Saturday, October 9, 2010


The prodigious Ricardo Fasanello (1930 – 1993) was known to have built sailboats at the age of 14 and lofts at the age of 18. When he later opened his atelier in Santa Tereza, Rio de Janeiro, the studio quickly developed into a sort of design laboratory for experimenting with a wide range of materials. Steel, glass, resin, fiberglass, leather and wood were all explored to make beautiful and functional objects. The designer was inspired by mathematical shapes of curves, circles and spheres, which recalled his penchant for automobiles and speed.

The daring sofa “Fardos” was his first international success, comprised of three huge rolls in suede and bound by canvas bands. This piece was featured at the Equipment Exposition held first in Paris and then in Berlin, in 1971. The reward for his avant-garde, courageous work came in 1975, when Fasanello was invited to execute the interior design of the new building of one of the largest newspapers in Brazil, “O Estado de São Paulo”. *

* Excerpt biography from


images: (click on images to enlarge)
Gaivota armchair (top)
Anel chair (2nd)
Fardos sofa (3rd)
Revolving Esfera armchair (4th)
Hipopatamo armchair (bottom)

Sunday, August 8, 2010


West Village Residence, NYC by Steven Learner Studio (top)
Tito Varisco dining table c1950s edited by Steven Learner Studio with Hans Wegner “The Chair” PP503 chairs for PP Mobler

Chelsea Residence, NYC by Studio Arthur Casas (2nd)
Custom dining table by Studio Arthur Casas with Iuta chairs by Antonio Citterio for B&B Italia & Torroya Cross Chandelier for David Weeks Studio

Miami Beach Residence by Yabu Pushelberg (3rd)
Teak drop leaf dining table on oak scissor legs by Hans Wegner for Andreas Tuck with CH23 dining chairs also by Hans Wegner for Carl Hansen & Son, both c1950s, overhead a salvaged operating-room light from the 1960s.

Estel (4th)
Niemeyer table by Oscar Niemeyer for Estel office with Demask chairs by Cory Grosser for Estel home

Ile st Louis Residence, Paris by Tristan Auer (bottom)
Vintage adjoining school desks by Charlotte Perriand with Tonneau chairs by Pierre Guariche for Steiner c1950s


Friday, July 16, 2010


Low-Wave by Hannes Wettstein - Severe volumes for amazing functionality. Hannes Wettstein has designed the Wave series that mixes classical elegance with ergonomic comfort. The inside of the headboard houses a moving mechanism with two positions to ensure adequate support for comfortable reading. The whole range of Wave beds is available with covers in fabric, leather or micro-fibre with a matelassé design, all completely removable.

Extrabed by Fabien Baron - Detachable bed with fixed staves, satined stainless steel structure and wooden honeycomb base and headboard. Available in Canaletto walnut or matt lacquered in light grey, quartz grey or red color. White nylon feet.

Siena by Naoto Fukasawa - An essential look and a base and headboard in a drastically reduced size are the distinguishing features of a project by Naoto Fukasawa which conveys a great sense of lightness, thanks to the base projecting from the whole perimeter of the bed. The top of the back panel inserted into the base features a short turned-up section where you can rest your arm comfortably when you are seated. Two tubular metal supports hold up the frame; a version is available with casters at the rear that make it easy to move. The base frame contains a metal mesh with pre-curved beech wood slats.

Legnoletto by Alfredo Haberli - The appearance of LegnoLetto is anything but technical. There is no wooden frame, and the legs are not attached to the corners, as is normally the case. These characteristics, as well as the unusually high legs, are responsible for the ease and striking appearance of the bed. For different widths, five different choices of head and foot design and seven colors (including natural wood) offer a huge range of compositional options. This variety opens up endless images of a new kind of wooden bed.

