Monday, November 30, 2009


Finnish designer Eero Aarnio (1939 - ) is well known for his innovative designs that became pop culture staples in the 1960’s. Notably his fiberglass and plastic chairs with their simple geometric forms often appeared as set designs in period science-fiction productions; the clear and suspended Bubble chair, the hollow sphere on a stand Ball chair, and the floating Pastil chair. Aarnio continues to create new designs including toys and furniture for children. Companies that produce Aarnio’s artistic forms include Adelta, Magis, Studio Eero Aarnio, Innojok and Martela. Refer to for maker of design.

related links:

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L-R: Flamingo floor lamp, Pony upholstered foam chair, Ball chair, Double Bubble floor lamp XL (top)
Bubble chair (2nd)
Puppy (3rd)
Pastill chairs (4th)
Parable table (bottom)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Founded in 1927 by brothers Cesare and Umberto Cassina, Italian manufacturer, Cassina Spa continues to produce a high end designer furniture collection of chairs, armchairs, sofas, beds, case goods/bookshelves and tables. Through the mid sixties the company particularly enjoyed a large number of commissions for various cruise ships, top end hotels and restaurants. At that same time Cassina acquired the rights to products designed by Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand, considered to be some of the most important names of 20th century design … and the Cassina “Maestri” Collection was born. In decades following the Maestri Collection expanded to include rights to designers Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Frank Lloyd Wright, Gerrit Rietveld, Erik Gunner Asplund and Franco Albini. The company’s other collection known as “ Contemporanie” includes designs by modern masters Mario Bellini, Vico Magistretti, Gio Ponti, Toshiyuki Kita, Gaetano Pesce, Theodore Waddell, Hannes Wettstein, Philippe Starck, Jean-Marie Massaud, and Piero Lissoni. The company today is part of the Poltrona Frau Group along with subsidiaries Cappellini, Alias and Poltrona Frau.

related links:

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LC4 chaise by Le Corbusier, Maralunga sofa by Vico Magistretti, LC10-P cocktail table by Le Corbusier, Charlotte Perriand & Pierre Jeanneret (top)
La Basilica table with Cab armchair by Mario Bellini (2nd)
Auckland lounge chair, Aspen sofa by Jean Marie Massaud (3rd)
LL House chairs by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, 714 table by Theodore Waddell, 367 Hola chair by Hannes Wettstein (4th)
Flat sideboard by Piero Lissoni (bottom)
Due to the Thanksgiving Holiday there will be no posts on Thursday 11/26 & Friday 11/27. Posting will resume on Monday 11/30.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


With family business roots stemming from 1865 German furniture operative Walter Knoll remains a leading maker of upholstered furniture forms and premium office facilities. As a point of interest the relationship between Walter Knoll and Florence Knoll was that of father-in-law/daughter-in-law; Walter’s son Hans married Florence and together they founded Knoll International here in America in 1938, a totally separate/non related business entity from WK. WK’s corporate strategy is based on innovation and design. Consequently, the company has successfully collaborated with renowned international designers such as Norman Foster, EOOS, Wolfgang C. R. Mezger, and Jan Kleihues. WK has received many design awards and continues to rank amongst the leading European furniture producers, setting new standards for high-quality furnishing of offices, restaurants and private homes through its clear product and design strategy.

related links:

images: (click on images to enlarge)
FK Lounge by Fabricius & Kastholm (top)
Foster 510 by Foster + Partners (2nd)
CEOO by EOOS (3rd)
Jason 390 by EOOS (4th)
Mychair by UNStudio/Ben van Berkel (bottom)

Monday, November 23, 2009


Renowned industrial designer, Achille Castiglioni (1918-2002) was often inspired by everyday things and made use of ordinary materials like extruded aluminum and stainless steel. The genius of Castiglioni's inventive imagination was in his ability to use the minimal amount of materials while creating forms with a maximum effect. Castiglioni's method, to have "a constant and consistent way of designing, not a style" led him to help create new products to restore Italy's quality of life in the post-war years and to innovate upon the household object. Most of Castilglioni's products are design classics and are still in production under license. The MoMA has his most important designs in its permanent collection, totaling 14 in number. Further to his tribute Castiglioni received 9 “Compasso d’Oro” awards spanning 1955-1984.

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Sanluca for Poltrona Frau (top)
RR126 for Brionvega (2nd)
Mezzadro for Zanotta (3rd)
Arco for Flos (4th)
T95 for De Padova (bottom)

Friday, November 20, 2009


Specializing in the production of rugs and seating furniture for indoor and outdoor environments since 1994, the Milan based furnishing company Paola Lenti in its relatively short history has made its mark with textile innovation in terms of materials, forms, production techniques, and end uses. The unique quality, appearance and functionality of the collection originates from the innovative choice of materials, the use of the best craftsman and manufacturers of yarn, the wonderful color spectrum created by PL, combined with the creative process of experimentation … the end result being endurance, resistance and non-deformability of their designs. Paola Lenti USA offices in San Diego, CA. For representatives and distributors contact

related links:

images:(click on images to enlarge)
Wave by Francesco Rota (Aqua Collection- outdoor) (top)
Play by Francesco Rota shown w/ High Tech rug Ray (Aqua Collection – outdoor) (2nd)
Aladdin by Klaesson, Koivisto & Rune w/ Natural rug Tye (Home Collection – indoor) (3rd)
Frame by Francesco Rota (Aqua Collection – outdoor) (4th)
All by Francesco Rota w/ Felt rug Unito (Home collection – indoor) (bottom)

