascination with modernist architecture shines through his vast collection of images taken over several decades. Living Laboratory will illustrate how he photographs buildings, taking care to reveal both their many subtleties and magnificent monumentality. Pare’s perceptive point of view brings into play dramatic use of light, (always achieved with no supplemental lighting) as well as varied weather conditions and seasons.
To achieve his images he deploys a wide range of technical approaches, combining conventional film and a view camera with the latest advances in digital image making. These state-of-the-art aspects of his work serve to highlight the majesty of his subjects without in any way overwhelming the purposes of the undertaking. He is also attentive to the effects of the passage of time and changing social conditions on the works he chooses to portray. The absence of human beings, coupled with signs of wear and decay, including creeping vegetation and the lingering evidence of past eras, emphasise the impermanence of seemingly solid structures and their struggle for survival.
While Pare’s work covers many subjects, Living Laboratory reveals his admiration for Le Corbusier and Konstantin Melnikov, two of the finest and earliest proponents of modernist principles in architecture.
Living Laboratory: Richard Pare on Le Corbusier and Konstantin Melnikov, March 21 – May 11, 2014, PM Gallery & House, London, United Kingdom
Photography by Richard Pare