Sometimes, amidst all the dimensioning of drawings, preparation for castings, and other details of the design profession, we lose sight of the less tangible qualities we hope our work will have. At these times, we like to regain some perspective by looking to work that exemplifies qualities we'd like to infuse in our own work. After several long days of dimensioning, we're taking a break to look at an artist who's work is meticulous but retains the sculptural soul of his ideas' inceptions.
Don't Overlook Denmark
Oh sure. Scandinavian design is huge. But it's mostly because a certain Swedish somebody, has expanded into every major market worldwide (with the exception of Japan, Africa and Latin America). Some of the first Scandinavian design to captivate the world was Danish. And the ideals of those first Danish designers run so counter to Ikea's flat-pack, short-life, high fashion design, that it's interesting to see how Denmark, through no real fault of it's own, paved the way for particle board and "clean rectangles" to dominate the public's idea of what constitutes modern design.
In Memoriam: Willy Guhl
Willy Guhl, the Swiss furniture designer, died over the weekend at age 89. He was one of the original importers of industrial design into Switzerland, and is in large part responsible for the high interest in furniture design in the country today.
Light My (Pants On) Fire
If you just couldn't make it to Milan's 2004 Salone Internazionale del Mobile [translation: Sexiest Furniture Fair Ever] this April, then you're probably 'bummed' about missing the world premiere of Frank O. Gehry's new SuperLight chair. Manufactured by Emeco, the famous Pennsylvanian crafters of the 1006 Navy Chair, SuperLight weighs in at only 6.5 lbs. and subtly sways and shifts with the sitter. Also premiering in Milan was an Eames Demetrios film about the design process of SuperLight. Lucky for you crazy Chicagoans, you can check out both chair and film next week at DWR's Chicago Tree Studio. Gehry won't be there, but E.D. and Gregg Buchbinder (of Emeco) will be providing "an enlightening evening." If you check it out, tell us about it!
Design Within Reach recently held a competition to "Design a chair using only the corks from two Champagne bottles". We thought it seemed pretty impossible, until we saw the entries were tiny. Check out entries here.
This tea service, and some other great pieces can be found at Buk, a design house in Japan. The designers are apparently from all over, and we really wish we could read Japanese, because there's a whole directory of designers too. Too bad the Internet doesn't come with language lessons.
Simon James Design has a great new website designed by Chris Johnson. Simon James is located in New Zealand, and produces some beautiful minimal furniture.
Dominic Muren and IDFuel Team