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Australian born industrial designer Marc Newson (1963 - ) is known for his biomorphic aesthetic. Although prolific in areas of aircraft, jewelry, product, clothing, and interior design, our post today spotlights his furniture designs. The smooth flowing style and absence of sharp edges was categorically acknowledged in a New York Times magazine article “entitled “Smooth Move” where Newson describes his 1988 Embryo chair as "one of the first pieces where I hit upon a discernible style”. Certainly a career pinnacle and tribute for Newson was when one of his 1985 Lockheed Lounge designs made of impressed “Basecraft Sydney” aluminum sheets, blind rivets and fiberglass sold at Christies for a whopping $1,515,713. USD, October 2007; the design was number 7 in a series of 10. Many of Newson’s designs are produced by companies Cappellini, Magis, Moroso, Idee and Meritalia (portals below). On occasion vintage designs can be sourced on 1stdibs or at premier auction houses.

related links:

images: (click on images to enlarge)
Lockheed Lounge produced by Marc Newson (top)
Embryo chair for Cappellini (2nd)
Wicker chair for Idee (3rd)
Prosciutto sofa for Meritalia (4th)
Wooden chair for Cappellini (bottom)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Born in a family of celebrated artists Alexander “Sandy” Calder (1898-1976) is considered one of the most influential sculptors of the 20th century. His mother was a professional portrait painter and his father and grandfather were well known sculptors who created public installations in the Philadelphia area where his family migrated to from Scotland. “Calder is renowned for the invention of the mobile, whose suspended, abstract elements move and balance in changing harmony”.* These kinetic wire sculptures depicted Calder’s sharp eye for their engineering balance … a by product of his formative engineering schooling. In addition to his mobile and stabile sculptures Calder produced paintings, lithographs, toys, tapestries and jewelry; select art forms today can be sourced through galleries (see artnet portal below). Calder is perhaps most remembered though for his large scale commissioned works here in the U.S. and abroad.

* Excerpt from Calder Foundation portal

related links:

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Man, c1967 Expo ’67 Montreal CA
.125, c1957 JFK Airport Port Authority of NY
Tom’s c1974, Calder Foundation
Grand Vitesse, c1969 Grand Rapids MI
La Spirale, c1958 Unesco Paris France w/ A Calder

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


In 1953, along with his brother Fulgenzio, Osvaldo Borsani founded Tecno Spa, a project for which he worked his whole life in order to develop standard production with reference to that of design. The company’s first industrial designs were the P40 adjustable armchair and the D70 reversible seat sofa. In 1968 it was the office system Graphis (together with Eugenio Gerli and coming into vogue around the world in a million copies) thanks to which Tecno became a world-leading manufacturer in design for the office. Borsani designed most of Tecno's iconic designs: Graphis, the D70 sofa, the P40 lounge-chair and the small tables T1 and T2. Towards the late 60’s Tecno began collaborating with external designers to include Norman Foster, Gae Aulenti, Mario Bellini, Renzo Piano, Piero Lissoni, Raphael Moneo, Jean Francois Bodin, and Ricardo Bofill. Email for company distribution and representation.

related links:

images: (click on images to enlarge)
P40 lounge chair by Osvaldo Borsani (top)
Graphis by Osvaldo Borsani (2nd)
D70 sofa by Osvaldo Borsani (3rd)
Nomos by Norman Foster (4th)
T1 & T2 by Osvaldo Borsani (bottom)

Monday, November 16, 2009


Considered one of the pioneering masters of modern architecture Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
(1938-1969) sought to establish a revolutionary architectural style representative of the modern era. The modern city with its towers of glass and steel can be at least in part attributed to the influence of Mies. Equally significant, if smaller in scale, is Mies' daring design of furniture; pieces that exhibit an unerring sense of proportion, as well as minimalist forms and exquisitely refined details. In fact, his chairs have been called architecture in miniature exercises in structure and materials that achieve an extraordinary visual harmony as autonomous pieces or in relation to the interiors for which they were originally designed.
Mies and Lilly Reich designed what is perhaps his most famous creation. Created for the German Pavilion at the Barcelona International Exhibition, the Pavilion or Barcelona chair was intended as a modern throne; a thick cushion upholstered in luxurious leather and set upon a curved metal frame in the shape of an X inspired by classical furniture. Perfectly proportioned and finished, the simple chair exuded an air of elegance and authority.In 1938, Mies emigrated from Europe and moved to Chicago. The rest of his career was devoted to promoting the Modernist style of architecture in the U.S., resulting in rigorously modern buildings such as the Farnsworth House and the Seagram Building, designed with Philip Johnson. Perhaps the best summation of his work is Mies' own: “thoughts in action”.

related links:

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Barcelona/Pavilion chair & ottoman for Knoll
Barcelona table for Knoll
Barcelona couch for Knoll
S533 RF for Thonet
Seagram Building New York City c1958

Friday, November 13, 2009


Canadian-born Frank Gehry (1929 - ) is one of the most sought-after, internationally recognized and prolific architects and designers in the world today. His work defies categorization, but has become an icon of current architecture with such projects as the Vitra Museum in Weil-am-Rhein Germany, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao Spain, the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. “His structures are often characterized by unconventional or distorted shapes that have a sculptural, fragmented, or collage like quality. In designing public buildings, he tends to cluster small units within a larger space rather than creating monolithic structures, thus emphasizing human scale”. Gehry's newest architectural projects include the proposed and controversial New Jersey Nets complex in Brooklyn, New York, a satellite museum for the Guggenheim, a hospital wing in Scotland and a museum extension in Gehry's birthplace of Toronto. In addition to designing over 30 existing buildings, Gehry has distinguished himself with a handful of furniture designs currently produced by companies Vitra, Heller and Knoll.

related links:

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Vitra Museum Weil-am-Rhein Germany (top)
Guggenheim Bilbao Spain (2nd)
Walt Disney Concert Hall Los Angeles (3rd)
Wiggle chair for Vitra (4th0
FG Furniture Collection for Heller (bottom)