Charles by Antonio Citterio - The Charles bed is characterized by the "inverted L"-shaped feet in polished aluminium, the signature trait of the Charles line, and by its classic simplicity. The Charles bed is available in a range of fully removable fabric covers and non-removable leathers.


images: (click on images to enlarge)
Low-Wave by Hannes Wettstein for Molteni&C (top)
Extrabed by Fabien Baron for Cappellini (2nd)
Siena by Nato Fukasawa for B&B Italia (3rd)
Legnoletto by Alfredo Haberli for Alias, c/o Steven Learner Studio (4th)
Charles by Antonio Citterio for B&B Italia (bottom)


Pierre Guariche (1926 – 1995) was a student of Rene Gabriel at the school of the decorative arts in Paris. In 1951 he set up his own successful business, and created models for famous editors like Airborne, Steiner, Huchers-Minvielle, or Luminalite. In 1957 Pierre Guariche went to Belgium to manage the design department of a furniture manufacturer: Meurop. Rewarded for his work on numerous occasions, as the prestigious Rene Gabriel prize in 1965, he is considered today as one of the most talented of the young generation of designers emerging at the beginning of the 1950s.*

* c/o Decopedia


images: (click on images to enlarge)
Kite wall lamp for Disderot c1950s, c/o Steven Learner Studio (top)
Tonneau chair for Steiner/Paris c1950s (2nd)
Steel rod upholstered arm chair c1950s (3rd)
Sideboard for Meubles TV c1950s (4th)
Equilibrium double-branch brass floor lamp c1950s (bottom)

Friday, July 9, 2010


Gaetano Pesce (1939 - ) is principal of the New York City-based international architecture and design firm Pesce Ltd, which undertakes diverse commissions in architecture, urban planning, interior and exhibition design, industrial design and publishing. In more than 30 years of practice, Pesce has conceived public and private projects in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia, from residences to gardens and corporate offices. Pesce's extensive body of work has been recognized for its emotive and tactile qualities, unrestrained use of color, and insistence upon innovative building materials developed through new technologies and has been described by prominent architecture critic Herbert Muschamp as "the architectural equivalent of a brainstorm".

Gaetano Pesce was trained at the University of Venice Faculty of Architecture. He has lived and worked in New York since 1980; previously, he resided in Paris for 15 years, which directly influenced the internationalism of his approach. Pesce has served as a visiting lecturer and professor at many prestigious institutions in America and abroad, including the Cooper Union in New York. He is currently a faculty member at the Institut d'Architecture et d'Etude Urbaines in Strasbourg. His work has been the subject of numerous publications and exhibitions, and in 1996 he was honored with both a comprehensive career retrospective at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the publication of the seminal volume, "Gaetano Pesce: Le temps des questions." Gaetano Pesce was the recipient of the influential Chrysler Award for Innovation and Designing 1993.

On the subject of his work, Pesce recently said: "For the past 30 years, I have been trying to give architecture back its capacity to be 'useful', by quoting recognizable, figurative images commonly associated with street life and popular culture, and by generating new typologies. I strive to seek new materials that fit into the logic of construction, while performing services appropriate to real needs. Architecture of the recent past has mostly produced cold, anonymous, monolithic, antiseptic, standardized results that are uninspiring. I have tried to communicate feelings of surprise, discovery, optimism, stimulation and originality".

Pesce is closely linked with innovative clients such as B&B Italia, Cassina, Vitra International and has recently just launched a home design collection called Open Sky. His architectural work can be seen across the globe: the Organic Building in Osaka, Japan, the Gallery Mourmans in Knokke-le-Zoute, Belgium, and the Schuman residence in New York. *

* Bio c/o

related links:

images: (click on images to enlarge)
Serie Up 2000 armchair & ottoman for B&B Italia (top)
Feltri 357 armchair for Cassina (2nd)
La michetta sofa for Meritalia (3rd)
Organic Building, Osaka Japan (bottom)

Monday, June 14, 2010


Fraternal duo Ronan (1971 – ) and Erwan (1976 – ) Bouroullec have been working together for about ten years. Their collaboration is a permanent dialogue nourished by their distinct personalities and a shared notion of diligence.

