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
Exhibiton: Man Machine by Konstantin Grcic, February 13 – May 17, 2014, Galerie kreo, Paris, France
Charlotte Perriand is regarded as one of the most influential designers of the early modern movement, acknowledging the increasingly machine-driven culture of the 1920s and ’30s and introducing the profound change in aesthetic values to interiors. As a true pioneer in the application of materials like steel, aluminium and glass to furniture, the french architect and designer established an expansive breadth of work that, to this day, remains the archetype of an evolutionary shift in the industry. When she was just 24-years-old, she commenced a decade-long collaboration with Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret, during which period the trio conceived and developed a series of tubular steel chairs, existing now as icons of an era. The work of Perriand will be a significant presence at Design Miami/ Art Basel Miami 2013 with presentations at the Raleigh Hotel, the Louis Vuitton Boutique and the Cassina showroom.
The focus on “Vertical Net Structures” for the DRX 2013 was a continuation of last year’s investigation into innovative structures for the design of high-rise buildings. Driven by the increasing demand for supertall buildings, we developed integral structures that define interesting interior spaces through controlled articulation without compromising the integrity of the system. Questions of structure, circulation and program distribution had to be addressed in a prototypical building of approximately 450m height.
The aim was to understand forces as vectors in order to develop 3-dimensional spatial nets. These systems were developed and based on profound research in various areas such as high-rise structural systems, natural systems as well as form-finding techniques. Throughout the DRX, these systems were further informed and transformed into highly constrained, feasible proposals for tall buildings.
Vertical Net Structures DRX 2013, at HENN
The Groninger Museum presents the first large-scale solo exhibition of the work of Jaime Hayon (Madrid, 1974). Hayon is one of the most acclaimed designers of his generation. His work consists of autonomous and applied projects, across various disciplines such as ceramics, wood, glass, textiles, product, furniture and interior design. This exhibition is a reflection of the past ten years, a period of intense creativity and growth, in which Hayon has increasingly developed his autonomous work.
Hayon was educated as an industrial designer in Madrid and Paris, and subsequently joined Fabrica, the communications research centre of the Italian clothing label Benetton, in 1997. Within a relatively short time he rose from being a simple student to head of department. In 2000, he started up his own company and made his debut in the art design world with the ceramic work Mediterranean Digital Baroque. The Groninger Museum has been following Jaime Hayon for quite some time. In 2009, the Museum purchased two large installations (Mediterranean Digital Baroque and Mon Cirque) and in 2010 he designed the Museum’s new information centre. With commissions from all over the world and a host of renowned clients, Hayon is regarded as one of the most influential young designers of the present day. The exhibition includes the installations Mediterranean Digital Baroque and Mon Cirque as well as the now iconic Green Chicken and commissioned works for clients such as Baccarat and Lladro. American Chateau, the collaborative project he made with his partner artist, Nienke Klunder, is also featured in the exhibition.
A remarkable element of the exhibition is The Tournament: a unique work that consists of a life-size chess set made of turned wood and hand-painted ceramics, which the Groninger Museum managed to purchase recently. Hayon created this work in 2009, having been commissioned by the Design Festival London to do so; the work was inspired by the Battle of Trafalgar. This is the Dutch première of the artwork. The intention is to organize chess games at specified times. Jaime Hayon’s work issues from an irresistible urge to create his own world. It occupies a central position between autonomous art and design, where amusing, fantastic and narrative elements are combined with a keen eye for detail and finishing. His signature is characterized by a stylized input in which diverse styles blend together. Making use of all these other elements, Hayon translates craftsmanship and traditional techniques into emotionally influential objects and interiors that invite the viewer to be a part of them.
Jaime Hayon: Funtastico, October 13, 2013 – March 30, 2014, at Groninger Museum, Netherlands, Photography © klunderbie, Jaime Hayon
systems is an exhibition of commissioned poster designs and ‘60s Braun products.
Recent years have seen a revival of interest in modernist graphic design, but little agreement about what, in practical terms, this might mean or what is ultimately at stake in it. Thirty-four leading graphic designers and studios were invited to produce a poster design on the theme of Braun systems design. From repetition and development to nostalgia and critique, the diversity of response to the systems brief offers a snapshot of the international graphic design scene in this moment of uncertain possibility. At the same time, systems samples some of the best and most challenging work currently being produced.The works are available for purchase as a limited edition of A1 prints, individually or as a cased set.