Everything Old Is New Again
The feeling was kicked off by an old friend. This lounge and ottoman by Lyx from Scandinavia is clearly a derivative of the Eames Lounge chair.
But, since The Lounge chair is already in the public-conscious, I presume Lyx isn't trying to pass it off as a completely new
piece, but rather an ode to a classic. The Lyx chair with thick cushions and an iconic, geometric form, adds a more minimalist feel to the design, and a tweak from its 1940’s counterpart. I remember reading someplace that when Charles Eames was asked about his opinion on imitations of designs, he said something to the effect that he had problems with poor imitations of his designs but if it was an improvement he was for it. I wonder if he’d approve this piece.
Marti Guixe had an idea with his Galeria H20 Chair (1998), that as we read more books growing up, the height of the chairs would grow with us. Another designer who got height out of stacked books was Jurgen Bey’s Healing Chair from back in 2000. Now, Mio's new chair, Bale, again uses the book-stacking concept, but adapted for easier production. It doesn’t have to be books either; Bale can be filled with anything you can sit on, giving the consumer power to control the final touches of the design.
Like Jurgen Bey, a few years ago with his extruded garden benches, Context Furniture was also parading extruded furniture, but this time in wood, and playing on a recycled Victorian style. The graphic/silhouette effect of these pieces is powerful and cute, and definitely worth mentioning.
Aitali came out with chairs and tables made of acrylic infused with color this year by Karim Rashid. Patrick Norguet did the Rainbow Chair (2000) for Capellini but with the Rainbow Chair running upwards of $12,000, a new version of a see-through colorful chair is a welcome. Aitali's version uses a proprietary printing technique, which requires much less work than Patrick's laminated, ultrasonically welded beast.
Materialize’s hanging lamp showcased at ICFF this year and This Coral Vase (1999) by Ted Muehling each use different materials and methods of manufacturing but had a similar formal effect on me. One was created in resin using sterolithography and the other in porcelain.
It's exciting to see similar themes like these working their way through the design world; The genesis of a movement is in the borrowing and appropriation of concepts and ideas to new ends. Evolutionary designs like these are what create the continuity and comfort of history.
Copyright 2004-2006 Dominic Muren and IDFuel Team