In 1997, they presented their “Disintegrated Kitchen” at the Salon du Meuble in Paris and were spotted by Giulio Cappellini, who gave them their first industrial design projects, notably the Lit clos (“Closed Bed”) and the Spring Chair. In 2000, Issey Miyake asked them to design a space for his new collection of A-Poc clothes in Paris. Then, the decisive meeting with chairman of Vitra Rolf Fehlbaum occurred which resulted in their conception of a new kind of office system, Joyn, in 2002. This was the beginning of a special partnership which has borne fruit in numerous projects, including Algues, the Alcove Sofa, the Worknest, the Slow Chair and the Vegetal. Since 2004, the Bouroullecs have also been working with Magis, for whom they have designed two complete furniture collections, Striped and Steelwood. Finally, they have worked on several types of textile wall systems, such as the North Tiles and the CLouds, in close collaboration with the Kvadrat brand, for whom they designed showrooms in Stockholm in 2006 and in Copenhagen in 2009.

Today, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec design for numerous manufacturers, namely Vitra, Kvadrat, Magis, Kartell, Established and Sons, Ligne Roset, Issey Miyake and Cappellini. At the same time, they maintain an experimental activity which is essential to the development of their work at Galerie kreo, Paris, where four exhibitions of their designs have been held between 2001 and 2008. The next exhibition is scheduled for the spring 2010. They also embark on occasional architectural projects such as the Maison flottante (“Floating House”) in 2006 or the Camper stores in Paris and Copehnagen (2009) and the Casa Camper Hotel’s restaurant, Dos Palillos, in Berlin (2010).

Voted Designers of the Year at the Salon du Meuble in 2002, their other awards include the Grand Prix du Design (Paris, 1998), the New Designer Award at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF New York, 1999) and the Finn-Juhl Prize (Copenhagen, 2008). Additionally, the Facett collection manufactured by Ligne Roset and the Worknest office edited by Vitra both won the “Best of the Best” Red Dot Design Award, respectively in 2005 and 2008. In 2009, the Vegetal chair won the ICFF award for outdoor furniture.

Several exhibitions have been devoted to their work. These were showcased at the Design Museum, London (2002), at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, and La Piscine, Musée d’Art et d’Industrie, Roubaix (all in 2004), at the Villa Noailles, Hyeres (2008) and at the Grand Hornu, Belgium (2009). Designs of the Bouroullecs are part of select international museums’ collections such as the Musée National d’Art Moderne – Centre Pompidou and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Design Museum in London, and the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam.

Two monographs books have been published about the design of Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec: Ronan et Erwan Bouroullec – Catalogue de Raison (Paris: Images Modernes / Kreo, 2002) and Ronan et Erwan Bouroullec, (Paris: Phaidon, 2003). *

* Biography excerpt

Related Links:

Images: (click on images to enlarge)
Quilt chair for Established & Sons (top)
Alcove sofa for Vitra (2nd)
Slow chair for Vitra (3rd)
Vegetal chair: Growing for Vitra (4th)
Assemblages Exhibition, Paris 2004 (bottom)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Founded in 1984 as a result of an idea by William Sawaya and Paolo Moroni, the company bases its production on a number of exponents of contemporary design with differing cultural backgrounds and design concepts. Almost as though to pay tributes to the many jargons that have characterized form in the last two decades of Italian furniture. The result: products with a strong presence, sometimes poetic, all of them free from the constraints of trendiness
Michael graves, one of the first designers to have worked for the firm has for example imbued the design with the all-American dream of other times. Luigi Serafini has on the other hand found fertile soil for his surreal imagination, and others like Charles Jenks, Kazuo Shinohara, Oswald Matthias Ungers, Jean Nouvel, Zaha Hadid, Antonio Citterio, Toni Cordero, Ron Arad, Mario Cananzi, Richard Hutten as well as William Sawaya have put the stamp of their own historical or symbolic allusions on design for Sawaya & Moroni.

related links:

images: (click on images to enlarge)
Milana easy chair by Jean Nouvel (top)
Blade side board by William Sawaya (2nd)
Darwish cast aluminum seat by William Sawaya (3rd)
Stalactite table by Zaha Hadid (4th)
Patty Diffusa easy chair by William Sawaya (bottom)

