The name Hans J. Wegner (1914–2007) is inseparable from his unrivalled chairs, which helped Danish design to achieve its international breakthrough. Every design fan has his or her favorite from among Wegner’s approximately five hundred creations. Today, there is a hardly a glossy interior design magazine that does not include an illustration of the elegant China Chair (1943) or the Y Chair (1950), and even John F. Kennedy sat on his Round Chair, which is now simply called The Chair (1949). Trained as a furniture maker, Wegner usually made his prototypes himself by hand, using traditional joinery techniques such as tongue-and-groove or finger joints. In the process he pushed the limitations of wood, giving his designs an unmatched elegance. His sense of humor did not fall by the wayside, either, as evidenced by his splendid Peacock Chair (1947) or the masculine Ox Chair (1960), that latter of which is available with or without horns.
Just One Good Chair, Hans J. Wegner, Texts by Christian Holmsted Olesen, Graphic Design by Rasmus Koch, Format: 25.60 x 32.60 cm, 256 pp., 300 ills., English, 2014. ISBN 978-3-7757-3809-5, Published by Hatje Cantz
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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
Ink is made of American walnut, it is trapezoidal in shape and you access it by opening a door which is tilted to become a work top. Inside the compartment, three drawers, LED lighting and another compartment fitted with sockets for connecting all kinds of electronic devices, even if the name Ink recalls traditional handwriting done with pen, ink and paper, but above all with ideas.
Ink Desk, by Jasper Morrison, for Molteni & C
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
White Cave House is a massive lump engraved by a series of voids interconnected in the shape of a kinked tube. The connection of voids – we call it Cave – is the theme of this house. Internal rooms are designed to enjoy the minimum views of Cave characterized by its whiteness. At the same time, this concept is also the practical solution to realize a courtyard house in Kanazawa city known for heavy snow in Japan.
The client’s original request was a white minimally-designed house with many external spaces, such as a large snow-proof approach to the entrance, a roofed garage for multiple cars, a terrace facing to the sky, and a courtyard. Though a roofed entrance and a garage are desirable for snowy place, it takes so many floor areas away from the internal rooms for the family, while the space and the budget is limited. In addition, courtyard style itself is not suitable to the snowy country because courtyards would be easily buried under snow.
To solve the problems, we proposed to connect these external spaces one another into a large single tube, or Cave, and have each part serve multiple purposes in order to make up for the space limitations. We designed Cave unstraight because it prevents passengers outside from seeing through, though it is not closed. By this arrangement, Cave takes a new turn for each part letting in the sunshine while protecting privacy of the courtyard, the terrace, and the internal rooms. The family inside can enjoy the view of Cave changing its contrast throughout a day under the sunshine. Cave also serves as a route to remove snow from the external spaces in winter, otherwise you would be at a loss with a lot of snow in the enclosed courtyard.
In order to make Cave deserve its name more, we wondered if we could add the reflection of water to the house because we thought water is inseparable from white caves. We eventually figured out that the terrace was an appropriate site to place it. The terrace covered by white waterproof FRP holds a thin layer of water like a white basin. On the terrace reflecting the skyview without obstacles, you may feel that Cave has brought you to another world far from the daily life.
White Cave House, by Takuro Yamamoto Architects
The combination of Kristalia’s technology with Kensaku Oshiro’s creativity has led to Hole: a table featuring an original base and an oval hole, with a softly moulded shape in sheet metal, made using a process that involves many moulding and bending phases. This original and stable base, available in various finishes, supports a thin laminate or solid wood (thicker) top. Two options are available for this furnishing object with a truly unique personality.
Hole, by Kensaku Oshiro, for Kristalia
The site for this family home is a 414sqm cliff-top plot on the island of Okinawa, where the clients wish to spend their summer and winter holidays. As they live in a box-shaped house in Tokyo, the brief was for somewhere with a sense of vertical and horizontal expansiveness and the fluidity of the catenary curve came up as a visual reference. The design traces the diagonal footprint of the plot, combining single and double-height spaces within a form that is closed and tapered to the rear, but to the front flares and opens like an eye over the headland, with the ground floor level raised to optimise sightlines to the ocean.
Okinawa House, by John Pawson
Photography by Nacasa & Partners
A design with its roots in the research of the archetypical two-part African chair of the Congo region, Niloo is a reinterpretation of this typology bringing it into today’s relevant context. The simple idea of two parts simply sliding together and interlocking to form a comfortable chair is just as relevant today as it has been for centuries past.
Interestingly enough, in the 1950s, Artifort blazed the trail of innovative design with the Congo and Pinguïn chair, designed by Theo Ruth, chairs that were also inspired by this typology. Niloo is following in its predecessor’s footsteps by applying the same technique that involves two elements seamlessly fitting together. Through this design, we pay tribute to Artifort’s history while setting our sights on the future.
The design describes two foam moulded upholstered parts, one being a composition of a curvaceous back emerging into the front feet and the other being a generous seat turning into the hind leg. The great development challenge was in creating an embracing and comfortable chair while making sure that the structure is strong and sturdy.
‘For me Niloo is all about the synergy of practicality and comfort. Imagine having to haul a fauteuil up three flights of stairs or the space-saving attributes during transport. And when slid together a simple chair emerges, almost iconic in image.’ Khodi Feiz.
The retro-futuristic epoch is one of the most visually spectacular in architecture’s history. The utopian buildings of the 1960s and 1970s never go out of style. This book compiles radical ideas, rediscovered photos, and visionary structures.
Driven by idealistic visions, utopian architecture aimed to overcome social divisions and political strife, to put us in touch with nature, and to enable us to live humane, healthy lives. For half a century, it was both hope and inspiration.
The Tale of Tomorrow surveys this diverse twentieth century phenomenon, featuring renowned works like The House of the Century or the TWA terminal, as well as lesser-known masterpieces, and profiling major thinkers such as Oscar Niemeyer, Le Corbusier, and Eero Saarinen. By digging through archives, corresponding with descendants of departed architects, and restoring photographs, the collection of utopian approaches herein maintains a visual power and infectious optimism.
Looking at past dreams, The Tale of Tomorrow is a call to reclaim our future.
The Tale Of Tomorrow, Format: 24.5 × 33 cm, 400 pages, full color, hardcover, English, ISBN: 978-3-89955-570-7, Published by Gestalten, Buy it here: Amazon
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.