Hinoki Kogei is Japan’s leading woodwork factory, founded in 1977 by Chuzo Tozawa. British designer Peter Marigold collaborated with the Company to create a design which incorporates a woodworking technique that has been used for centuries.
Japan Creative is a non-profit organization founded to respond to the destructive earthquake of March 2011, an event that led to some rethinking of the aesthetics and value of design. The exhibit, curated by Hiroshi Naito, seeks to interpret this tremendous hardship, returning to the roots of traditional Japanes objects and crafts. The exhibition theme “Simple Vision” encompasses the idea of redefining established design rules to interpret them with a new spirit that is open to different cultures.
Each of the five concepts presented at Superstudio in Milan explores a different, distinctive approach to glass achieved by the accomplished artisans in the Lasvit workshop in Nový Bor. For Lasvit’s Inhale Lamp, glass blowers form big air bubbles then inhale to produce an unusual shape with negative air pressure. X-Ray vases capitalize on transparency and reflection, two key characteristics of glass, to transform a series of domes within a larger mirrored dome, into a subtle, ever-changing optical effect. Press lamps in pendant and floor styles rely on light sources tucked into compressed glass tubes to produce soft, organic forms. Innerblow and Overflow tables deploy two techniques using metal forms and the flowing quality of molten glass to create smooth and water-like surfaces. Growing Vases are whimsical objects in which glass pipes give the illusion of vases blooming out of flowers.
Innerflow, Overflow, Inhale, Press (Smoke), X-Ray Vase, by Nendo, for Lasvit
Buckminster Fuller and Chuck Byrne, Building Construction/Geodesic Dome, United States Patent Office no. 2,682,235, from the portfolio Inventions: Twelve Around One, 1981; screen print in white ink on clear polyester film; 30 in. x 40 in. (76.2 cm x 101.6 cm); Collection SFMOMA, gift of Chuck and Elizabeth Byrne; © The Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller, All Rights reserved. Published by Carl Solway Gallery, Cincinnati.
Buckminster Fuller and Chuck Byrne, Motor Vehicle-Dymaxion Car, United States Patent Office no. 2,101,057, from the portfolio Inventions: Twelve Around One, 1981; screen print in white ink on clear polyester film; 30 in. x 40 in. (76.2 cm x 101.6 cm); Collection SFMOMA, gift of Chuck and Elizabeth Byrne; © The Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller, All Rights reserved. Published by Carl Solway Gallery, Cincinnati.
Buckminster Fuller and Chuck Byrne, Undersea Island-Submarisle, United States Patent Office no. 3,080,583,from the portfolio Inventions: Twelve Around One, 1981; screen print on Lenox paper; 30 in. x 40 in. (76.2 cm x 101.6 cm); Collection SFMOMA, gift of Chuck and Elizabeth Byrne; © The Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller, All Rights reserved. Published by Carl Solway Gallery, Cincinnati.
Buckminster Fuller and Chuck Byrne, Non-Symetrical Tension-Integrity Structures, United States Patent Office no. 3,866,366, from the portfolio Inventions: Twelve Around One, 1981; screen print in white ink on clear polyester film; 30 in. x 40 in. (76.2 cm x 101.6 cm); Collection SFMOMA, gift of Chuck and Elizabeth Byrne; © The Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller, All Rights reserved. Published by Carl Solway Gallery, Cincinnati.
Buckminster Fuller and Chuck Byrne, Laminar Geodesic Dome, United States Patent Office no. 3,203,144, from the portfolio Inventions: Twelve Around One, 1981; screen print in white ink on clear polyester film; 30 in. x 40 in. (76.2 cm x 101.6 cm); Collection SFMOMA, gift of Chuck and Elizabeth Byrne; © The Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller, All Rights reserved. Published by Carl Solway Gallery, Cincinnati.
Buckminster Fuller and Chuck Byrne, 4D House, United States Patent Office no. 1,793, from the portfolio Inventions: Twelve Around One, 1981; screen print on Lenox paper; 30 in. x 40 in. (76.2 cm x 101.6 cm); Collection SFMOMA, gift of Chuck and Elizabeth Byrne; © The Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller, All Rights reserved. Published by Carl Solway Gallery, Cincinnati.