Monday, May 31, 2010


Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960 – 1988) was an American artist and the first African-American painter to become an international art star. He gained popularity first as a graffiti artist in New York City, and then as a successful 1980s-era Neo-expressionist artist. Basquiat’s paintings continue to influence modern-day artists and sell for premium prices.
Born in Brooklyn, New York … his mother of Puerto Rican descent / his father of Haitian origin, Basquiat was fluent in French, Spanish and English from an early age. He read in these languages, including Symbolist poetry, mythology, and history. At an early age, Basquiat displayed an aptitude for art and was encouraged by his mother to draw, paint and to participate in other art-related activities. In the late 70s Basquiat and friend Al Diaz started spray-painting graffiti art on buildings in lower Manhattan, adding the infamous signature of”SAMO” (i.e., “same old shit”). The graphics were pithy messages such as “Plush safe he think … SAMO” and “SAMO as an escape clause”. In December 1978, the Village Voice published an article about the writings. The SAMO project ended with the epitaph “SAMO IS DEAD” written on the walls of SoHo buildings.
By 1980s Basquiat was showing regularly, and alongside Julian Schnabel, David Salle, Francesco Clemente and Enzo Cucchi, became part of what was called the Neo-expressionist movement. He started dating an aspiring and then-unknown performer named Madonna in the fall of 1982. That same year, Basquiat met Andy Warhol, with whom he collaborated extensively in 1984-6, forging a close, if strained, friendship. He was also briefly involved with artist David Bowes.
Basquiat’s career as an exhibiting artist is known for his three broad, though overlapping styles:
In the earliest period, from 1980 to late 1982, Basquiat used painterly gestures on canvas, often depicting skeletal figures and mask-like faces that expressed his obsession with mortality. Other frequently depicted imagery such as automobiles, buildings, police, children’s sidewalk games, and graffiti came from his experience painting on the city streets. Many critics say Basquiat created most of his best work around 1982.
The middle period from late 1982 to 1985 featured multi-panel paintings and individual canvases with exposed stretcher bars, the surface dense with writing, collage and seemingly unrelated imagery. These works reveal a strong interest in Basquiat’s black identity and his identification with historical and contemporary black figures and events. Some of these works achieve a great physicality, and his early interest in Rauschenberg again becomes apparent; “Grillo” (1984) is a good example. 1984-85 was also the main period of the flatter Basquiat–Warhol collaborations. The collaborative paintings received a poor critical reception but are iconographically complex and the process of painting together influenced each other’s later work.
The final period, from about 1986 to Basquiat’s death in 1988, displays a new type of figurative depiction, often on a plain painted background. It may be influenced both by Warhol and by Basquiat’s increasing drug use; “Riding with Death” (1988) is a good example of this style. Some symbols and content from new sources appear in this period, but he also re-used many phrases and motifs from his earlier work, in a starker setting.
During the 80s, many of Basquiat’s friends were concerned about his excessive drug use and increasingly erratic behavior, including signs of paranoia. Basquiat had developed very serious cocaine and heroin habit by this point, which started from his early years living among the junkies and street artists in New York’s underground. On February 10, 1985, Basquiat appeared on the cover of The New York Times Magazine in a feature entitled “New Art, New Money: The Marketing of an American Artist”. As Basquiat’s international success heightened, his works were shown in solo exhibitions across Europe and the USA.
Andy Warhol’s death in 1987 was very distressing for Basquiat, and it is speculated by Phoebe Hoban, in her 1998 biography on the artist, that Warhol’s death was a turning point for Basquiat, and that afterwards his drug addiction and depression began to spiral.
The final period, from about 1986 to Basquiat’s death in 1988, displays a new type of figurative depiction, often on a plain painted background. It may be influenced both by Warhol and by Basquiat’s increasing drug use; “Riding with Death” (1988) is a good example of this style. Some symbols and content from new sources appear in this period, but he also re-used many phrases and motifs from his earlier work, in a starker setting.
The neo-expressionism was Basquiat base painting style, a modern painting and sculpture style that emerged in the late 1970s and dominated the art market until the mid ’80s. Related to American Lyrical Abstraction, New Image Painting and precedents in Pop painting, it developed as a reaction against the conceptual and minimalist art of the 1970s. Neo-expressionists returned to portraying recognizable objects, such as the human body (although sometimes in an abstract manner), in a rough and violently emotional way using vivid colors and banal color harmonies.
Several major museum retrospective exhibitions of Basquiat’s works have been held since his death, in the US and internationally. The first was the “Jean-Michel Basquiat” exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art from October 1992 to February 1993 (this subsequently traveled to museums in Houston, Iowa, and Alabama through 1993 – 1994). The catalog for this exhibition, edited by Richard Marshall and including several essays of differing styles, was a groundbreaking piece of scholarship into his work, and still a major source. Another major and influential exhibition (and catalog) was the “Basquiat” exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum March-June 2005 (which subsequently traveled to Los Angeles and Houston in 2005-2006).
Until 2002, the highest amount paid for an original work of Basquiat’s was $3,302,500 USD set on 12 November 1998 at Christie’s. On 14 May 2002, Basquiat’s Profit I (a large piece measuring 86.5″ / 220 cm by 157.5″ / 400 cm), owned by drummer Lars Ulrich of the heavy metal band Metallica, was put up for auction, again at Christie’s. It sold for $5,509,500 USD . The proceedings of the auction are documented in the film Some Kind of Monster. On November 12, 2008 Ulrich sold a 1982 Basquiat piece, Untitled (Boxer), for $13,522,500 USD (estimate upon request in the region of US$12 million) to a telephone bidder at another Christie’s auction. Previously, on 15 May 2007, an untitled Basquiat work from 1981 had sold at Sotheby’s in New York for US$14.6 million.
Basquiat died accidentally of mixed-drug toxicity (he had been combining cocaine and heroin, often using cocaine to stay up all night painting and then using heroin in the morning to fall asleep) at his 57 Great Jones Street loft/studio in 1988.
In 1996, seven years after his death, a film biography titled Basquiat was released, directed by Julian Schnabel, with actor Jeffrey Wright playing Basquiat.

