Janelle Zara
Architecture & Design News

OBJECT LESSONS: Architecture & Design News

Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

Herman Miller Buys Design Within Reach for $154 Million

The Eames Chair, manufactured by Herman Miller.

Herman Miller, the famed manufacturer of mid-century furniture, is buying modern furnishings retail chain Design Within Reach for $154 million, reports Bloomberg Businessweek. Announcing its “lifestyle brand ambitions,” Herman Miller posted a statement to its website on July 17 that clarifies the deal’s intended results: the creation of a consumer business unit headed by DWR’s current leadership, meant to increase Herman Miller’s presence (and revenue) in the “higher margin consumer sector.” In purchasing the chain of retail outlets, Herman Miller plans to expand its share in the home furniture market through DWR’s popular in-store and online retail outlets. But the retailer also comes with a troubled past: DWR faced a series of lawsuits in recent years related to trademark infringement on European designs.

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San Francisco Named America’s Leading Design City

It’s not uncommon to hear talk of “New York architects” or “L.A. architects,” or even “Chicago architects” (the city recently announced a new architecture biennial to claim its status as a design capital). Though the local design cultures of Minneapolis, Seattle, and even San Francisco don’t get quite as much popular attention as the coastal megalopolises, a new study conducted by the labor data and market research firm EMSI (that data was then interpreted by scholar Richard Florida) shows that these smaller cities are also design industry hotspots. San Francisco, in particular, has the highest concentration of employed design professionals in the United States, reports Citylab. Surprised?

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Brought to Light: Knud Lonberg-Holm, the “Invisible Architect” of Information Design

Knud Lonberg-Holm’s propsed design for the Radio Broadcasting Station, Detroit, circa 1925.

“The really great architect will be the architect who produces the invisible house where you don’t see roofs or walls,” designer Knud Lonberg-Holm told a young Buckminster Fuller when they first met in 1929. Though the advice deeply impressed the future geodesic dome innovator, who cultivated a lifelong friendship with Lonberg-Holm and even hoped in the 1960s to pen a book about the Danish-American designer’s ideas and oeuvre, the fame and notoriety accorded to Fuller have eluded his mentor’s legacy. Never one for self-promotion, Lonberg-Holm eschewed the aesthetic and personality flourishes that made contemporaries like Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright ubiquitous names the world over. Modern architecture, believed Lonberg-Holm, should be defined by its mode and scale of production, not a conspicuous style (International or otherwise). Yet for all his forward-looking ideas about “invisible” buildings, and research into designing systems for organizing and disseminating information about architectural production, Lonberg-Holm eventually became invisible himself — his work occasionally uncredited, his name and innovations largely absent from narratives of design history. (more…)

Richard Meier Remembers the Late Massimo Vignelli: “He Made Me Look Twice”

Massimo Vignelli, January 10, 1931 – May 27, 2014

The world of design, across nearly every discipline, experienced a great loss on Tuesday when Italian-born, New York-based icon Massimo Vignelli passed away at the age of 83. On May 9, son Luca had announced that his father was terminally ill, and invited fans to send letters of support and well wishing. Vignelli received thousands, according to fellow modernist and longtime friend Richard Meier.

Meier, who moved his office to 10th Avenue at Vignelli’s suggestion and refused to publish a book unless his upstairs neighbor would design it, spoke to ARTINFO over the phone about one of his best friends. His full, uninterrupted reflections are below.

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See Inside Dubai’s Opus Office Towers, Where Zaha Hadid Designed Her First Hotel

The interiors are just as curvy and spaceship-like as you’d imagine.

The organic, expressive lines of the midcentury Isamu Noguchi table actually pair really well with the digitally designed space — logical, but still surprising.

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Catitecture: Furniture for Felines and Their Human Friends

Behold the CATable: an object that operates by compressing several words and multiple functions into a single unit. Designed by architects Hao Ruan, Zhenyu Lai, and Jingrui Lin, of the Hangzhou- and Hong Kong-based firm LYCS Architecture, the multi-user CATable does double duty as a workspace for people and a play area for pets. Both functional and inventive, the desk-cum-toy caused a minor frenzy earlier this month at Milan Design Week and won the jury’s vote of approval in the Office Interior Design category of Architizer’s A+ Awards. (more…)

Philippe Malouin’s Mollo Chair, A Fabulous Use of Foam

In industrial design, comfort often requires meticulous engineering — but not the case with Mollo, Philippe Malouin’s newly launched armchair for London purveyor of eye-catching goods Established & Sons. The Canadian-born, London-based designer took the simplest route to building this full-bodied piece of furniture, opting out of rigid structural supports and sticking instead to foams of various densities.

Mollo on display at Established & Sons Fuorisalone exhibition in Milan

“The shape of the Mollo came about while experimenting with flat polyurethane foam sheets,” he recently told ARTINFO via email. “After making many models, we made a discovery while making a foam tube and curling it. We made three small stitches on the model and it created the seat, while elevating the backrest and armrests.” The result is a plump form that begs you to curl up inside, and once you get a feel of the velvet upholstery, there’s no getting up.

— Janelle Zara (@janellezara)
Images via Established & Sons

The Pocket Printer: A Freewheeling, Robotic Alternative to the Deskjet

It’s tiny, it rolls around, and it seems to achieve the impossible.  The Pocket Printer sounds a lot like the Little Engine That Could — but is this miniature robotic printer really more efficient than the usual desktop variety?

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Anselm Reyle-Designed Rugs and More to Debut in Milan

Anselm Reyle’s “Untitled,” 2012, hand-knotted rug Himalayan wool and silk

During Milan’s mega trade show Salone del Mobile, Gothenburg-based Swedish handmade rug company Henzel Studio is teasing its new “Henzel Studio Collaborations, Volume #1,” a collection of rugs by an impressive roster of designers: Anselm Reyle, assume vivid astro focus, Scott Campbell, Leo Gabin, Robert Knoke, Helmut Lang, Linder, Marilyn Minter, Jack Pierson, Richard Prince, Juergen Teller, and Mickalene Thomas. Each richly textured piece has been woven in Nepal using centuries-old traditional techniques.

While the collection’s official launch is scheduled to take place will be at Barneys during Frieze New York from May 9, the works of Reyle and Lang will be on view at Milan’s Temporary Museum for New Design from April 8 to 13. For those of you who won’t be heading to Italy next week, ARTINFO offers its own sneak peek below.

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New York Design Week Adds an Avant-Garde Fair by Sight Unseen

After four years as a central event during New York’s still-fledgling Design Week, the NoHo Design District is sadly no more.

Forward/Slash Light, 2014, by Ladies & Gentlemen

“The real estate in the area really exploded,” explains Jill Singer, who, along with Monica Khemsurov, founded the design site Sight Unseen and launched the multi-site design event in 2010.

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