The Bay Area has long attracted dreamers, progressives, nonconformists, and designers. Buckminster Fuller was all of these, and although he never lived in San Francisco, his ideas have spawned many local experiments in technology, design, and sustainability. The first to consider Fuller’s legacy in the Bay Area, this exhibition features some of his most iconic projects, as represented in a Fuller print portfolio recently acquired by SFMOMA, Inventions: Twelve Around One. Along with Fuller inventions like the 4D House, Geodesic Dome, World Game, and Dymaxion car, the exhibition presents Bay Area endeavors — from Ant Farm’s 1972 domed Convention City proposal to the North Face Oval Intention tent, and from IwamotoScott’s Jellyfish House to One Laptop Per Child — inspired by Fuller’s visionary designs connecting technology, ecology, and social responsibility.
The Utopian Impulse: Buckminster Fuller and the Bay Area, March 31 – July 29, 2012,
at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, SFMOMA
Chandlo was designed as a special prototype made by BD Barcelona for Das Haus 2012. This was an installation by Doshi Levien for IMM Cologne that explored their vision of a perfect home. Das Haus consisted of interconnected spaces opening up to a central courtyard. The different areas of the home depended mainly on objects and furniture to define space.
The seemingly abstract composition of the mirrors, cabinet and surface is based on the gestures and daily ritual of dressing up and grooming, celebrating the enjoyment of getting dressed and the importance of personal grooming as part of our daily well being ritual.
An architectural composition of forms and planes are designed to be viewed from all sides, revealing different aspects of the object as you walk around it. Chandlo means moon shape and also Bindi that is the coloured dot worn by Indian women on the forehead to which the circular mirror makes reference.
Our intention was to create a composition in which the elements are holding each other in position without actually touching. To maintain the simplicity of this deconstructed arrangement, we had to conceal the production methods and this presented many technical challenges overcome masterfully by BD Barcelona.
Chandlo Dressing Table, by Doshi Levien
In March, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Tugendhat Villa reopened after an $8.8 million, two-year reconstruction. Using family photographs, archival material, visiting Mies’ other buildings in the U.S. and Europe, the Tugendhat redesign team focused on, as Villa Director Iveta Cerna said “identifying authenticity.”
The Villa, built in 1930, was the family home of the Tugendhats only until 1938 when they fled the country due to World War II. Fritz and Greta Tugendhat worked closely with Mies, who designed the site-specific building to make excellent use of steel, glass and concrete, and flowing spatial srrangement. The building was not well maintained under communism. Many of the original furnishings and other elements went missing and structural work needed to be done. Work included removing things added in the years after the Tugendhats had left, as well as hunting down original furniture, and when those couldn’t be found painstakingly making exact copies. The result is a renewed near-perfect example of one of Mies’s “space must be felt” creations.
Tugendhat Villa, Brno, Czech Republic, by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s, via: Dwell
To present this new colour range, DuPont™ Corian® called upon 4 designers or galleries, known for their quality and relevant editorial policy and for the innovative character of their collections. Moustache is proud and honoured to have been chosen by DuPont™ on the French market to create this collection. The Favoris Collection was enthusiastically and rigorously pieced together over the past year through context elaboration and exchange of ideas. Managed by Moustache, produced in association alongside and with the complicity of Corian® and Créa Diffusion, the Favoris Collection was designed by Ionna Vautrin, Inga Sempé, François Azambourg, Sébastien Cordoléani and Benjamin Graindorge
Favoris is the one entitled to special treatment due to merit and beauty and also the one who boasts a privileged place near the “all-powerful”. But Favoris is also, and this is less known, the French name commonly used to describe the long piece of hair on each side of the face and its eventual growth into a beard. Having changed from hair into a beard, the Favoris changed from the beard into a Moustache… The Favoris Collection evolved from its side-stepping into temporary openings of a constraint free area without the usual duty of “sticking” to the market-trends. It proposes observation and contemplation of a series of objects designed with the intention of showing, revealing or exaggerating the sensitive nature of a material: the Corian®. Emancipated and liberated from routine questions and functions which sometimes become purposely secondary, the Favoris Collection by Moustache with Corian® also invites you to observe how – putting the Corian® panel presentation-logic aside – this material can become round or in relief and boasts being from an assumed search for beauty.
Favoris Collection, for Moustache, at Corian® Colour Evolution, 2012 Milan Design Week, Spazio Fiorentine, via Savona 35, Milan, April 16–22
Wright is set to auction a weather vane designed by George Nelson for the Howard Miller Clock Company of Zeeland, Michigan.