related links:

images: (click on images to enlarge)
Jean Michel Basquiat (top)
Untitled Boxer, 1982 (2nd)
Untitled Skull, 1981 (3rd)
Cabeza, 1981 (4th)
Jean Michel Basquiat & Andy Warhol photograph by Michael Halsband, 1985 (bottom)

Friday, May 28, 2010


Although best known for his furniture design, Norman Cherner's work included almost all aspects of design: from graphics, glassware and lighting, to his pioneering work in prefabricated housing. Educated in the Bauhaus tradition of interdisciplinary design, he became interested in housing as industrial design. His first houses were built in 1948 for a cooperative housing development in Ramapo, NY. These homes were examples of this total design concept and included affordable furniture designed specifically for these low-cost modular dwellings. One of the first pre-fabricated houses in the United States was Cherner's "Pre-built". It was designed, produced and assembled in 1957 for the U.S. Department of Housing. After being exhibited in Vienna it was shipped back to Connecticut to become his first home and studio outside of New York City. Norman Cherner's furniture designs include the "multi-flex" modular storage system, the "Konwiser Line" of furniture and lighting, and molded plywood seating for Plycraft which he designed in 1958. The molded plywood ‘Cherner Chair' became his most recognized design and is found in furniture collections worldwide. Norman Cherner studied and taught at the Columbia University Fine Arts Department and was an instructor at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. At the same time he also began his own practice, embarking on a lifetime exploration of architecture and furniture design. Norman Cherner's books include: "Fabricating Houses from Component Parts" (1958) "How to Build a House for Less the $6,000" (1960), "Make your own Modern Furniture" (1953) and "How to Build Children's Toys and Furniture" (1954) Benjamin Cherner is the son of the furniture designer Norman Cherner and co-founder of the Cherner Chair Company. He heads the multi-disciplinary design studio Cherner design. His most recent work, a duplex penthouse in New York's East Village has been featured in Dwell magazine and the New York Open House tour. His building designs often incorporate his father's as well as his own furniture designs. Benjamin Cherner is a registered Architect in New York and Connecticut. The Cherner Chair Company is the sole licensor of Norman Cherner and Benjamin Cherner designs. Vintage designs are sold at fine galleries and auction houses.