Carousel Weather Vane, 1954-1955, by George Nelson & Associates, by Howard Miller Clock Company, Estimate: $5,000–7,000, Auction at Wright
When the Gantert Residence in the Hollywood Hills hit the market last fall, it was frequently described as the last built house designed by Pierre Koenig, who’s most famous for his Case Study Houses Nos. 21 and 22 (aka the Stahl House). The Gantert has just been bumped–sort of. For years, Serial mid-century modern collector/preservationist Michael LaFetra has talked about his plans to build a Koenig design on a beachfront lot in Malibu that was once occupied by a Pia Zadora-owned spec house. In fact, he bought that land in 1999, before even his first major modern acquisition, CSH No. 21. Shortly after buying 21, he got a call from Koenig, according to a 2005 LA Times article, and they became friends. In 2000 Koenig offered to build LaFetra a beach house. The house has just been finished, but Koenig died in 2004.
According to the old LAT story, “The plan Koenig ultimately came up with called for a house built from a massive steel-and-glass grid, with living space on the first two floors and three bedrooms on the top level. The entire wall facing the ocean would be made of transparent glass. Although LaFetra asked for polished concrete and cork floors in place of the vinyl tile Koenig favored, in most other ways the house would adhere to Koenig’s spare style. It would have an open floor plan and would be finished with Sheetrock and painted steel.”
An agreement reached with preservationists for the Manufacturers Hanover Trust building, a Modernist masterpiece designed by Gordon Bunshaft for Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM) in 1954. As part of the agreement, Vornado, the building’s current owner, asked the Landmarks Preservation Commission to amend the certificate of appropriateness issued in April 2011 to allow the reinstallation of two Harry Bertoia sculptures. SOM is overseeing the current renovation of the building. Vornado will also ask the Commission to expand the landmarking to include the interior of the former vault space. “Our staff could cite no other recent example where an owner requested the agency to increase the area of an interior landmark,” Landmarks spokesperson Elizabeth de Bourbon said in an email.
The agreement is unusual for several reasons, not the least of which is that one of the building’s former owners, JP Morgan Chase, still owns the artwork. One is a 70-foot-wide multi-paneled bronze screen designed for the second floor space that served as a textured backdrop inside the glass box. The second is a spindly mobile representing a cloud. The bank removed both sculptures after Vornado completed the deal to buy the building from Tal Prop Equities in October 2010. Almost immediately the architecture press, led by Ada Louise Huxtable at The Wall Street Journal, called for the sculptures’ return. Huxtable said that the removal of the sculptures was “a perverse form of preservation that begins with a profound misunderstanding of the sculptures function as an essential architectural element.” With the crash of 2008 still fresh, the critic warned that despite the bank’s assurances, sometimes, troubled institutions will ship their “expendable assets” off to Christie’s or Sotheby’s.
One had to walk through a very snowy Skeppsholmen island (Stockholm) to discover design studio Form Us With Love’s new designs, displayed at the Swedish Museum for Architecture. A worthy trip, though: On the occasion of the third “Form Us With Friends” event, designers John Löfgren, Jonas Pettersson, and Petrus Palmér introduced the Plaid dividers for Abstracta (Sweden), the Plug Lamp for Ateljé Lyktan (Sweden), the Form Pendants for Design House Stockholm (Sweden), the Bento chair & table for One Nordic Furniture (a brand new company based in Finland), as well as the Slab Vases for Cosentino Silestone (Spain).
The Bento chair and table, made of bent birch plywood, come into four parts each, that can be assembled without the need for any tools or fasteners. Form pendant glass lights, blown into geometric shapes, have been designed to be hung in group, each shape complementing the other. As for the PET foam room divider, its name (Plaid) suggests a versatile use: it can be hanged, draped or simply put on the floor and fanned out according to one’s needs. The most poetic objects of the series, the Slab vases display colorful rings of silestone (gravel, coloring and binding agents blended into quartz) piled up over a 40cm-high metal bracket, that can be assembled in an array of different combinations.
Exhibition: Form Us With Friends, Form Us With Love, Photography © Jonas Lindström
Elodie Palasse-Leroux is a Paris-based writer and journalist, the founder and editor of Sleek design.