related links:

images: (click on images to enlarge)
Cherner molded plywood armchair originally produced by Plycraft (top)
Task chair (2nd)
How to build a House for $6000 [Fabricating Houses from Component Parts] New York: Reinhold, 1957 (3rd)
Bar stool (4th)
Konwieser table (bottom)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Welsh industrial designer Ross Lovegrove (1958 - ) is perhaps best known for his work on the Sony Walkman. Lovegrove studied at Manchester Polytechnic (now Manchester Metropolitan University), then went to the Royal College of Art, London where he completed his master of design. His inspiration mainly comes from organic forms and structures. In the early 80’s he worked as a designer for Frog design in West Germany on projects such as walkmans for Sony, computers for Apple, later moved to Paris as a consultant to Knoll International, becoming author of the highly successful Alessandri office system. Invited to join the Atelier de Nîmes along with Jean Nouvel and Philippe Starck, Lovegrove found himself consulting to amongst others Louis Vuitton, Hermes and DuPont. Returning to London Lovegrove set up his own design firm in the early 90s resulting in project work for Airbus industries, Kartell, Ceccotti, Artemide, Cappellini, Idee, Moroso, Luceplan, Driade, Peugeot, Apple, Issey Miyake, Vitra, Olympus Cameras, Yamagiwa corporation, Tag Heuer, Hackman, Alias, Herman Miller, Biomega, Japan airlines and Toyo Ito Architects, Japan as well as KEF and Bernhardt Design (for the Go chair). Winner of numerous international awards his work has been extensively published and exhibited internationally including the museum of Modern Art in New York, the Guggenheim Museum, New York, the Axis Centre, Japan, the Pompidou Centre, Paris, and the Design Museum, London, where in 1993 he curated the first permanent collection. Lovegrove was awarded the World Technology Award by Time magazine and CNN in November 2005. The same year, he was awarded the very prestigious Red Dot Design Award for the products created for Vitra.
Lovegrove has a unique ability to seduce the consumer with appealing fluid shapes, persuasive technology, rich color and beautiful materials. He is inspired by forms of the natural world, the possibilities of new manufacturing techniques and the ability to evoke an emotional response in users. Many of his designs address ecological issues and he has worked on a proposal for a lightweight product architecture called the Solar Seed that is solar powered and inspired by the form of a cactus. Whether creating a luxury leather bag collection or a plastic thermos flask, Lovegrove's humanistic approach and organic sensibility have set a direction for design in the next century.

related links:

images: (click on images to enlarge)
Oasi for Frighetto (top)
Droplet fro Artemide (2nd)
Sprite stacking chair for Knoll (3rd)
System X for Yamigiwa (4th)
Barberella sofa for Moooi (bottom)

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Founded by Italian architect Gio Ponti in 1932, Fontana Arte is a name famous worldwide for their amazing quality range of glass and glass lighting. The company’s works were first distinguished by its realizations of artistic stained-glass windows in churches and cathedrals, among them Duomo of Milan and Cathedral of Brasilia. After having fallen somewhat from grace due to management’s capitalist ideals, a private group bought FA in the late 70s with the re-launch strategy of using the company’s original tenet … big names in the architectural world (including Gae Aulenti, Piero Castiglioni, and Ettore Sottsass), with glass production as the main production element. The company has continued to evolve with new product development and corporate acquisitions while maintaining their core stratagem. Vintage, reissues, and new production of lighting, furniture and objects have kept FA at the pinnacle of their industry.

Happy B-day ZAB!

related links:

images: (click on images to enlarge)
Parola table light by Gae Aulenti & Piero Castiglioni 1980 (top)
Chandelier by David Chipperfield 2004 (2nd)
Crystal dining table by Gio Ponti 1938 (3rd)
No. 2666 vase of clear bonded glass by Ettore Sottsass 1980 (4th)
Flora by Future Systems 2007 (bottom)